International Relations & Human Rights Law


About this minor

The minor will explore how governments and non-governmental organisations interact in their efforts to protect human rights.

This course will examine unresolved theoretical, legal and practical questions concerning the issues of international relations as well as universality of human rights; whose responsibility it is to protect human rights; and whether human rights conventions, laws, and regimes are effective. Thus, the course looks at the juxtaposition of the traditional claims of states to guard sovereignty and impose order against more recent claims by individuals to freedom, rights, justice, universal moral order and humane treatment. State sovereignty and international relations have a profound impact on the ability of the international community to respond to gross human rights violations. The positive and negative impacts of domestic politics and transnational actors and the collision of human rights ideals with the doctrine of state sovereignty will be recurring themes in the course.

To this end the following questions will be discussed:

  • How do international relations theories view human rights?
  • How do they explain contemporary world politics?
  • What role do human rights play in international relations today?
  • Why do states comply with the human rights treaties?
  • How does the application of human rights treaties affect states’ sovereignty?
  • How are individual rights enforced by states?

Learning outcomes

After completing this course students will able to:

  • Understand the history, some theories and issues of international relations;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the main human rights provisions and ways of their enforcement;
  • Understand the role of interpretation principles characteristic of human rights;
  • Articulate an informed view about current debates on human rights enforcement in international relations.
  • Analyze and present a case on one of these issues

Good to know

Attendance is mandatory twice a week at EUC.

Teaching method and examination

Teaching method:
This minor will consist of mixed-method teachings where participatory lectures, cases, group assignments, simulations and presentations will be a part of the curriculum.
In addition, site visits are anticipated to key institutions, such as the International Criminal Court or Cordaid, to enable the students to witness the practical application of the principles studied.

Teaching materials:
Smart board, books, articles.

Method of Examination:
Written pleadings and essays, moot court presentations, group assignments,

Composition of final grade:
Professional behaviour (10%)
Assignments – (90%)

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection minor
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Erasmus University.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      8 November 2024
    • Term *
      Block LAS MIN
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Currently no more seats available
These offerings are valid for students of TU Delft