Development and Human Rights (19 March – 29 April, 2025)

Note: This course is also offered as part of the Professional Development Diploma on Sustainable Development and Human Rights.

Admissions are Open!
Course Description

This certificate course offered by the Human Rights Center of the University for Peace introduces participants to the major themes and debates concerning the relationship between human rights and development. The course begins with an examination of the different conceptions of ‘development’, including its evolution in theory, policy and practice, and its linkages with human rights. Participants analyze the human right to development, which treats development itself as a human right and not just a process which leads to improvement in human rights. The doctrinal and policy implications of adopting a ‘human rights-based approach to development’ based on the ‘right to development’, are discussed along with what such approaches mean, and what are the tools to implement them in the field. Participants will also explore the new streams of critique that have enabled a confluence as well as a questioning of the human rights-development linkages. These include a critical analysis of the successes and failures thus far of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. The role of strategic litigation in the interface between development and human rights is also looked at with the help of case studies from around the world. In the latter part of the course, selected current issues in the human rights-development interface that are salient from a policy perspective will be examined, including the role of trade, finance, investment, development aid, and aid for trade. Finally, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the development and human rights is examined.

The course is based on a dynamic pedagogy including reading materials, video clips, case studies, and interactive webinars with the instructor.

Course Outline
  • Week 1: Conceptions of human rights and development
  • Week 2: The Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights
  • Week 3: Rule of Law and Development
  • Week 4: Role of trade, finance and investment in development
  • Week 5: Development aid, aid for trade, and human rights
  • Week 6: The COVID-19 pandemic, development and human rights
Who Should Apply

The course is intended for staff members of development organisations, including development NGOs and UN specialised agencies, as well as others interested in learning more about human rights based approaches to development in theory and practice. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use.

About the Instructor

Dr. Mihir Kanade (India) is Director of the Human Rights Centre of the University for Peace (established by the UN General Assembly). He is the Academic Director of UPEACE and the Head of its Department of International Law. He is also an adjunct faculty at Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (Spain), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal), Long Island University (LIU Global Centre in Costa Rica), and Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia). Dr. Kanade serves as the academic co-coordinator of the LLM programme in Transnational Crime and Justice offered at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Turin, Italy. He also serves on the International Advisory Board of the International Bar Association on the topic of Business and Human Rights. Dr. Kanade currently serves as an independent expert of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development. Dr. Kanade co-leads an e-learning project in partnership with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNU-IIGH for training UN staff and diplomats of permanent missions of States on operationalizing the Right to Development in Implementation of the SDGs. He also chairs the drafting group of international experts appointed by the OHCHR for preparing a legally binding instrument on the right to development. His principal area of academic research and study is the interface between globalization, governance, public international law and human rights, covering several themes including trade, business and investment, sustainable development, forced displacement of people, indigenous peoples’ rights, public health, amongst others. He conducts several trainings for staff of intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as professionals, in the field of international law and human rights. Prior to academia, Dr. Kanade practiced for several years as a lawyer at the Bombay High Court (Nagpur and Bombay benches) and at the Supreme Court of India. He holds a LL.B from Nagpur University (India) and a Master degree and Doctorate from UPEACE.

Course Fee

For Certificate: Fee for taking this course is USD 600. UPEACE students and almuni enrolling for the Certificate course are entitled to 30% discount on the fee.

For Auditing: It is also possible to audit the course, in which case, participants will not receive a certificate. Auditors, however, will have access to all course material, be able to participate in the synchronous webinar sessions, and be able to monitor the online discussions of participants. The fee for auditing the course is USD 200.

For Certificate and 2 Academic Credits: Participants are also able to take the course for two academic credits offered by UPEACE. The cost of taking the course for 2 academic credits is USD 1100.

Application Procedure

To apply, please fill up the enrolment form. Applicants will be contacted within three working days of the application. The diploma is limited to 25 participants.


Payments may be made either by credit card or by wire transfer. Payment by wire transfer usually takes three to four business days to be deposited in our account. Payment by credit card is instant.

If you wish to make the payment by credit card, please go to

Payments by wire transfer must be made to the following bank account:

Universidad para la Paz
Banco Nacional de Costa Rica
Bank account number:100-02-099-600195-4
Swift Code: BNCRCRSJ and IBAN: CR57015109910026001958
Avenidas 1 y 3, Calle 4
San José, Costa Rica