Forced Migration and Human Rights (5 March – 15 April, 2025)


This course can be taken as stand-alone, or as part of the Diploma in Human Rights and Forced Displacement.

Admissions are Open!
Course Description

This course introduces participants to the diverse, yet interlinked, issues related to the trans-boundary movement of people and how this affects human rights. It starts off by exploring the notion of ‘forced migration’, and distinguishing it from various other notions that are used to refer to the phenomenon of trans-boundary movement of people. In particular, it looks at how different people have different access to other states. Is there a right to be allowed into an other state? If so, under what conditions? The course then moves on to look at the specific regimes protecting, in varying degrees, different groups of vulnerable people. First, it gives an overview of the international law of refugee protection. Second, it looks at how human rights apply, or not, in the case of undocumented migrants. Third, it covers the protection of victims of human trafficking and the policies in place against the smuggling of people. Fourth, it considers whether migrants in general are entitled to enjoy specific social rights. Finally, it takes a closer look at the human rights dimension of border control, in particular in cases where people die in their attempts to reach the countries of their destination.

The course is designed both as a stand-alone specialized course on Forced Migration and its human rights linkages, but also as a key course of the Diploma in Human Rights and Forced Displacement.

Course Outline

Week One: Defining Forced Migration: Entry, Stay, Expulsion, & Deportation

Week Two: International Refugees

Week Three: Undocumented Migrants

Week Four: Human Trafficking & Smuggling

Week Five: Social Rights of Migrants

Week Six: The Human Costs of Border Control​

Who Should Apply

The course is intended for staff members of civil society organizations and (inter)governmental organizations involved in forced migration and human rights issues, including human trafficking and smuggling, protection of refugees and stateless persons, immigration, protection of internally displaced persons etc. The course is also intended for staff members of (international) development agencies, academics and others interested in the aforesaid areas. (Post)Graduate students with specific research interests in these areas are also encouraged to apply. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use.

About the Instructor

Dr. Juan M. Amaya-Castro, resident Professor of International Law  at Universidad de los Andes (Bogota, Colombia) studied international legal studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and defended his Ph.D. dissertation (on Human Rights and the Critiques of the Public-Private Distinction) at the Free University of Amsterdam, where he was also a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the field of migration and law. Prior to his current position, he was an Associate Professor at the University for Peace in the International Law Department, where, among other courses, he also taught migration law. He has taught at Utrecht University and at Erasmus University Rotterdam and was a visiting researcher and Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School. He has published on various aspects of international law and human rights and is currently also on the Board of Consultants of SUR—Revista Internacional de Derechos Humanos/International Journal on Human Rights and in the Editorial Board of Inter-American & European Human Rights Journal.

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