Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

6 November-17 December 2013 (E05713) | Closed
Instructor: J. Vreer Verkerke

This certificate course analyses the rights regarding sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. These human rights are not acknowledged for people who, for one reason or another, do not (want to) belong to the recognised and legitimised constructions of sex, gender and sexuality. Since the public political struggle for equal rights for gays and lesbians took off in the global North (1965 and 1969 in the USA; local less known actions also) and later for different reasons in the global South and East, the struggle is globalising. A coalition of NGOs and activists now is influencing the UN and other, regional bodies like the Organization of American States, European Union, Council of Europe, African Union. In 2007 the Yogyakarta Principles were adopted, growing into soft law, the OHCHR released a report on global discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. These developments and documents will form the basis for this course on human rights and sex, sexual orientation and gender identity and will be discussed more in depth.

Course structure

The e-learning course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, on-line working groups, webinars, interaction among students, the instructor and invited guests. The course will integrate active and participatory learning approaches within activities and assignments, with an emphasis on reflective and collaborative learning. Participants will do the required reading, prepare assignments, including case studies, and participate in group discussions. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: Sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights
Week 2: Participation: freedom of association, expression, assembly
Week 3: Access: health, education, employment
Week 4: Protection: violence, asylum
Week 5: Privacy: family relations, legal gender recognition
Week 6: Implementation of legal standards, complaint mechanisms

About the instructor: J. Vreer Verkerke

Vreer VerkerkeJ. Vreer Verkerke is a long-time advocate for sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression rights. Vreer founded the first genderqueer group (2001) in the Netherlands and co-organised the first world conference on gender identity and human rights (Barcelona, 2010), worked several years as policy and advocacy officer at the Transgender Network Netherlands and was involved in TGEU’s “… And Others!” trans* advocacy project, writing on trans* health and human rights (2009-2011). Vreer also did research assistance for the Human Rights Watch report on the Netherlands (2011) and was the coordinator for the trans* part of the recent Fundamental Rights Agency LGBT survey (2012).

Who should apply

The course is aimed at university students, activists, NGO staff members, staff of international organisations and other practitioners who want to gain in-depth knowledge about sexual orientation, human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, gender identity and sexual orientation. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 575; tuition for auditors: US$ 215. Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer (additional fee applies) and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Registration is closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.