Business and Human Rights Training by Nestlé and the Danish Institute for Human Rights

Publicly available course on business and human rights designed by the Danish Institute of Human Rights for Nestle. Covers three modules:

  • Understanding human rights
  • Human rights and Nestle
  • Doing something about it

The course is useful for all individuals interested in learning more about business and human rights, as well as companies.

Introduction to business and human rights

“This course is an introduction to business and human rights with a focus on the role that national human rights institutions can play in this area.”

Topics covered include:

  1. Introduction to business and human rights
  2. National human rights institutions and business and human rights
  3. UN Guiding Principles pillar one – the State duty to protect
  4. UN Guiding Principles pillar two – the corporate responsibility to respect
  5. UN Guiding Principles pillar three – access to remedy

The course is available for free online and in English and Spanish.

UN Courses


  • Human Rights and the Environment
  • Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • E-tutorial on Global Framework for Climate Services
  • Conflict series – 1. What is a conflict?
  • Conflict series- 2. Conflict analysis
  • Gender Matters: What is Gender?
  • UN CC: Learn Introductory e-Learning Course on Climate Change
  • Milestones in UN Peacekeeping
  • Introduction to environment, natural resources and UN peacekeeping operations
  • Environment, natural resources and UN peacekeeping operations: Restoring Governance of Natural Resources
  • Introduction to Security Sector Reform
  • REDD+ Academy e-Course
  • Children and Climate Change
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Human Health and Climate Change
  • e-Tutorial on Climate Information and Services
  • e-Tutorial on Climate Policy and Public Finance
  • e-Tutorial on Climate Responsive Budgeting

Data Tells a Story: Reading Data in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Free online course for 2 weeks. Estimated 4 hours/week to complete.

Description: “How can we answer questions about the world around us? How can we make decisions about what to do? Over the past years, more and more people have turned to data for help. Huge amounts of data are collected every day from millions of sources. This data has a lot to tell us! But data by itself is mute—it can only help us if we learn to make it speak and tell its story. In this short free online course, we will introduce basic ideas about collecting data, and techniques for turning data into information we can use. Along the way, we will hear from researchers at Loughborough University about the ways they use data in their work.”

Africa: Sustainable Development for All?

Free online course for 6 weeks. Estimated 3 hours/week to complete.

Description: “Africa as a continent is rich in natural resources and minerals and has increasing rates of wealth in some countries. The course will explore why there continues to be many sub-Saharan African countries which perform poorly on development indicators for reducing poverty, hunger and unemployment and improving maternal health and access to quality reproductive health services.

This free online course will assess progress made to date in the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals and will provide information from key people in international development to discuss whether the proposed UN post-2015 sustainable development agenda can be achieved in sub-Saharan Africa. The course is designed for anyone with a passion for humanity, human rights and sustainable development. You will learn to think critically and communicate effectively about development stories, past, present and future.

We will introduce the key concepts in sustainable development, the historical background and current context. You will look at the organisations involved in development and how they have changed over time.

We will also explain how development data are constructed, and the strengths and limitations of different types of evidence. We will highlight who has been counted in development data, how robust the data are and who is missing from data sets.”

Understanding Violence Against Women: Myths and Realities

Free online course for 6 weeks. Estimated 2 hours/week to complete.

Description: “The United Nations considers violence against women to be a grave violation of human rights of epidemic proportions. Such violence has profoundly negative consequences for individuals, communities and entire societies. This is why violence against women is a priority issue for governments and societies around the world. On this course you will learn about the roots of violence against women, the principles of gender inequality at its centre and most importantly, how to challenge entrenched attitudes that impact women the world over. Topics include:

  • Key concepts – Gender, Power and Violence
  • Defining and explaining Violence Against Women
  • Impact of Violence Against Women from a range of perspectives
  • Media and Cultural representations of Violence Against Women
  • Public and Professional responses to Violence Against Women
  • Preventing Violence Against Women – national and international approaches”

Water for the People: Gender, Human Rights, and Diplomacy

Free online course for 3 weeks. Estimated 3 hours/week to complete.

Description: “We all need water every day, yet 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. For many, obtaining water for their families is a difficult, time-consuming task, falling heavily on the shoulders of women and girls. There is widespread agreement that people have a basic human right to the water needed to sustain life, yet this right has not been realized for nearly 1 of every 7 people on earth. On this course you will learn about the issues of gender inequality and human rights in relation to water, and the diplomatic efforts that are helping to improve access to water. Topics covered include:

  • Gender inequality in relation to water: How and why do women and girls bear the brunt of water scarcity?
  • Is water a human right? How has the human right to water been defined? What is the reality?
  • Is water a commodity to be bought and sold for a profit?
  • How has globalization affected access to water for the people?
  • How do nations work together to forge bilateral or multi-lateral agreements promoting access to water?”

Climate Justice: Lessons from the Global South

Free online course for 4 weeks. Estimated 2 hours/week to complete.

Description: “Climate change is a global problem we all must face. This course will deal with some of the key issues related to the ethical dimensions implied by climate change – learning especially from the problems faced as well as the resilience models formulated by the marginalized sectors of society or the so-called “Global South”.

What Works: Promising Practices in International Development

Free online course for 3 weeks. Estimated 4 hours/week to complete.

Description: “Researchers from the University of Oslo and Stanford University, together with colleagues from Malawi, China and the UK, will examine interventions critically, while exploring how successful development strategies can be deployed in a range of international contexts. This course is designed for people with an interest in international development, including students, teachers, researchers, policymakers, activists, pensioners, diplomats, and those working for international development organisations and aid agencies. Topics covered include:

  • Core concepts in development theory
  • Poverty reduction and income inequality
  • Food security and agriculture
  • Global governance and international cooperation
  • Human rights and development
  • Good governance, rule of law and state building
  • Public participation and civil society
  • Successful cases of national and international development initiatives”

Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees

Introductory level 3-week course for free from Amnesty International. 3-5 hours/week estimated to complete.

Description: “Refugees have human rights. What are these rights? Who is responsible for upholding and protecting them? How can we hold them to account? This short course will enable you to find the answers and empower yourself to defend and promote the rights of refugees and discover how you can be part of the solution. Learn from the experts, campaigners and activists at Amnesty International how to identify human rights violations and to claim, defend and promote the human rights of refugees.”

Course also available in French and Spanish.

Human Rights MicroMasters Course at Curtin University

Includes all 3 free courses from the University (Human Rights and Development, Human Rights Activism, Advocacy and Change, and Human Rights Theory and Philosophy). Free or $900 for credential.

Human Rights Theory and Philosophy

Advanced level 12-week course for free from Curtin University. Estimated 8-10 hours/week to complete.

Description: “The course commences through exploring the development of the conventional understanding of universal human rights and then moves to critiquing this concept from cultural relativist, postmodern, postcolonial and feminist perspectives. It also examines understandings of human rights from a range of cultural and religious perspectives as well as other contemporary rights issues. Developing an awareness of contemporary issues in human rights is important in professions such as education, health, law, social work and development work, both in the public and private sector. You can also benefit from human rights knowledge in a voluntary capacity, advocating social justice, peace or building a sustainable future.”

Human Rights Activism, Advocacy and Change

Advanced level 12-week online course for free from Curtin University. Estimated 8-10 hours/week need to complete.

Description: “In this course you will explore the role of social movements, advocacy groups and different forms of activism in bringing about change. It covers a range of social movement theories and concepts and explores specific movements and campaigns to illustrate the diversity of movement philosophies, methods and outcomes.

In all societies, advocates and activists play an important role in ensuring that human rights are respected, protected and promoted.”

Human Rights and Development

Advanced level 12-week online course for free from Curtin University. Estimated 8-10 hours/week needed to complete.

Description: “In this course you will learn the meaning of development based on human rights and social justice perspectives. You will understand how development is practiced based on the needs, rights and capabilities of individuals; and critically explore the strengths and shortcomings of these approaches.

Next, you’ll explore the ideology behind international aid programs and look at development from both Indigenous and African perspectives. You’ll uncover human rights abuses, environmental issues and challenges to colonialist development, all of which still have an effect to this day.

Finally, you’ll explore the role of international financial and trade institutions in global development.”

The EU and Human Rights

Intermediate level 7-week online course for free from Ku Leuven University. Estimated 4-6 hours/ week needed to complete.

Description: “This EU and Human Rights course teaches the basics of human rights, placing the EU at the centre of investigation.

  • What factors are key to making the EU a positive or a negative force for human rights? For example, what impact has the economic crisis had on people’s human rights in the EU and the world?
  • Which actors, friends or foes, must the EU engage with to successfully promote human rights? Examples include NGOs, businesses, or other international organisations like the Council of Europe or the UN.
  • What is the impact of the EU in key policy sectors? Examples include trade, development, migration, social policy or international crisis management.

The course is intended for anyone interested in human rights and the EU, human rights law, European Studies, international relations, global governance, etc. It is divided into four modules

  1. The EU and Human Rights: Value Promotion and Coherence
  2. Promoting Human Rights inside the EU
  3. Promoting Human Rights in EU External Action
  4. Capitalising on Success and Remedying Flaws”

International Human Rights Law

Advanced level 10-week online course for free from Universite Catholique de Louvain. Estimated 6-8 hours/week needed to complete.

Description: “Human rights are developed through the constant dialogue between international human rights bodies and domestic courts, in a search that crosses geographical, cultural and legal boundaries. The result is a unique human rights grammar, which this course shall discuss and question, examining the sources of human rights, the rights of individuals, the duties of States, and the mechanisms of protection.

We shall rely extensively on comparative material from different jurisdictions, to study a wide range of topics including, religious freedom in multicultural societies, human rights in employment relationships, economic and social rights in development, or human rights in the context of the fight against terrorism.”

Human rights defenders course

Human rights defenders course by Amnesty International in English or Spanish.

Amnesty International’s Human Rights Courses

  • Introduction to human rights in English and Spanish
  • Three human rights courses by Amnesty International Venezuela in Spanish: 1. Introduction to human rights 2. Non-discrimination and LGBT rights 3.Reduction of armed violence
  • International human rights 10-week course in English
  • The EU and human rights
  • International women’s health and human rights in English and available with Spanish subtitles
  • Psychology of political activism: women changing the world in English – not directly related to human rights