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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


We offer more than 30 courses. The following is only a sampling.

HR100: Human Rights and Human Diversity

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of human rights, human diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability), and the complex relationship between human rights and human diversity within contemporary states. The course may involve the study of specific cases, issues, debates, and important historical events. Assessment will include a short written assignment.

HR232: Women, Rights, and Equality

This course examines Canadian and international, especially developing world, perspectives on the historical and current struggles of women and girls to achieve equality and recognition of their human rights. Special attention is paid to how women's efforts have been shaped by and, in turn have shaped, cultural mores and regulatory frameworks.

HR261: Multiculturalism

This course will introduce students to the issue of cultural diversity and to multiculturalism as a political response to cultural diversity in Canada and elsewhere. The course will focus on the historical development of cultural diversity and multiculturalism policy as well as contemporary controversies. This course requires students to participate in experiential learning outside of the classroom and to produce a written assignment(s) based on their experiences.

HR300: Professionalization Seminar

This writing-intensive seminar will equip Human Rights and Human Diversity students to prepare for internships, postgraduate careers,and graduate study. Students will be introduced to and practice such transferable skills as resume and cover letter writing, presentation making, teamwork, grant applications, précis-writing, report writing, and media monitoring. Students will also explore career options and opportunities for graduate study as well as plan how to prepare for these opportunities.

HR301: Development Theories, Strategies and Issues

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of development studies. It focuses on theories and substantive issues of development, including the idea of development as a human right. Historical processes of development and underdevelopment, including internal and external factors, will be assessed. Theoretical approaches to the analysis of developing countries will be surveyed and their policy implications examined.

HR305: Fundraising

Fundraising is an important skill upon which many organizations advancing human rights and other causes rely. For some people fundraising forms part of their job; for others it is the focus of their career. This course introduces students key concepts and methods of fundraising. Topics addressed may include annual giving, special events, foundation relations, corporate relations, capital campaigns, endowed giving, and the ethics of fundraising.

HR319: Children, Youth and Disabilities: Inclusion and Human Rights

This interdisciplinary course addresses issues related to children and youth with disabilities from the perspectives of critical disabilities studies and human rights. Topics addressed may include the roles of self-advocacy, social movements, and child advocates; policy and legislation; practical modalities to facilitate active inclusion; and the transition to adulthood. Domestic and international perspectives will be considered.

HR320: Children’s Rights

This course explores the theory and practice of children's rights in North America, other world regions, and international law (especially the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). Topics will include: the concept of childhood, the evolution of children's rights, and contemporary issues, such as child labour, prostitution and sex trafficking, slavery, juvenile justice and child soldiers.

HR323: Rights in Canada: Rights, Freedoms and the Charter

This course provides students with an overview of rights and freedoms in Canada, the institutions that have been designed to secure and protect them, and the impact they have had on Canadian society and politics. While the course will focus primarily on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (its origins, content, and impact) other topics may be addressed including human rights commissions and the development of constitutional rights in Canada.

HR324: Human Trafficking and Other Contemporary Forms of Slavery/Forced Labour

This course addresses the phenomena of human trafficking and other contemporary forms of slavery and forced labour. It will address the historical context of these phenomena, causes that contribute to their prevalence, efforts to eradicate these practices, and the problematic nature of the term “human trafficking,” especially how it is often used in ways that conflate consensual and non-consensual forms of labour and human migration that skirt or violate the law.

HR325: Crimes Against Humanity

This course addresses crimes against humanity and humanitarian law. Crimes against humanity will be studied in theory and in practice, including critical examination of important historical incidents of genocide, war crimes and other atrocities. Study of humanitarian law will address its origins, philosophical foundations and evolution.

HR328: The United Nations

This course focuses on the United Nations as an institution at the centre of a broad system of global governance that includes regional institutions like the European Union and Organization of American States. The course will have a special emphasis on human rights and will also address other global issues such as peace and security, economic development, workers' rights, the AIDS crisis, and environmental protection. Assessment will include a policy paper assignment.

HR355: Reconsidering Race and Oppression

Contemporary society is a complex network of relations among racial and ethnic groups and other minorities that occupy unequal economic, political and social positions in Canadian society and the world over. This course will examine how these relations are constantly negotiated and renegotiated. It will also consider efforts to advance equality and overcome social exclusion.

HR365: Immigrant and Ethno-Racial Minority Youth

This course applies an interdisciplinary approach to the study of immigrant and ethno-racial youth in Canada and, to a lesser extent, the United States. The course will cover such topics as: challenges faced by immigrant youth and how they differ from second- and third-generation immigrant youth; marginality, racism, and exclusion; and the critical role played by the educational experience on the outcomes of ethno-racial youth.

HR375: Sexual Minorities and Human Rights

This course explores the politics, history, and cross-cultural dimensions of efforts to advance the cause and recognize discrimination against people with minority gender identities and sexual orientations (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) as a human rights issue in Canada, in other countries, and at the international level.

HR402: Capstone Course: Human Rights in Crosscultural Perspectives

This course enables students to explore interactions between international human rights and state- and sub-state-level cultures, practices, laws and policies in Canada and around the world. Among topics that may be considered are: how elements of diversity like culture, religion, gender, disability, and human rights intersect; universalism versus cultural relativism; and approaches to address local practices that conflict with international human rights. Assessment will include a presentation and a research essay.

"What I love most about my program are all the opportunities it provides. I was able to take part in a Community Service-Learning placement, where I volunteered in an ESL classroom. I also participated in a three-week field course in Mexico on human migration, where I was able to visit and interview refugees. It is these experiences that will set me apart from other students in the future when I am applying for graduate school or a job, which is exactly why I love my program so much."

– Cassandra Voets (BA '19)


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