Strategic Implications of Human Rights and Rule of Law (HR/ROL 2020)


In accordance with Department of Defense policy, citizens of countries with designated income levels established by the World Bank are not eligible for scholarships. At this time, this restriction applies to the following Western Hemisphere nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Citizens of these countries may still apply to courses, but in a self-funded status.

Application Dates:

Language Requirements: 
Course given in Spanish


In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Perry Center has cancelled this course.

Participants should be able to contribute to the general objectives of Human Rights and Rule of Law at both the personal and institutional level, acquiring and/or improving the following functional competencies:

  • Identifying and examining HR and ROL topics most present in the lives of Latin Americans.
  • Better understanding the HR and ROL universe and the legal framework in relation to security and defense policy, including various perspectives on controversial topics and the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches.
  • Designing practical public policies focused on improving the security and protection of HR simultaneously.
  • Implementing existing HR and ROL commitments in the most effective way possible, with the advantage of a better understanding and broader working networks.

COURSE OVERVIEW (click on the + below to open the individual items)

Designed for government and non-government officials professionally engaged in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of public policies concerning human rights or international humanitarian law, the learning objectives of this course are to deepen the participants’ understanding and analysis of complex topics of human rights, the rule of law, international humanitarian law, military professionalism, the law of armed conflict, and transitional justice. The course will also examine issues such as the use of military force to promote human rights; the development of international criminal courts, truth commissions, and other instruments of transitional justice; the intersection of humanitarian and human rights law, with an introduction to war crimes, crimes against humanity and the specific crime of genocide; the use of the military in domestic law enforcement operations; human rights considerations involving globalization and transnational corporations; and the human rights dimensions of terrorism.

This is a six-week course, with a four-week online phase and two-week residential phase. Participants use National Defense University's (NDU) distance learning system Blackboard, to download reading material, submit assignments and participate in video conferences. The resident phase is conducted using a combination of individual study, discussions of the readings, small-group discussions and panels, case studies and exercises.

This course is tailored in response to the defense policy goals of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and the objectives of the Combatant Commands; particularly those related to the critical mission of the US Government and the Department of Defense to strengthen whole-of-government approaches to the promotion of democratic accountability, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.

ADMINISTRATIVE DETAILS (click on the + below to open the individual items)

Candidates must be professionally engaged in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of public policies concerning human rights or international humanitarian law, coming from the following institutions/activities:

  • Personnel who work directly on human rights issues for the nation’s security forces.
  • Government personnel who work on human rights issues in organizations other than the military or police (e.g., Ministry of Justice, national legislature, military war colleges, etc.).
  • Personnel from civilian organizations that focus on human rights, including non-government organizations (NGO), academic institutions, and think tanks.

Candidates must possess a university degree or, in cases where a candidate does not hold a degree, equivalent practical experience. Military and police personnel must have completed a command and staff course or equivalent. Exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The HR/ROL course is conducted in Spanish. There is simultaneous interpretation from English during some plenary sessions. Minimum professional reading skills are desired for candidates to read theoretical and conceptual materials. English speaking skills are not required.

Updated / Actualizado: June 05, 2020