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Updates to our free Human Rights Defenders online course

Register now to our free updated Human Rights Defenders online course

Join 20,000 people from across the world learning how to promote and defend human rights.

The new and improved version of Amnesty’s third massive open online course (MOOC) on human rights relaunched on 24 January. The online Human Rights Defenders course includes inspiring new interviews with human rights defenders, and updates to the assessments based on feedback from those who took the first version of the course.

The course will help you gain the confidence to defend human rights, exploring how defenders mitigate risk and take action to defend human rights.

Be inspired by the stories of human rights defenders around the world and find out how you can use your voice to join the fight, too.


Our online course on Human Rights Defenders is free and open to all. You can take the course at your own pace and in your own time. It takes 15 to 20 hours to complete and we recommend you give yourself four weeks so you can fully engage with learners from all over the world.

The course will run until the 24th April 2018. 

Who can take the course?

Everyone with online access can take this course, whether you are in school or college, at university, taking the course as a group, or following it on your own in your free time.

The course is available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

What did people say about the first version of the Human Rights Defenders course?

 “This course has reactivated my interest in Amnesty and lit my enthusiasm to be a regular, active member…The course was excellent and, I think, a good idea. Many thanks.”

“This course was an eye-opener. It shows us that there are people who will defend the human rights with dignity and honour. Even if the path for justice is narrow, they would stand for it…”

“I feel that the course is excellent. It has given me strength to continue pursuing particular issues that have become evident to me.”

Who took the first version of the course?

20,000 people from 166 countries took the first version of the course.

Learners by Language

45% of learners registered to the English version of the first course, 33% to the Spanish, 16% to the Arabic and 6% to the French version.

Learners by Gender

51% of learners identified as female, 46% male and 3% as 'other' when registered to the first course.

In total, over 144,000 learners have registered to our series of human rights MOOCs.

What will you learn on the Human Rights Defenders Course?

  • How to explain what a human rights defender is
  • The risks associated with being a human rights defender
  • How to use your voice to defend your rights and those of others
  • How to join others in the fight to defend human rights
  • The role governments play in protecting the rights of human rights defenders

What does the course cover?

  • The diverse situations of human rights defenders
  • Threats human rights defenders, their friends and families, are facing
  • Strategies to mitigate risks and ways to take action

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