Human Rights Policing

"The content is outstanding in this course. There is a lot of opportunity for the student to learn new information and take in new content. This is a course that especially people new to the career field should be taking. It re-enforces the idea we shouldn't have an "us vs them" mentality and law enforcement is there to serve the community." —past course participant

Human Rights Policing Certificate of Completion

  • 100% online, asynchronous instruction
  • Study anytime/anywhere you have internet access
  • 6 weeks of course access

Choose the dates that work best for your schedule!



April 4–May 13, 2022

June 20–July 29, 2022

About the course

What is human rights policing? expanding section

Human Rights Policing is an approach to law enforcement that focuses on rights and responsibilities that belong to us as humans, regardless of race, ethnicity, citizenship or socioeconomic status. It is a valuable training for law enforcement agencies of all sizes and demographics, and across roles and responsibilities. Policing through the lens of human rights can support law enforcement agents and the communities they protect and serve.

How will this course benefit my career in law enforcement? expanding section

Human Rights Policing offers law enforcement professionals new and creative ways to enhance their work. The class provides both research-based and experiential perspectives on human rights policing, relying on data collected from years of interviewing and observing police officers, as well police officers’ contributions from their own policing experience. Participants’ ability to apply human rights to their police work has the potential to improve their daily engagement with members of the community and enhance their careers in law enforcement.

What will I learn? expanding section

Students will explore and examine foundational concepts of the course including:

  • Understanding and interpreting the meaning of human rights
  • Evolution of human rights
  • Three types of human rights policing social interactions
  • United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights
  • Nature of power, human agency, and determinism
  • Threats to human rights policing 
  • Sociological imagination
  • Verstehen: Understanding the actor's point of view
  • Relationship between story-telling and human rights
  • Application of human rights in a wide variety of policing situations
How are my past experiences utilized in the course? expanding section

Your personal experience in and reflection on your work in law enforcement shape your learning in this course. You will respond not only to course materials in the online environment but to the stories of your classmates. Community engagement activities will provide insight on how those outside of law enforcement understand human rights and community expectations of how human rights should apply to policing. Assignments are designed to broaden perspectives and help you develop ways to apply human rights to your daily work.