Humanitarian law is a set of rules which seek to protect people who are not taking part in an armed conflict. It also provides for the humane treatment of people who are captured or detained as a result of an armed conflict. Humanitarian aid is assistance given to people in need, often in the form of emergency relief. It is typically given by governments and international organizations such as the Red Cross or UNICEF. Humanitarian law and aid are two important aspects of international law. They are closely related, as humanitarian law seeks to protect civilians and ensure that they receive Aid in times of conflict.
Public Health in Humanitarian Crises
Public Health in Humanitarian Crises is an online course offered by John Hopkins University in the United States. The course can benefit health care professionals, social services providers and public health officials who are interested in learning more about the medical needs of individuals who are affected by natural disasters, armed conflicts and other humanitarian crises. While there are no prerequisites for taking the course, those with some background in public health will have an advantage.
Taught in English through a series of videos and readings, Public Health in Humanitarian Crises lasts for five weeks. A total of 9 to 10 hours of videos are included in the course. In addition, students will be required to complete the reading assignments, take short quizzes, write essays and provide peer reviews during the course. Students should plan to spend 2 to 3 hours of study time on the course each week. There is no fee to enroll in the course; however, those who wish to receive a verified certificate of completion will need to pay a fee.
Public Health in Humanitarian Crises is broken down into 10 modules. It is recommended that students complete two modules each week. The modules are: Humanitarian Disasters and Public Health; Humanitarian Actors and Coordination; Water and Sanitation; Livelihoods and Food Security in Humanitarian Crises; Nutrition in Humanitarian Crises; Management of Diseases in Humanitarian Crises; Health Care in Humanitarian Emergencies; Shelter in a Humanitarian Setting; Protection of Displaced Populations: Human Rights & Humanitarian Law; and Emerging Risks, Challenges, and Opportunities for Future Humanitarian Emergencies.
International Humanitarian Law
International Humanitarian Law is an online course offered by the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium. The course is intended for students who have previous education in the field of law as well as for attorneys who wish to expand their knowledge of humanitarian law. During the course, students will have a chance to see how humanitarian law is currently being used in the fights against terrorist groups around the world and how it affects the conflicts in Israel, Armenia, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, RDC, Syria, The Soudan, Ukraine and Yemen.
Lasting for 11 weeks, International Humanitarian Law is broken into a series of video modules. With each module, students will be given supplemental reading materials and assignments, including papers, quizzes and peer reviews. An intensive course, the class requires 8 to 12 hours of study time per week for success. The course is free to enroll in; however, students who wish to receive a verified certificate of completion are required to pay a $150 fee.
Students are encouraged to work through International Humanitarian Law at their own pace, spending more time on the topics that are of greatest interest to them. The course begins with an introduction to humanitarian law that includes a brief history and an in-depth look at how the field relates to other types of international law. Then, the course delves into the sources of humanitarian law and those who are subject to it. Modules related to the scope of application, the conduct of hostiles, the protection of persons and state and individual responsibilities are also included in the course.
Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster
Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster is an online course offered by Harvard University, a prestigious Ivy League institution in the United States. The course is intended for individuals who are currently employed in the fields of disaster relief, humanitarian aid and public health as well as for students who are interested in working in these fields in the future.
Taught in English, Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster is presented in the form of video lectures given by experts in humanitarian relief on the faculty at Harvard University. The class is completely self-paced, giving students the ability to work through the course as quickly or as slowly as they see fit. When completed at a pace of one unit per week, the course lasts for five weeks and requires 3 to 4 hours of study time per week.
In addition to watching videos, students in the Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster course will be expected to complete reading assignments, projects and quizzes. Students who receive passing grades on all assignments will pass the course. Although the class is free to take, students who require a verified certificate of completion will be required to pay a $99 fee.
Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster gives students the chance to analyze real-world humanitarian responses. The course includes case studies of humanitarian action plans put forth in Zaire, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Students will have a chance to explore issues like population displacement, the threat of violence against aid workers and civil-military engagement.
Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies is an online course offered by the prestigious Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in the United States. The class was created with assistance from the Emergency Response and Recovery Branch of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and gives students interested in public health an opportunity to learn from world-renowned experts in the field.
Taught through videos and supplemental readings, Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies lasts for four weeks. The course is taught in English and offered on an audit basis, meaning students receive a pass-fail grade. Offered for free, the class is open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. Students who require a verified certificate of completion upon passing the course will need to pay a fee.
Health in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies is broken up into four modules including Setting the Stage: Refugees, Displaced Persons, Conflict, and Complex Emergencies; Healthcare in the Emergency Phase; Disease Control; and Program Management.
Introduction to Humanitarian Aid
Introduction to Humanitarian Aid is an online course offered by Deakin University in Australia. An entry-level class, the course can be beneficial for anyone who is interested in learning more about how governments, non-profit organizations and grassroots volunteers can provide assistance in the wake of earthquakes, fires, famines, floods and armed conflicts. The class introduces students to the history of humanitarian aid and the principles that guide those who respond to humanitarian crises. Then, the class discusses how humanitarian action plans are developed and implemented.
Presented in the form of video lectures, Introduction to Humanitarian Aid is taught in English and lasts for just two weeks. The class requires 3 hours of study time per week to view the videos, read articles and case studies and complete quizzes and other assignments. There is no fee to enroll in the course, and grading is done on an audit pass-fail basis. Those who successfully pass the course can obtain a verified certificate of completion for a small fee.
Introduction to Public Health Engineering in Humanitarian Contexts
Introduction to Public Health Engineering in Humanitarian Contexts is an online course offered by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. The entry-level course examines how public health plans can be developed and implemented during times of humanitarian crises. It is beneficial for students of engineering and public health. Modules covered in the course include public health engineering, humanitarian contexts, water supply systems, sanitation and waste management, and hygiene promotion.
Lasting for 5 weeks, Introduction to Public Health Engineering is taught in English through video lectures and supplemental readings. Students should expect to spend 4 to 6 hours per week on the course material. To assess students’ mastery of the subjects covered and to deepen knowledge of the subjects, the instructors will give quizzes and assign projects and papers. Those who receive passing grades on each assignment and quiz will pass the course. The class is free to access, but a small fee is required for a verified certificate of completion.
Health in Humanitarian Crises
Health in Humanitarian Crises is an online course offered by the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom. The course will be especially beneficial for doctors, nurses, allied health care workers, public health workers and other health care practitioners in low- and middle-income countries as well as those who wish to respond to humanitarian crises around the world. In addition, the course is recommended for workers in non-governmental organizations that work with individuals affected by natural disasters, armed conflicts and disease outbreaks.
Taught through online videos, Health in Humanitarian Crises lasts for three weeks. Students will need to invest about three hours of time to viewing the videos, reading supplemental articles and readings and completing assignments including quizzes and peer reviews. The class is offered for free with no tuition or fees; however, students who need a certificate of completion at the end of the class will need to pay for administrative costs.
Through Health in Humanitarian Crises, students will learn about the challenges that face health care workers when providing care for individuals who are affected by natural disasters, epidemics and armed conflicts. By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of what the key health needs are during humanitarian crises and how organizations, governments and health care institutions can best respond to crises to have the most impact. The course also explores how medical response to humanitarian crises will need to evolve in the future.
Global Health and Humanitarianism
Global Health and Humanitarianism is an online course taught by three faculty members at Manchester University in the United Kingdom. The course can be beneficial for students interested in pursuing careers in public health, medicine or humanitarian aid. In addition, the course can be of use to doctors, nurses, allied health workers, public health workers, and officials and workers affiliated with non-governmental organizations that provide humanitarian aid.
Taught over a period of six weeks, Global Health and Humanitarianism is divided into six modules. Each module includes videos, reading assignments, quizzes and projects. Students will need to spend about 1 to 3 hours per week to successfully complete the course.
During the first week of Global Health and Humanitarianism, students will learn precisely what is meant by the term global health. In the second week, students will delve more deeply into the meaning of global health by examining case studies and learning more about the history of providing health care across the globe. The third week focuses on delivering emergency care during humanitarian crises. Throughout the fourth week, students will learn what challenges and dilemmas are posed by humanitarian crises and what can be done to overcome them. By the end of the fifth week, students will understand why access to humanitarian assistance is a basic human right and what can be done to further and protect that right around the world. During the final week, students learn about the responsibility to protect and what that means for individuals, organizations and government agencies.
Humanitarian communication: Addressing key challenges
Humanitarian communication: Addressing key challenges is an online course offered by the University of Geneva in Switzerland. The purpose of the course is to help public health workers, medical providers, disaster relief specialists and humanitarian aid workers better communicate in the field to improve outcomes of relief efforts. Anyone currently employed in a role related to humanitarian aid and students one day hoping to work in humanitarian relief can benefit from the course.
Offered fully online on a pass-fail audit basis, Humanitarian communication: Addressing key challenges lasts for five weeks. Each week, students will spend 3 to 5 hours completing one module. The module includes a series of videos in English and supplemental reading materials. Assignments including projects, essays, quizzes and peer reviews are given to deepen students’ knowledge of the subjects covered and to assess how well students are mastering the course material. There is no cost for enrolling in the course. A verified certificate of completion is available for a fee.
During the first week of Humanitarian communication: Addressing key challenges, students will be introduced to the framework that surrounds communications during humanitarian work. The second week focuses on how to choose the best form of communication to reach a specific target audience. In the third week, students will explore the obstacles to communication and how best to overcome them. The fourth week deals with the communication project cycle. Throughout the fifth week, students will have a chance to practice constructing a communications plan for a humanitarian action.