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Human Rights and Technology

Graduate Certificate

Explore core issues including data rights, privacy, misinformation, artificial intelligence, surveillance, cyberactivism and data literacy.


Build the skills to critically analyze the intersections between information and communication technologies and human rights. Today it is increasingly important that human rights workers be aware of the power and pitfalls of technology and technology workers better understand the human rights implications of their work.

Through this certificate program, you will explore core issues including data rights, privacy, misinformation, artificial intelligence, surveillance, cyberactivism, encryption, e-learning and data literacy. Technologies covered will include big databases, blockchain, surveillance technology, virtual reality, crowdsourcing of human rights data, and archiving of digital media. While these technologies have the potential to significantly advance human rights, they are also being used to surveil, harass, disrupt and suppress individuals and groups working to advance human rights. This program will assess the capabilities and limitations of existing and emerging technologies.

The innovative curriculum will feature guest lectures by human rights practitioners and technological experts who are breaking new ground using technology to advance human rights. You will have the opportunity to work alongside scholars studying the ethical and political dimensions of technology and human rights, and the implications of new challenges like fake news, false video, data collection and improper use. Graduates of this program may choose to pursue graduate degrees in Human Rights Practice or Information Science.

If you have specific questions about the program, please contact Mette Brogden, Assistant Professor of Practice and Program Manager Online Graduate Programs in Human Rights Practice, at metteb@email.arizona.edu.

Career Level: Graduate Certificate
Degree: Graduate Certificate
College: College of Social And Behavioral Sciences

Cost & Eligibility

Per Unit Cost: $500
*Residents of some U.S. Territories may not be eligible. Please see our Eligibility & State Authorization page for more information.

The core curriculum for this degree program includes:

  • HRTS 543: Advancing Human Rights Technology – Gain an overview of emerging technologies and applications for human rights advocacy, such as using satellite imagery, analyzing big data, working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and using text messaging and participatory video to build grassroots support communities.
  • INFO 536: Data Science for Human Rights – The development of modern data science methods has opened a door for human rights and advocacy organizations to gain insights into and track injustices in societies, mitigate threats to individuals and communities, and enhance relief efforts. Learn and apply computational tools in order to generate data-driven insights and decisions into these pressing issues.
  • HRTS 551: Human Rights and Technology Project – In this course, you will complete a project approved by your faculty advisor that addresses current issues in human rights and technology. This could include a white paper, creation of an app, consulting for a grassroots group, digital archiving or storytelling, a research project completed with community members or other substantial output for public dissemination.
Student taking a UA Online course