Amid the global disarray, Harvard University is offering a number of online courses for free to help people learn more about epidemics and pandemics that have caused mayhem over the years, the intersection of religion, conflict and peace and child rights.
1. Lessons from Ebola: Preventing the next pandemic
Like no other event in recent history, the 2014 Ebola outbreak has made clear the fragility of existing health systems. While responding to the current epidemic is critical, we also have an opportunity to learn lessons to prevent the next global health catastrophe, forge partnerships across borders and disciplines, and demonstrate our commitment to value all human lives.
This four-week course simplifies the event of the Ebola outbreak while explaining why now, and why did so many people suffer and die. The course lays out the global governance structure - what was the global response supposed to look like, and where the response failed.
What you'll learn:
What happened during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa?
What were the local challenges faced by patients, clinicians, and national policy makers?
Why did the international response fail to halt Ebola and prevent its spread?
How do we prevent the next pandemic?
2. Religion, conflict and peace
This course explores a series of contemporary conflicts in different regions of the world, focusing on identifying and analyzing the diverse and complex roles that religions play in both promoting and mitigating violence in each context. Students will learn a method for recognizing and analyzing how religious ideologies are embedded in all arenas of human agency and not isolated from political, economic, and cultural life as is often assumed.
This course follows the popular World Religions Through Their Scriptures series, which explores the foundations of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
What you'll learn:
Tools for how to interpret the roles religions play in contemporary conflicts
How religions are internally diverse
How religions evolve and change
How religions are embedded in all human cultures
3. Child protection: Children's rights in theory and practice
Across the world, children are at risk from violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Conflict and natural disasters have forced millions to flee their homes and confront the dangers of migration and displacement. Commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, child labor, and child marriage are problems in many countries. At-risk children and adolescents need their rights enforced if we are to protect them from harm and to ensure that they develop to their full potential.
This course deals with the causes and consequences of child protection failures, considering the strategies, international laws, standards, and resources required to protect all children. You will be able to link legal frameworks and child-rights approaches to the work of policymakers, lawyers, health workers, educators, law enforcement, and social workers. Learners will come to understand how they can ensure the protection of children and apply child protection strategies to their own work.
What you'll learn:
The origins of child protection in international human rights law
How to analyze global child protection issues and the diversity of actors involved in child protection
The impact of violence, exploitation, and abuse (VEA) on children's emotional, social and physical development and strategies for preventing and responding to these harms
The standards of protection for children in conflict or in contact with the law
How to assess and strengthen a child protection system