Human Rights and Security Cooperation

Human Rights and Security Cooperation

Target Audience

The Human Rights learning guide provides insight into international human rights law as it impacts the planning and execution of US security cooperation.

This learning guide is particularly beneficial for Security Cooperation Organization (SCO) staff who are charged with implementing programs that support the US policy to promote observance of internationally recognized human rights. It is also useful for International Military Student Officers (IMSOs) who implement Field Studies Program (FSP) activities that illustrate human rights principles and values in US culture and institutions.


This learning guide consists of the three sections indicated below:
  1. International Human Rights Law
    Addresses the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, human rights in international treaties, customary law, international humanitarian law, and related issues.
  2. Gross Violations of Human Rights
    Looks at the guidelines in the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) concerning human rights violations by partner nations; also examines torture and arbitrary detention.
  3. Congressional Human Rights Action/Awareness
    Traces the process used by the Congress to become aware of human rights violations and take action with respect to security cooperation programs.
This learning guide is for reference or professional development only. No certificate is awarded for completion.


The Human Rights learning guide takes approximately one hour to complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who created this learning guide?

The Human Rights Training Guide was created by the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS). DIILS provides human rights instruction for the DSCU Security Cooperation Management Overseas Course (SCM-O) and numerous other mobile and resident international military education programs available under the Expanded International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Counter Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) programs. See the DIILS web site for more information.

Does DSCU have any other information on Human Rights as it affects Security Cooperation?

DSCU and DIILS collaborate on a chapter entitled "Human Rights and Related Concepts" currently in the DSCU Green Book as Chapter 16. It is also available online here.

If I work for a foreign government and want additional training on Human Rights, whom can I contact?

Contact the US military staff at the Security Cooperation Organization at the U.S. embassy in your country for more information about DIILS human rights education programs. If you need help identifying the proper office, contact the DIILS Resident Program Director (

Is a certificate awarded for completion of this learning guide?

No. However, DIILS offers both resident and mobile human rights education programs which do award certificates.

Where can I find more information about the Field Studies Program and its connection with human rights promotion?

See "Field Studies Program Handbook" at

Who do I contact if I have any technical issues with this learning guide?

Go to the Online Learning Help Desk for technical assistance.

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