New course offers a holistic human rights framework for practitioners

Nov. 3, 2023
Sonora desert sunrise

Eric Mischke, licensed by iStock

HRTS 496b/596b: Cutting-Edge Advances in Human Rights Practice

               Self- and collective- care, well-being and spirituality: A holistic human rights framework

New course!

7 WK – Spring Session 1 (January 10-March 1, 2024)

In these challenging times for human rights, this innovative course -- being offered for the first time at the University of Arizona -- explores how human rights theory and practice can become more holistic by incorporating spirituality, and placing well-being, self- and collective-care at its focus.

We will examine the critiques of the human rights framework and the problem of exhaustion, trauma, and burnout in the field. We will also explore the approaches that aim to tackle these problems, including proposals of spiritual activism and transformative justice, as well as self- and collective-care practices that human rights defenders use worldwide.

The purpose of the course is to expose the students to the concepts and practices of well-being, spiritual activism, self- and -collective care in the human rights field, through pedagogy that includes self-reflection, embodiment practices and experiential learning. This participatory and interactive course equip the students to better deal with human rights challenges and have a more holistic understanding of human rights. Moreover, it will help them on their journey of (self)care and well-being, which, as studies suggest, have a wider social impact as well.

Join this course offered by UArizona’s Program in Human Rights Practice. HRTS 496b/596b has no pre-requisites and is open to all UA graduate students from AZ Online, Main Campus, and Global Direct. For more info, contact the instructor, Visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr Ivana Radačić, at

About the Instructor


Ivana Radačić


Dr Ivana Radačić is human rights academic and activist based in Zagreb, Croatia, and the Vice-Chair of the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls. She is a research advisor at Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb and a part-time lecturer at the University of Osijek. Currently, Dr Radačić is a Fulbright visiting scholar at the University of Arizona, undertaking a research and teaching project on spiritual activism, self-care, collective care and human rights.

Ivana holds a PhD in law from the University of London, MPhil in criminological research from the University of Cambridge and LLM from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the University of Zagreb. For her post-doctoral project at the University of Melbourne she was awarded Endeavor Research Award. She was a visiting lecturer at different universities in Europe, Central America, Australia and New Zealand. She has also been a lecturer and a fellow at the Women’s Studies Center in Zagreb and the Women’s Human Rights Training Institute for the Central and Eastern Europe region in Sofia.

Her research and teaching areas are women’s rights and gender equality; international human rights; gender, sexuality and the law; and self-care, collective care and human rights. Her most recent four-year research project (2019-2023), funded by the Croatian Science Foundation, was on regulation of sex work in Croatia, and she previously lead a comparative project on sex work, funded by the International Social Research Foundation (2015-2017). She was a member of the European Union COST action Comparing European Prostitution Policies (2013-2017). 

She has published extensively in the areas of human rights, feminism, gender, sexuality and law, mostly in international journals and books. She is the author of the book Sexual violence – Myths, Stereotypes and the Legal System (TIMpress, 2014). 

Dr Radačić has cooperated with many international institutions and NGOs on human rights research, training and litigation and has been involved with drafting national human rights laws and policies. She also worked at the European Court of Human Rights and litigated women’s rights cases before it. As the Council of Europe expert on women’s rights she has co-authored a training manual for judges on women’s access to justice. She served as an expert member of the Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality in Croatia.

In addition to her work on social justice, Ivana has been very interested in well-being, self-development and spirituality. She is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher and has finished a four-year integrative body-oriented psychotherapy training and many workshops on different therapeutical and healing modalities. She is also a practitioner of conscious dance practices and she plays cello and African djembe. She has been leading women’s circles and workshops, exploring mostly feminine archetypes. 

She is passionate about bridging the gaps between social activism and spirituality and healing practices.