ASAM230 - Asian Human Rights/ Asian American Civil Rights

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Asian Human Rights/ Asian American Civil Rights
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An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Meeting times
T 05:15 PM-08:15 PM
Meeting location
VANP 113
Peter T Van Do
Fernando Chang-Muy
The last few decades have seen mass migration and movement of people from one place to another: from South, East, and Southeast Asia in the 1970s and 1980s, from Central America in the 1990s, from Africa in 2000s, and in this decade from the Middle East. In Asia, as a result of human rights violations, North Koreans have fled to China, Tibetans to India, and over 3 million individuals fled Southeast Asia in the 1980s. More than one million refugees from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, fled temporarily to Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, before resettling in the United States. Philadelphia is host to all of these communities. Some of our own students at Penn are 1st or 2nd generation South and Southeast Asian Americans. This course provides a comparative overview of the history, ethnicity, religion, and cultures of Southeast Asia (and the deep connections with South Asia and East Asia), and their human rights, temporary settlement, and treatment in host countries in the region. The first part of the course will use an international human rights framework to explore the human rights issues that forced people to flee from their countries of origin. The course will challenge and expand students' understandings of international human rights in the past and in the present with a focus on human rights violations such as: A. Vietnamese fleeing the war in Southeast Asia. B. North Koreans seeking refuge in China and in South Korea. C. Tibetans hoping for protection by crossing the border into India. Given the deep diplomatic and economic relations between Vietnam and India, this international portion of the course will highlight how the two countries in the region, an Asian communist country, and the other, an Asian democratic country handle human rights in similar and different ways. The second part of the course will pivot to the US and explore the civil rights of Asian Americans in the US such as the right to migrate, seek and enjoy asylum, education, housing, employment and health. The course will feature Penn professors as guest speakers so as to expose students to our own in-house experts, their fields and their departments. In addition, As part of a Asian American Studies, South Asia Center, Netter Center ABCS course, students will visit neighborhoods where Asian Americans live, work and play: South Asian neighborhoods in Jersey City, New Jersey; Korean neighborhoods in Olney; Vietnamese and Cambodian neighborhoods in South and West Philly.
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