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Research Handbook on International Human Rights Law

Research Handbook on International Human Rights Law

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Sarah Joseph and Adam McBeth

This innovative and timely Handbook brings together the work of 25 leading human rights scholars from all over the world to consider a broad range of human rights topics.

Chapter 21: Human Rights Education: A Slogan in Search of a Definition

Paula Gerber

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, public international law, politics and public policy, human rights


1 Paula Gerber The term ‘human rights education’ is too often used in a way that greatly oversimplifies its connotations.2 1 Introduction In recent times human rights education (‘HRE’) has become one of the hot topics in international human rights law and numerous books have been written exploring different aspects of HRE.3 This new-found interest in HRE is no doubt due, in part, to the United Nations’ endeavours to promote HRE through initiatives such as the UN Decade for Human Rights Education (1995–2004)4 and the subsequent World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005–ongoing).5 Despite these efforts, there is still a great deal of Parts of this chapter have been previously published as Chapter 3 in Paula Gerber, From Convention to Classroom: The Long Road to Human Rights Education (VDM Publishers, Germany, 2008). My title is a play on Hillary Clinton’s infamous statement that ‘[c]hildren’s rights’ is a slogan in search of definition’: Hillary Rodham, ‘Children Under the Law’ (1973) 43 Harvard Educational Review 1. 2 Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment 1: The Aims of Education, UN Doc CRC/GC/2001/1 (17 April 2001) (‘General Comment 1’) [19]. 3 See for example Gudmundur Alfredsson, ‘The Right to Human Rights Education’ in A Eide, C Krause and A Rosas (eds) Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Textbook (Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 2nd rev ed, 2001) Ch 15; Amnesty International, First Steps: A Manual for Starting Human Rights Education (Amnesty International, London, 1997); George Andreopoulos...

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