The Rise of Human Rights Education: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Possibilities
Human rights education (HRE) has gained increasing support as a tool for promoting social responsibility and global respect for international human rights standards. Many schools and universities include HRE in their curricula in an attempt to foster a sense of global citizenship among students, yet educators still grapple with how to most effectively include human rights in undergraduate programs. In an attempt to provide resources and to promote effective HRE, this article examines the rise of human rights education and analyzes its potential for positive change. In particular, high impact learning practices (such as community partnerships and short-term study abroad trips) and service learning offer tools for effective HRE. The article also considers inherent challenges facing HRE educators, especially within higher education. It argues that the future of HRE requires critical consideration of core human rights values and practices that are often taken for granted. While growing support for HRE has built a solid foundation for undergraduate education, we must critically consider opportunities, challenges, and future possibilities for effective and widely-available human rights education.