You Can't Do What You Don't Know: The Importance of Human Rights Education of Young People

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Yvonne VISSING, Salem State University, USA
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights both require that people be educated about the contents of these treaties. In some parts of the world this happens. However, in many other parts of the world children do not even know they have rights. Data indicates that when young people know they have rights, they are better able to self-advocate for themselves and reduce exploitation. Data collected from US college students will be presented that indicates that they did not know they had rights as children, and they don't understand what rights they and others have. Studies indicate that teachers may not teach students about human rights because they were never taught about them. Teachers cannot teach what they do not know. We allege that training young people about their rights means teaching teachers and adults about rights as well. However, there are significant challenges that exist in adding human and child rights information into existing school programs. In order to counter this obstacle, we will share hundreds of free HRE materials, including handouts, film and video links, readings, websites, and a series of down-loaded, ready-to-use materials. We have scoured HRE sites looking for materials and found that there are extensive materials ready and available - but most are hard to find. By joining together training materials from organizations such as UNICEF, Amnesty International, and dozens of others, the website we will present provides a "one stop" for hundreds of materials on any given topic. Structures and adult gatekeepers are still needed, but HRE should increase the likelihood they will emerge. Use of HRE for global at-risk populations like child soldiers and trafficked children will be explored.