Human Rights Class in a Box for Higher Education

Class in a Box

Education is a human right.

The Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) exhorts “every individual and every organ of society” to “strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms.”

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) declares that a government “may not stand in the way of people learning about their rights.”

Students and young adults who do not know their human rights are more vulnerable to having their human rights abused abused and often don’t know the language and conceptual structure to effectively exercise them.  Therefore, education for and about human rights is indispensable. Human Rights education can prevent human rights abuses.

Human Rights Class in a Box for Higher Education :

Is a program created by International Solidarity for Human Rights that can be integrated into class curricula and used as Service Learning Programs in Colleges and Universities. International Solidarity for Human Rights’ facilitators offer Human Rights Class in a Box presentations, workshops, talks and orientation sessions to Colleges and Universities. The program can prepare students on how to teach others about the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Academic Service-Learning (A-S-L) is learning achieved through service while applying curriculum taught in class.

Service-Learning: A teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach
civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. (National Commission on Service-Learning)

“When education takes a hands-on approach to learning, the result is a more informed, more involved community of future leaders. Service learning brings substance to democracy and strengthens the thread that binds our diverse nation”.

Former Lady Michelle Engler, Michigan

ASL Contributes to young people’s personal and career development by reducing violence and increasing their sense of responsibility and workplace skills

(National Commission on Service-Learning)

According to the Miami Dade College Institute of Civic Engagement and Democracy:

Service-learning has become one of the most important educational reform movements in the United States. National research shows that students participating in service-learning show improvements in academic achievement, career preparation, feelings of self-efficacy, behavior, attendance, and civic engagement. Service Learning is a known national best practice that engages students in democratic thinking, civic responsibility, and bridging cultural differences.

Some Benefits for the students engaged in Human Rights Education integrated into Academic Service-Learning: 

According to the University of Minnesota

“STUDENTS in service-learning classes can benefit academically, professionally, and personally. These are just a few of the ways:

Increase their understanding of the class topic. Gain hands-on experience (possibly leading to an internship or job later). Explore or cement values and belief. Have opportunities to act on values and belief. Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Grow understanding of diverse cultures and communities. Learn more about social issues and their root causes. Develop or enhance their skills, especially in the areas of communication, collaboration, and leadership. Test out their skills, interests, and values in a potential career path, or learn more about a field that interest them. Connect with professionals and community members who they will learn from. Grow a professional network of people they might connect with again later for jobs or internships. Satisfy their urge toward public service or civic participation.”