HRE USA at 8th International Human Rights Education Conference in Montreal

Twenty members and advisors represented HRE USA at the International Conference on Human Rights Education in Montreal in early December.  Now in its 8th year, this conference has grown from a small, rather traditional gathering of academics and representatives of Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOS) (e.g., the Council of Europe, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) to become a global forum for the multifaceted HRE movement. In addition to academics and IGOs representatives, the 300 participants from 58 different countries included a rich diversity of NGOs both large (e.g., Amnesty International, Soka Gakkai International) and small (e.g., Boat People SOS, Defensoria del Pueblo Ecuador, the Ugandan Peace, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls of Canada), foundations and institutes (e.g., The Raoul Wallenbeg Institute, Open Society, Danish Institute for Human Rights), artists, teachers, and many undergraduate and graduate students.

This year’s hosts, the Canadian HRE group  Equitas, made special efforts to ensure that the conference format promoted interaction among this eclectic gathering of educators. Thanks to a conference app, everyone could pose questions to plenary panels electronically and communicate with each other via an on-line directory of all attendees. All of the plenary sessions, photos, and conference program can be viewed for free online here.

Workshops and plenary panels reflected the conference theme of “Bridging Our Diversities.”  Among HRE USA presenters were the following (HRE USA members in bold):

  • Kristina Eberbach, Glenn Mitoma, Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, and Sandra Sirota presented on “New Frontiers in Interdisciplinary HR Programs,” which examined the important influence of universities and colleges on HRE.
  • In “Data Collection for HRE in High Education as Part of Preparation of Mid-term Review Report of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR),” Felisa Tibbitts joined Glenn Mitoma and Kristina Eberbach in to report on the methodology developed by the University of Connecticut and Columbia University for the determine the degree and types of infusion within pre-service training for teachers, social workers, and the military.
  • Kristi Rudelius-Palmer joined Barbara Weber, Global HRE Director for Amnesty International in addressing “Can the Impact of Educational Tools in Non-formal Settings Be Measured?”
  • Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, Glenn Mitoma, Carolyn Rapkievian of the National Museum of the American Indian, Mirelle Lamontagne of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and Rebecca Norlander presented in “Museums: a Space for HRE in Action.”

 (lLeft to right: Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, Glenn Mitoma, Carolyn Rapkievian, Mirelle Lamontagne and Rebecca Norlander)

During the conference, participant experts were called upon to respond to specific questions relevant to Human Rights Education worldwide.  Below is HRE USA’s own Nancy Flowers responding to the question: “why we should teach human rights in the United States?”

You can see the full series of these videos on the Equitas facebook page here.

In 2019, ICHRE will be in held in Sydney, Australia. HRE USA members are encouraged to consider submitting a workshop proposal.Please check the HRE USA website for updates! We hope to see you there in 2018!

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