Happy Human Rights Day

Today, Monday, December 10th marks the 70th ANNIVERSARY of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A milestone document in the global history of human rights that is as relevant today as it was when drafted seven decades ago.  

Although the UDHR is not in itself legally binding, it has become the procreator of modern international human rights law, providing safeguards – and sometimes lifelines – for thousands of people from all walks of life when national laws fail them. It has parented 16UN human rights treaties that are legally binding, including the twin UN Covenants spanning economic, social and cultural and civil and political rights respectively, plus a host of regional treaties in Africa, the Americas, and Europe.

We now take for granted that such human rights standards can be used to hold our governments to account, but just 70 years ago there were no internationally recognized human rights norms at all. The very fact that the UDHR has stood the test of time is a testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice, and human dignity.

The promise of the UDHR, however, has yet to be fulfilled because, as all advocates know, human rights are not a given but rather require a continuous struggle to get and once that has been achieved to keep. In other words, it is down to us to promote its ethical vision as new forms of nationalism and populism threaten to challenge our world.  

At HRE USA we believe human rights education is key to ensuring a future in which all people’s rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled. Please consider supporting HRE-USA by making a tax-deductible contribution on our behalf to our fiscal sponsor, the Center for Transformative Action, a 501(c)3organization. Your donation will allow us to continue to advocate for and further develop programming that supports human rights education across the United States.

In honor of the 70th Anniversary and to help everyone celebrate the gift of the UDHR, HRE USA has created this online resource kit. You can also join the international campaign to #Standup4humanrights. 


Free Webinar on the ICCPR: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, December 6
Time: 1pm (EST)
Location: Online Webinar
Cost: FREE

Join the US Human Rights Network for a discussion on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR} and how Civil society and Indigenous Peoples can engage and contribute to the List of Issues Prior to Reporting, which will form the basis for the U.S. Government s periodic report to the Human Right Committee.  The presentation will last 40 minutes followed by a 20 minute Q & A.

Background: The U.S. has agreed to receive from the UN Human Rights Committee a List of Issues Prior to Reporting, which will form the basis for the U.S. Government’s periodic report to the Committee. The Human Rights Committee was established to monitor the implementation of the ICCPR. U.S. Civil Society organizations and Indigenous Peoples can submit issues in the form of questions or recommendations that can be considered for inclusion within the List of Issues Prior to Reporting. The deadline for submissions is January 14, 2019.

To register, RSVP to rborrero@ushrnetwork.org and you will receive a Webex link via email a few days before the webinar.

NCSS Honors 70 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

una-usa eventIn honor of the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR, the National Council for Social Studies has issued a statement recognizing the UDHR as a significant historical milestone in the development of a global civic culture based on respect, fairness, and dignity for all.

In the statement, NCSS renewed their commitment to promoting the principles and practices embodied in the UDHR in all their operations and activities, in order “to better foster the ability of our students to become advocates for social justice as citizens within their local and global communities.”

The statement urges members to engage with the NCSS Human Rights Education Community in building human rights awareness into the educational experience of every student. NCSS also commends the Human Rights Education Community for their ongoing advocacy for the integration of human rights education into social studies education at every level, and for sharing teaching and learning resources to help educators. Participation in the Human Rights Education Community is open to all NCSS members.

>> Read the full statement
>> UDHR 70th Anniversary Webpage
>> 70 Years – UDHR Resource Kit


HRE in Practice: a Panel Discussion with HRE USA O’Brien Award Winners

Event Details:

Date: Monday, November 26th
Time: 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Location: Teachers College, Columbia University, Grace Dodge Hall, Room 179, 525 W 120th Street, NY 10027
Cost: FREE

Please join the TC Peace Education Network (PEN) and Human Rights Educators USA (HREUSA) for a panel discussion on the role of human rights education in today’s political climate. The panel seeks to discuss the practical implementation of human rights education in the United States and its relevance to current domestic politics.

The panel will feature the 2018 Edward O’Brien Human Rights Education award winners, Karen Robinson (Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights) and ARTE (represented by Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario).  Introductions will be made by Teachers College professor Felisa Tibbitts, and additional moderation will be made by Carolina Cambronero-Varela (PEN Representative) and Benil Mostafa (HRE USA NYC Regional Representative).

A reception will follow.

>> RSVP to the event
>> Download flyer

Sponsored by

obrien-award-sponsor-2-e1542830178415.jpgsponsor logo1

Human Rights in National Security: Workshop to Explore New Amnesty International Curriculum

Event Details:
Date: Tuesday, December 4
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Location: 614 Social Sciences, 267 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455
High School Educators are invited to join other education professionals in assessing and exploring Amnesty International’s “Human Rights in National Security” curriculum. Attendees will explore four modules: An Introduction to Human Rights in National Security, Global War, and Drone Strikes Post 9/11, Detention and Torture, and Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Surveillance.

98th Annual National Council for Social Studies Conference

Event Details:

When: November 30th – December 2nd
Where: Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, IL
Cost: $160-500

All of Chicago’s history, culture, and traditions will be on display at the 98th NCSS Annual Conference. NCSS returns to the city for the first time in 15 years for the world’s largest and most comprehensive social studies professional development conference. Join more than 3,000 of your social studies colleagues to share the most current knowledge, ideas, research, and expertise in social studies education, and experience all that Chicago has to offer.

For HRE supporters heading to the NCSS Annual Conference in Chicago, please check out the HRE Community’s schedule in the program, stop by the HRE Community Showcase and join in the various spontaneous activities at the conference building on the UDHR 70th Anniversary theme. Contact Rosemary Blanchard for updates.

>> Learn more and register

2018 Winners of Edward O’Brien Award in HRE

Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Edward O’Brien Award for Human Rights Education.

Karen Robinson
Karen Robinson

Karen Robinson
of Speak Truth To Power, a project of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, is the recipient of the award for individual achievement in the field

Marissa Guiterrez
Marissa Gutiérrez


Marissa Gutiérrez will accept the organizational award on behalf of ARTE: Art and Resistance through Education.

Established in 2015 in memory of Ed O’Brien, pioneer human rights educator, the O’Brien Awards honor an individual and an organization that have made an outstanding contribution to human rights education in the United States. This year’s awards will be formally made Monday, November 26, at Teacher College of Columbia University in New York City.