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The ‘Literacy Turn’ in Human Rights and Human Rights Education

  • Cornelia RouxEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Rights book series (CHREN, volume 2)

Abstract

The position and the validity of the Declarations on Human Rights (1948) accepted by the United Nations (UN), and the subsequent declarations on Human Rights Education and Training (2010) are questioned by many scholars in their respective fields. These discourses manifest around the universality of human rights and its applications in human rights education suitable for global, contextual, diverse and particular societies. The proclamation of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995–2004) (Resolution, 49/184), the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2004/71), the reassessments of UN Declarations on Human Rights Education (March, 2011) and UNESCO publications on human rights education (2011), illustrate the need to infuse shared values into every sphere of society. However, scholars are questioning the ontology and epistemology of human rights as a universal declaration and as the only means for legitimising human rights education for its transformative competencies and to offer its shared values for a sustainably just society. The legitimacy of this ideal of a universality of human rights as a binding factor drawn from a Western liberal philosophy, is arbitrary and limited. These limitations of human rights expose the ideal of an interconnectedness between human rights and human rights education in multilayered and multicomplex social environments. Human rights literacies and its new languages on human rights is a progressing nexus between human rights and human rights education and offers an epistemology in understanding human rights in human rights education.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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