In 1994, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 1995 to 2004 to be the UN Decade for Human Rights Education. Non-governmental organizations, educators and human rights advocates around the world worked to further promote human rights education. In many countries, including Turkey, the Philippines and Albania,  human rights education is a requirement and included in national curricula.

In the United States, however, human rights education remains relatively rare. But within the last 10 years, an increasing number of secondary, college and university-level institutions have developed new courses, minors, majors and even Ph.D programs in human rights.

The teaching of human rights can provide future citizens with tools both to synthesize current knowledge in new ways, understand the complexities and nuances of rights and formulate innovative advances to human rights protections around the world, including in the United States.  Students grounded in the history, development and practice of human rights can make a significant contribution to the current challenges facing the world today.

At the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, we are compiling resources for teachers from high school through post-graduate studies. Some materials are well-suited to secondary school toward while others are be best for graduate-level or professional students.

Please write us at with additions, comments and suggestions!


University of Minnesota Human Rights Resource Center: a rich resource for curricula, documents and films.

Human Rights Education Associates: Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) is an international non-governmental organisation that supports human rights learning; the training of activists and professionals; the development of educational materials and programming; and community-building through on-line technologies. HREA teamed with Amnesty International to create a guide for service-learning and human rights, available here.

Understanding Our Basic Human Rights: an infographic from American University’s online International
Relations Masters Degree, made up of 30 powerful images that detail each human right according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amnesty International's Top 10 Summer Book List for Human Rights Advocates

Business and human rights reading list

Rights readers blog: Rights Readers is an education and outreach project of the Pasadena (California) chapter of Amnesty International. 

University of Washington Libraries Human Rights Film directory

WITNESS: This NGO uses film to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses