As civil war and unrest rage in several countries spanning an area from Northern Nigeria to the Middle East, the world bears witness to a humanitarian crisis unparalleled since 1945. An estimated 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homelands, while over 100 million innocent civilians are on the brink of starvation (as estimated by the United Nations Refugee Agency and UN Food and Agriculture Organization, respectively). Though these crises call attention to the urgency in ensuring for basic human rights, it is becoming evident in our increasingly interconnected world, that the responsibility for the protection of all human rights extend far beyond the borders of these regions.
This intensive four-day institute will bring K-12, pre-service, and community college educators from across the U.S. to delve deeply into this subject as it relates to Africa and the Middle East. The institute will provide discussion of the overarching definition of human rights – beyond the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – and how the protection of these rights are being addressed at the local, regional and global levels. Particular emphasis will be given to the rights of refugees, women, and children, as well as the socio-political rights of education and religion. Through analysis of case studies on Syrian refugees in the Middle East to the cultural tensions underlying practices carried out on women in some communities, participants will delve deeper into these human rights issues.