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Inter-American Report on Human Rights Education


The Inter-American Report on Human Rights Education focuses on the 19 countries that that have signed or ratified the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Protocol of San Salvador). Its purpose is to pinpoint trends that may reflect progress in the recognition and guaranteeing of HRE as a human right, as established in Article 13 of the aforementioned Protocol and other international conventions ratified by the countries in question. The research involved is being carried out over a five-year period.

In 2002, the first report examined the legal framework for HRE established in the domestic legislation of the countries concerned.

In 2003, the second report analyzed, from a HRE perspective, changes that had taken place in the design and content of the official curriculum, in study plans and programs and in the content of school textbooks used for certain grades.

In 2004, the third report focused on changes in the principles, content and pedagogical guidelines of teacher education, both in initial and in-service training programs.

In 2005, the fourth report looked at the progress that countries in the region had made in making HRE a State policy. This was measured in terms of the progress achieved in drafting national HRE plans (HREPLAN), a core objective of the Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education, or in equivalent instruments. Plans of this kind call for sustainable, long-term political, technical and financial decisions to galvanize the efforts of the public sector and involve the national community.

Based on findings from the previous four inter-American reports on HRE (2002 to 2005), the V Report presents two fundamental factors for the incorporation, improvement and growth of education in and for human rights, as well as democratic life in formal education offered by States. They are: 1) the clear selection of content which must be part of the curriculum, and 2) the establishment of adequate spaces for this content to be effectively developed.

This Sixth HRE Report is not merely the sixth in a series that was first introduced in 2002; it is the first in the second cycle of research and monitoring. The new reporting cycle will revisit the same issues measured in the first five reports. In addition, it will raise the profile of a specific topic that will cut across its analysis during the entire second cycle of measurement: democratic participation by students in educational management. This first report of the second cycle examines this specific issue, as well as HRE and the right to education in general, from the perspective of current laws and institutions. Future reports will analyze it from the perspective of curriculum, school textbooks and educational planning.


While the 7th Report examines the same general theme of the 2nd, it focuses on specifically on school curriculum; the 8th Report (2009) will be dedicated to textbooks. By dedicating a full annual report to curriculum and textbooks, the IIHR seeks to undertake more thorough examination of each. Building on the 6th Report, the 7th also examines student government, employing it as an indicator to identify whether the experience of student organization and participation is also addressed explicitly within the curriculum and associated with the exercise of human rights. Access the presentation for the 7th Report here.

  • With the development of the 8th Report in December 2009, we continued to strengthen networks for cooperation and dialogue with different actors working in the field of human rights education, particularly with ministries or departments of education in the 19 signatory states to the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Protocol of San Salvador) and the vast array of IIHR alumni across the continent. The academic exchange within these networks has undoubtedly enriched the IIHR’s research in this area.

The 9th Report is the result of research undertaken by applying a system of progress indicators that measure the development of the HRE methodology in textbooks for 10 to 14 year olds in the 19 countries that are part of the Protocol of San Salvador. The 9th Report is a sign of continuous process in applied research, a pioneering effort undertaken by the IIHR eight years ago in response to a need to systematize pedagogical and methodological HRE developments in the region.

The 10th IIHR Inter-American Report on Human Rights Education shows advances, progress and shortcomings in public policies to prevent violence in schools through the use of human rights progress indicators. The 10th Report represents the meeting of minds on the Inter-American Agreement on Human Rights Education (IAHRE), a pioneering initiative in the Americas between the Ministers of Education of El Salvador, Vice President D. Salvador Sanchez Ceren; Uruguay, D. Ricardo Erlich; and Costa Rica, D. Leonardo Garnier, which was also endorsed by the Inter-American human rights community in June 2010 in Lima, Peru.


One of the most important initiatives undertaken by the IIHR as part of the current institutional mandate has been the development of a system of human rights progress indicators, drawn from the field of applied research, to promote compliance with the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Protocol of San Salvador). The first model implemented by the IIHR was from its core mandate, based on Art. 13.2 of this international instrument: the right to education in human rights.

From 2002 to 2006, the IIHR applied this system of indicators in the 19 countries that have signed the Protocol of San Salvador in five thematic areas, cited in order: 1) Policy development; 2) Development of school curricula and textbooks; 3) Development of teacher education, 4) Development in national planning; and 5) Development of content and curriculum areas for 10-14 year olds. From 2007 a new measurement began on this basis.

This first cycle is much more than just the first successful institutional implementation of applied research. Its results go far beyond being a fundamental tool for the IIHR’s work. It also illustrates the development of a new research model that has become a benchmark for subsequent efforts in this field. In addition, the results represent a source of vital information for informed decision-making on the part of Ministries of Education and other institutions and organizations related to education. Finally, in terms of implementation, the report has enabled the development of a strategy to incorporate contributions from alumni of interdisciplinary courses and officials within Ministries of Education, who took part on consultant teams in many countries to identify local information and complete matrices for the IIHR’s work.

This Compendium, therefore, not only represents a historical record but, fundamentally, a proven source of information for relevant and effective methodology for applied human rights research.

The update and maintenance of this site is possible thanks to the support of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Royal Embassy of Denmark, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Agency for International Development (USAID), Canadian International Development Agency, and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The contributions to the development of certain sections are shown on the specific websites.

IIHR activities are possible thanks to contributions from governments, international development agencies, foundations, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, universities and academic centers.