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The Interdisciplinary Course in Human Rights 

The IIHR’s work on human rights promotion and education, targeting various social sectors, professionals and politicians, finds its most tangible expression in the Interdisciplinary Course on Human Rights, which has been held annually since 1983. The Course counts many leaders and human rights activists in the Americas amongst its alumni.

Since its inception in 1980, the IIHR identified the need for a permanent inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary space for training and the exchange of experiences between civil society, public institutions and international organizations working toward the effectiveness of human rights and the creation and strengthening of institutions and democratic coexistence.

The 1st Interdisciplinary Course on Human Rights was held on September 14, 1983 and marked the beginning of a specialized program that soon became an IIHR flagship, now recognized as the focal point for the largest academic rights movement humans in the Americas.

Each year, the Interdisciplinary Course brings together a faculty of high-level specialists, which has resulted in highly relevant contributions toward the development of the human rights doctrine in the Americas.

The 18th Interdisciplinary Course (the first included here) is a turning point in the history of this event. Some theoretical and methodological aspects of this annual event were re-conceptualized in order to revamp the academic approach and readjust to the current needs of our countries, all with a view to renewal and permanence. This brought a new element to the definition of academic programs: the thematic axis. Without losing its characteristic multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach, this and subsequent courses will be designed around an axis or specific theme.

XXVIII Interdisciplinary Course in Human Rights

Human Rights Education
San José, Costa Rica – August 16-27, 2010

The 18th Interdisciplinary Course on Human Rights is an academic space for research, training and action toward finding solutions to major human rights-related problems and challenges in the region. It is focused primarily on the issue of human rights education as a human right enshrined in Article 13 of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Protocol of San Salvador, 1988), while also taking into account the perspective of poverty.
The 18th Course will also look to enhance professional and thematic unity through diversity. This is essential in identifying the different roles and contributions of each individual while, at the same time, enabling the IIHR to identify future actions to promote human rights on the continent. To this end, three basic criteria will be applied:
  • The selected group of participants will reflect the inter-American, multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral call for applicants.
  • Participants must have already made a concrete contribution toward the advancement of human rights protection in the Americas, from an integrative perspective.
  • The working method meets the necessary qualities for generating an interdisciplinary approach that encourages learning, knowledge building and the sharing of experiences.
  • To strengthen the technical and policy-based capabilities of civil society organizations and public institutions in the Americas for the promotion, education and protection of human rights through training and the generation of new knowledge in the area, especially for the effective inclusion of human rights education in the formal education system.
  • To establish links between participants, the IIHR and others to strengthen national and regional networks engaged in human rights education.
  • To conduct a proposal-building process amongst participants, which can then be transferred to their respective countries.
  • To promote a process that supports the effective implementation of Art.13.2 of the Protocol of San Salvador, to be implemented locally, regionally or nationally.

Human rights education is understood as the real possibility of all people - regardless of gender, national or ethnic origin and economic, social and cultural education - to receive systematic, comprehensive and good quality education that enables them:
  • To understand their rights and their responsibilities;
  • To respect and protect the human rights of others;
  • To understand the interrelationship between human rights, rule of law and democratic systems of government;
  • To exercise values, attitudes and behaviors consistent with human rights in everyday life.

The IIHR considers the right to human rights education as a component of the right to education and as a prerequisite for the realization of all human rights and democracy.

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.