The Year of International Human Rights | Webster University

The Year of International Human Rights

Human Rights 2018

The Right to Education: Education as Empowerment

Article 26 of the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) states: “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Under international law, the human right to education holds governments responsible for providing primary education, for avoiding discrimination throughout educational systems, and ideally for developing equitable access to higher education. In practice, advocates stress the need to make education available, accessible, acceptable, and adaptable – across communities, cultural and socio-economic divides, ability levels, and more. From a human rights perspective, education is both a right in itself and a tool for advancing rights norms and promoting social justice.

Webster University’s 2018 Annual Human Rights Conference will center on the fundamental right to education, focusing on the immense potential of “Education as Empowerment” on October 10-11. This two-day event will explore topics such as human rights education (HRE), access to education for vulnerable and under-served populations, and educational opportunities for improving health, for promoting cultural survival, and for building communities. Sponsored by the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, this on-campus event is free and open to the public.




Webster University's Year of International Human Rights began in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008. Since then, the YIHR has expanded to include a wide range of programming that includes guest lectures, film series, art performances and exhibits, common reading programs, and more. The YIHR culminates with the Annual Human Rights Conference, hosted at Webster's St. Louis, Missouri campus.

Previous Years of International Human Rights: