Call for papers 6th International Human Rights Education Conference 2015

Laelia Dard-Dascot's picture
Call for Papers
September 6, 2015
Subject Fields: 
Human Rights, History Education, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies


Dear Colleagues,

The Organizing Committee of the 6th Annual International Human Rights Education Conference, “Translating Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms to Today’s World”, warmly welcomes submissions for panel and paper proposals for presentation at the conference.

In 1941, at the height of the World War II, US President Franklin Roosevelt famously called for the protection of four essential human freedoms everywhere in the world: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. These freedoms were an inspiration in the writing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted over two years by the Commission on Human Rights under the chairmanship of Eleanor Roosevelt. Since its adoption in December 1948, the Universal Declaration has sparked struggles for social justice all over the world. At the same time, Roosevelt’s four freedoms are still far from realization – in many corners of the world.

Human rights education (HRE) has often been identified as the key connection between the lofty language in human rights treaties and a more just global and local order. Education is key in strengthening knowledge of human rights, supporting them and developing skills to realize them. Since the start of the UN Decade of Human Rights Education 20 years ago, enormous strides have been made in this field. At the same time, many questions remain. To what extent, in today’s context of globalization and fragmentation, can human rights be translated into local action? What gets lost in claims for human rights? How to introduce human rights-based approaches in fields such as health care, education and combating poverty?

The International Human Rights Education Conference is an annual event that brings together experts and scholars of human rights education from all over the world. Past conference speakers include Nobel Peace Prize winners, government ministers and ombudsmen from various countries, members of regional and international organizations, senior government officials, and scholars from leading universities and research centers and civil society. After earlier editions in Australia, South Africa, Poland, Taiwan and the United States, the 6th edition of the International Human Rights Education Conference will take place in the Netherlands.

The conference has a number of objectives. For one, it seeks to support and promote the United Nations’ objectives in HRE. Second, it seeks to critically assess the way in which objectives in the field of human rights education can be translated into practices, for different groups, and in different educational contexts. Here, as a third objective, the conference seeks to highlight the role that specific actors can play in this process. A final, more historical objective is to assess the connection between Roosevelt’s four freedoms and human rights today.

The conference will be held in the medieval city of Middelburg which is conveniently located between Brussels, the heart of the European Union, and The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice. Middelburg is the capital of Zeeland, the province from which the Roosevelt family emigrated, and it hosts the International Four Freedoms Awards every other year. The conference will include excursions to the international tribunals in The Hague and to the liberation route, commemorating World War II.

Participants are welcome to propose their own panels, with a minimum of four papers, to organize a session with a specific working group or network, or to submit individual paper proposals. We particularly welcome papers on the following themes:

1. Global trends in human rights education
  • Education for global citizenship and human rights education
  • Translating the UN framework on human rights education into practice
2. Analyzing key actors in human rights education
  • Equipping educators for human rights education
  • Human rights education and the state
  • The role of non-state actors in human rights education
  • The role of professional organizations in human rights education
  • The role of human rights museums and memorials in human rights education
  • National human rights institutions and human rights education
  • Human rights cities and human rights education at the local level
  • National action plans - a comparative perspective
3. Current themes in human rights education
  • Critical human rights education
  • The use of new media in human rights education
  • Holocaust education
  • Human rights education and anti-radicalization: critical perspectives
  • Education around specific themes, like children's rights, women's rights, rights of minorities, and racial discrimination
4. The practice of human rights education
  • The pedagogics of human rights education
  • Translating the Roosevelt legacy into educational practices
  • Measuring the impact of human rights education - empirical examples
  • The vernacularization of human rights
  • Human rights in higher education


Instructions for the submission of abstracts and panels

1. For individual papers, abstracts of 250 words are expected by September 6, 2015. The abstract should include a title, the name of the author(s) and their institutional affiliation with the country concerned (these do not count towards the word count).

2. For panels, a general description of 200 words, and a minimum of four abstracts of 250 words, are expected by September 6, 2015. Panel proposals should also include a moderator.

3. Should you wish to organize a special session with a network, please contact the conference organizers before September 6, 2015

4. Participants can also opt to present a poster. This is well suited for NGOs and other organizations seeking to present their work, and those who are not in the position to present a full paper. Here, an abstract of the information to be presented on the poster should be submitted before September 6 as well.

5. Abstracts should be sent to and will be reviewed for their relevance, academic merit, and timeliness. Authors will be notified by email before September 28.

Please submit any questions regarding this call for papers to Laelia Dard-Dascot at


Prof. Barbara Oomen, Dean                                                     Frank Elbers, Executive Director, HREA 

Contact Info: 

Conference organizer: Laelia Dard-Dascot 

University College Roosevelt
Visiting address: Lange Noordstraat 1 | 4331 CB Middelburg NL
Postal address: P.O. Box 94 | 4330 AB Middelburg NL
Phone: +31 (0)118 655 500 | Fax: +31 (0)118 655 508
Contact Email: