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Human Rights Education at Universities in Chinai

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The major focus of the second phase in 2010-2014 of the World Programme for Human Rights Education is those who further mentor tomorrow’s citizens and leaders, such as higher education institutions. Universities have a vital role to promote human rights education by offering human rights courses to students who are tomorrow’s citizens and leaders since over tens of thousands of fresh students enrolled at universities each year. In recent years, Human Rights education has become a government priority area in China as evidenced by its significant place in the two National Human Rights Action Plans and the establishment of three National Human Rights Education and Training Bases in the wake of the first NHRAP in 2011 and five more in accordance with the second NHRAP 2012-2015. Currently, the subject of human rights is mainly taught in law schools, where international human rights law has increasingly become a part of legal education. According to recent estimations, undergraduate and graduate level human rights courses have been established at more than a hundred universities in China, while about 30 have set up human rights research centres. This paper will provide a snapshot of the current situation of human rights education in China with a focus on Human Rights Masters Programme at Peking University Law School (PULS), supported by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of PULS and RWI. The problems and challenges of human rights education in China, and suggestions on how to solve these problems will be also addressed.
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Keywords: China; International conventions; National Human Rights Action Plans; human rights education; international standards; legal education; universities

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • Political Crossroads is a bi-annual, international, refereed journal which, since 1990, publishes critical and empirical scholarship in political science and international relations. Its areas of focus include global security, terrorism, national identity, migration and citizenship, and the politics of resources and trade.
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