Why is Human Rights Education Important?

Human rights are a crucial part of a civilized society, one that is protected by law. Everyone has the right to live, be treated with dignity and freedom, the right to an education, the right to an action against aggression, the right to be free from racial discrimination, and other basic human rights. We are all obligated to respect human rights – not only for ourselves but also for others. Every country at every time period has been known to take human rights seriously and have made laws guaranteeing them.

Why is human rights education so important? The reason is that without it, we would not know what it was to actually have rights. Unfortunately, while our government may promise us that we have rights, few have really understood what they are until it is too late. By teaching children and young people about these basics of human rights at childhood, we help them learn how to recognize and prevent any harm against them – even when it is happening right now.

Why is human rights education important today? Sadly, this is not something that we are taught as a nation. Children are not exposed to the basics of human rights at school, nor are adults given the same level of instruction. Without learning about and protecting their rights at a young age, they have no foundation upon which to build, and they are unlikely to ever feel safe or secure.

Why is human rights education important? Because we live in a world where physical and sexual abuse are widely believed to occur, and even advocated as a way to get a particular person “put out of his misery”. Children are repeatedly assaulted, and sexual abuse is often covered up, only vaguely mentioned in conversations. Those who experience it, and see nothing that could support such beliefs, become fearful, and when they become adults, may not know how to protect themselves or their family from similar situations in the future.

Why is it important to teach our children about physical, mental, and emotional health? Well, it’s important for obvious reasons. Physical health is important because physical ailments, such as cancer and diabetes, are often preventable with proper nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. Mental health is equally important, as studies have shown that people who have access to mental health are more likely to have positive mental wellness, and live longer than those who do not.

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Why is human rights education important?” – you can start educating your child, today. There is a wealth of information on the web, and your local library should have books that address the topic.