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This book offers the first scholarly analysis of the United Nation's work in the field of human rights education (HRE) and examines why HRE is so important. Paula Gerber argues that international law can learn from the medical profession, which has long recognised that 'prevention is better than cure'. There is an urgent need for HRE to be recognised as one of the best ways of preventing future human rights abuses; it is, in essence, a prophylactic for human rights violations.
The book explores the provenance of human rights education in international law before critiquing the UN's work in this area across numerous different organs, including treaty committees, the Human Rights Council, General Assembly and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The author identifies a number of deficiencies in the UN's HRE activities, and makes recommendations for how the UN can more effectively promote HRE and increase states compliance with their international HRE obligations. This book provides a unique and timely insight into the workings of the UN in this vital aspect of international human rights law. Understanding Human Rights will strongly appeal to UN Bureaucrats, civil servants, human rights academics, human rights institutions and NGOs.