Institute of Education


IOE to create international research network on human rights education

23 May 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) academic Professor Hugh Starkey and Professor Audrey Osler (University of Leeds and University of South-Eastern Norway) are to set up a World Educational Research Association (WERA) International Research Network on Human Rights Education.

Refugee children from Syria. Image: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development (CC BY 2.0)

The WERA-backed Network has a goal to develop a research and scholarly community and draw on the Network members’ work. WERA is an association of national, regional, and international educational research associations aimed at advancing education research as a scientific and scholarly field.

The group will comprise 13 leading scholars in the field as partners in the network from universities in 10 countries including the UK, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, USA, Australia and China and will run for three years in the first instance.

The academics aim to compile a state-of-the-art review in the form of a global annotated bibliography of human rights education organised by region or members’ specialised topics including law, children’s rights, and minority perspectives, among others. This will also help to identify gaps in the literature and opportunities for collaborative fundable research.

Professor Hugh Starkey said: “Based on a commitment to respect, protect and fulfil the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ and subsequent conventions on children’s rights and against discrimination on the grounds of race, gender or disability, Human Rights Education is a field of interdisciplinary research that by definition requires a global or cosmopolitan perspective and lends itself naturally to international research collaboration. 

“The network builds on two existing informal networks, namely, membership of the newly established ‘Human Rights Education Review’ and the annual conference of the ‘International Conference for Education and Democratic Citizenship’ (ICEDC) based at the IOE. These two pillars provide opportunities for interaction, meeting and for dissemination of research findings.

“I look forward to beginning work in the Network to develop this community for all those researching and working in human rights.”



  • Image: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)