Human Rights Education

Professor Gerber’s interest in human rights education emerged when she went to the University of Prishtina in Kosova in July 2001, to teach human rights to a class of Muslim law students as part of an international program to rebuild the university which had, for the past decade, only been open to Serbian students. That experience in a war torn country, opened Professor Gerber’s eyes to the need for all young people to learn about human rights as part of their basic school education.

Kirby & PG ay book launch

Dr Gerber with former High Court judge The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG at the launch of From Convention to Classroom: The Long Road to Human Rights Education

Professor Gerber went on to complete a PhD on human rights education, and in particular, the extent to which secondary schools are complying with the international law obligation to teach children about human rights, as set out in Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Her thesis was published as a book: From Convention to Classroom: The Long Road to Human Rights Education and she continues to undertake research and consultancies in this area.

 Publications and conference papers


Paula Gerber Understanding Human Rights: Educational Challenges for the Future (2013) Edward Elgar Publishing, UK. Click here to see book reviews.

Paula Gerber From Convention to Classroom: the Long Road to Human Rights Education (2008) VDM Publishers, Germany.

Book chapters

Paula Gerber ‘Good practice in Human Rights Education in Schools’ Chapter 12 in Anders Sjorborg and Hans-Georg Ziebertz (eds) Religion, Education and Human Rights: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives 179-203.

Paula Gerber ‘Human Rights Education in Schools’ in Transparency International (ed) Global Corruption Report: Education (2013) Routledge, Oxford, 337-340.

Paula Gerber and Annie Pettitt, Annie ‘Human Rights Education in the Australian Curriculum’ Chapter 22 in Gerber, Paula & Castan, Melissa (eds) Contemporary Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia (2013) Thomson Reuters, Sydney, 531-555.

Paula Gerber ‘Do States have an Obligation under International Law to Provide Human Rights Education?’ in Chowdhury, A. and Bhuiyan J. (eds) An Introduction to International Human Rights Law (2010) Brill Publishers, Netherlands, 219-235.

Paula Gerber ‘Human Rights Education: Growing a Better Future’ in Helen Sykes (ed) Future Justice(2010) Future Leaders, Melbourne, 189-207.

Paula Gerber ‘Human Rights Education: A Slogan in Search of a Definition’ in Sarah Joseph and Adam McBeth (eds) Research Handbook on International Human Rights Law(2010) Edward Elgar, UK, 541-566.

Paula Gerber ‘From Convention to Classroom: The Long Road to Human Rights Education’ in Christopher Newell and Baden Offord (eds) Activating Human Rights in Education: Exploration, Innovation and Transformation (2008) Australian College of Educators, 27-38.

Peer reviewed journal articles

Paula Gerber ‘Educating about Human Rights: Strengths and Weaknesses of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training’ (2011) 36(4) Alternative Law Journal 245-249.

Paula Gerber Black Rights/White Curriculum: Human Rights Education for Indigenous People’ (2004) 9(1) Deakin Law Review 61-89.

Conference papers


Prof Gerber presenting a plenary paper at the 9th International Human Rights Education conference in Sydney (November 2018).

‘The United Nations and Human Rights Education: An Unfinished Journey’ at the International Conference on Human Rights Education, Parramatta, NSW

‘Human Rights are Aussie Rules’ Garma Indigenous Festival, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.

‘Human Rights Education’, United Nations Youth Association conference, University of Melbourne.

‘Like Ripples from a Pebble someone Tosses in a Stream: Using Human Rights Education to Create a Human Rights Culture’ Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission Conference, Melbourne.

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