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HRERN Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Washington's Human Rights Education and Research Network is to foster the development of critical field of inquiry called "human rights" that investigates the requirements of human dignity and the suffering that follows from its violation. Under the rubric of "human rights" a series of new and pressing questions have forced their way onto the international political stage and into the consciousness of the world, questions that cannot be answered by traditional academic disciplines operating separately. Only in new and diverse combinations will the academic disciplines be able to address questions like the following:

  • Under what social, cultural and political conditions can suffering be reduced?
  • Can sovereignty and international justice be reconciled?
  • Is forgiveness a political possibility?
  • Are rights universal or culturally bounded?
  • What social and cultural conditions will lead to an effective world court?
  • Can or should justice be made retroactively?
  • Can a healthy environment, economic development, and civil rights be reconciled?

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 boldly proclaimed that "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

    The HRERN will promote the integration of scholarship and teaching at the University's three campuses (Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma) by generating leading research, by developing new pathways of learning for students, and by relating this work to the world of practice. This non-partisan organization will provide intellectual, institutional, and financial support for researchers and teachers at all levels of theory and practice to further their work in the emerging field of human rights.


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    Maintained by Ruth Honour
    UW Human Rights Education & Research Network
    Last updated April 27, 2005