Human Rights in Africa and the Middle East: Recognition, Research and Response

July 10-13, 2017

As civil war and unrest rage in several countries spanning an area from Northern Nigeria to the Middle East, the world bears witness to a humanitarian crisis unparalleled since 1945. An estimated 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homelands, while over 100 million innocent civilians are on the brink of starvation (as estimated by the United Nations Refugee Agency and UN Food and Agriculture Organization, respectively). Though these crises call attention to the urgency in ensuring for basic human rights, it is becoming evident in our increasingly interconnected world, that the responsibility for the protection of all human rights extend far beyond the borders of these regions.

This intensive four-day institute will bring K-12, pre-service, and community college educators from across the U.S. to delve deeply into this subject as it relates to Africa and the Middle East. The institute will provide discussion of the overarching definition of human rights – beyond the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – and how the protection of these rights are being addressed at the local, regional and global levels.  Particular emphasis will be given to the rights of refugees, women, and children, as well as the socio-political rights of education and religion. Through analysis of case studies on Syrian refugees in the Middle East to the cultural tensions underlying practices carried out on women in some communities, participants will delve deeper into these human rights issues. What are the legal obligations of states in the wake of the current refugee crisis?  What role does ensuring for the protection of women’s properties play in mitigating further societal collapse? Why do governments of sound economic states continue to challenge the full adoption of human rights for its citizens? These are some of the questions that will be addressed by our group of renown experts, including academic scholars, policy makers of UN organizations, and field practitioners.

In addition to the lectures, the Institute will also feature classroom resource sessions led by the Institute’s Curriculum Advisor and other curricular specialists.  These hands-on sessions will guide participants in crafting their own classroom units using a variety of resources, including primary resources made available from our presenters.  Participants will also attend film screenings and discussions at humanitarian agencies in New York City.

Complete on-line registration here.

Please note participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until registration is full.  Final date for applications and full tuition payment of $175 is 5/31/2017.

For more information, please contact us at

Sponsored by PIER and the Councils on African Studies and Middle East Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, with generous support from the Title VI National Resource Center Grants from the United States Department of Education.