Human Rights Educational Project at the University of Peace

The Department of International Law and Human Rights of the University for
Peace, with the support of the Government of the Netherlands, has been
working since October 2003 on an innovative human rights project, the
Human Rights Educational Project (HREP). The aim of the project is to
develop and disseminate educational materials related to human rights in
response to the need pf individuals and organizations, particularly in
developing countries, to obtain convenient access to up-to-date human
rights instruments and academic materials. Professionals, practitioners,
volunteers, educators and human rights defenders can all benefit from the
availability of human rights instruments through the use of a manual and a

The Human Rights Reference Handbook provides a general overview of human
rights; human rights annotated case-law and materials which compare cases
from the three regional human rights systems and the United Nations Human
Rights Committee; a compilation of human rights instruments that includes
international human rights treaties and other documents; and a CD-ROM that
contains materials that supplement the books. Together, the materials will
constitute an 'educational kit' to be distributed to academics, university
students and NGOs in developing countries.

UPEACE uses four basic 'delivery systems' for its educational products
related to peace and human rights: graduate courses at its campus in San
José, Costa Rica; delivery of courses at other universities or campuses;
dissemination of course materials, including books and publications such
as readers; and distance education courses via the Internet.  This project
will support all four delivery systems.

The key purpose of the project is to compile all relevant human rights
instruments, together with a basic discussion of the major issues related
to human rights and the competences required of different human rights

The project constitutes a response on the part of UPEACE to the
substantial deterioration over the past decade in access to library
materials for students in resource poor states in the Third World. While
rapid changes in human rights issues have necessitated constant
replacement of books, the prices of books have soared anduniversity
resources available to purchase those books have dwindled.

Why facilitate access to human rights information?

Human rights education and promotion are essential to strengthen human
rights protection at both the civil and academic levels. Individuals will
be protected to the extent that they know their rights and duties. It is
hoped that, through the adoption of modern communications technologies,
including the Internet and CD-ROMs, this project will contribute to the
dissemination of knowledge about human rights law. of communication,
including websites and other electronic data dissemination such as the use
of CD-ROMs. By producing human rights materials and making them available
worldwide, and most importantly in developing countries, UPEACE is
building on the experience obtained in offering its full-time residential
programme to extend education that promotes the rule of law.

Highly-qualified experts are in charge of managing this programme at the
University for Peace headquarters in San José, Costa Rica: Dr. Magdalena
Sepúlveda, (; Ms. Christine Chamoun, MA, Project
Officer (; and Ms. Gudrun Gudmundsdottir, MA, Project
Officer (

Dr. Magdalena Sepúlveda is a Chilean lawyer. She holds a PhD in
International Law from the University of Utrecht; a Diploma in Comparative
law from Universidad Católica de Chile andan LLM in International Human
Rights Law from the University of Essex. She was a researcher at the
Netherlands Institute for Human Rights and staff attorney at the
Inter-American Court on Human Rights. She is the former Co-Director of the
International Law and Human Rights Programme at UPEACE.

Christine Chamoun and Gudrun Gudmundsdottir graduated with distinction
from the UPEACE Human Rights Programme in 2003. Christine is Lebanese. She
holds a Diplôme d'Administration et de Politiques Internationales from
Pierre Mendes France University and a Bachelor's Degree in International
Relations from the University of Kent. Gudrun is Icelandic. She pursued a
Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration at the
University of Iceland and Copenhagen Business School and obtained a
Bachelor's Degree in Russian Studies and Business Administration from the
University of Iceland.

All the best

Simon Stander

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