Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

Useful Lenses for Teaching and Learning Human Rights

Human Rights Education is dominated by western-centric explanations of the origins and systems of protection of human rights around the world. While Western understandings are legitimate approaches to human rights, other critical lenses give insight into human rights practices.

Published onJan 29, 2023
Useful Lenses for Teaching and Learning Human Rights


When engaging with human rights law, you can don a pair of reading lenses

Decolonize higher education

of your choice. These lenses help you approach concepts and practices with a critical view. Instead of consuming the messages from textbooks, materials and even human rights instruments, you see them as products of a specific perspective or understanding about how human rights should work. This gives you agency over how you interact and receive those messages.

The information below gives some perspectives from major thinkers in the movement to decolonize knowledge and education.

The lenses come from several critical perspectives - Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), The Latin American lenses such as the matrix of coloniality, among others. The resources cite the works of thinkers and gives insights into their world views. These lenses can be used to interpresent human rights laws, textbooks and instruments.

Walter Mignolo

Potrait of Walter Mignolo and the names of texts he has written.

Walter Mignolo

Explanation of the communal - an idea explained by Walter Mignolo.

Thinkers in the Spotlight: Walter Mignolo

A quotation by Walter Mignolo about communal society.

Quote from Walter Mignolo

Bagele Chilisa

Carol Anderson: An Account of the Early Days of UN Human Rights

Lilian Obregón

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Jenny S. Martinez

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Patricia Hill Collins

No comments here
Why not start the discussion?