Dates: 9-19 October 2019

About the International Summer School

The recognition of Universal Human Rights is relatively modern, though the core ideas that underpin it can be traced back to ancient times and to different cultures. The philosophy of enlightenment and political revolutions in France and the United States in the 18th century led to a limited recognition of human rights, but only in the aftermath of totalitarism and World War II the declaration of Universal Human Rights could be realized in 1948, which reflects a shared understanding of the principle of systematic threats to human dignity and declared the responsibility of the international community to protect against them.

Teaching and learning human rights is a key and practical defence for upholding and protecting rights. It is an empowering process as it develops attitudes and values that uphold human rights in daily life and in the agenda of the nations.

The language of human rights has changed through the years. Questions of existential belonging evolved into question of legal belonging. The roots of discrimination and exclusion which are largely social problems became legal when they get formalized and law pervades in the society. It is said that equality is not innate but is achieved through just human organization – though we are born equal; we become equal as members of a group on the strength of our decision to guarantee ourselves mutually equal rights. This may be limiting by itself, in the absence of just agents and duty bearers that protect, promote and fulfil rights.

With the emergence of formal and identifiable human rights laws in the International Human Rights Conventions, a great deal of social behaviour cannot be ignored in the discourse on human rights and its implementation in both international and legal systems. Human rights concerns are cross-cutting and we cannot close ourselves off in secure disciplinary boxes. Thus Human Rights have been relocated away from the abstract idealised world of moral universalism to moral relativism and of course to the pragmatic world of international law. It is widely believed that human rights can only be guaranteed by a meaningful and enforceable human rights law. Thus granting and respecting human rights become an indissoluble condition of performing the state of law, of its admission as a democratic state at international level.

The multi ethnic, multi lingual, multi religious and multi cultural nature of modern societies has its challenges. Cultural pluralism adds colour and dynamism to the society but experiences suggest that it could also be a stumbling block for economic integration and societal cohabitation. Social groups are seen to have experienced grave challenges in understanding, appreciating and accepting each other.

Though similar experiences have also been brought to light in other regions of the world, North East India (comprising the states of Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya) is a case in point: it is pronounced in the context of the multiple conflicts among various communities inhabiting the region. As the region’s history has long been documented and interpreted from the etic perspective, it has lead to issues of social discrimination and exclusion. There is, thus, an urgent need to deconstruct discourses and practices so as to uphold the dignity and worth of the people of this region of India.

Even if the German society is situated in a completely different context it is also more and more evolving into a pluralistic and multi ethnic society. Since the “summer of migration” of 2015 the discourse on concepts of integration and of identity has become very controversial. A shared understanding of common principles and values is needed to cope with conflicting ideas and cultural practices.

This brings in the idea of seeing human rights as integral for social development processes and interventions in the above mentioned regions and everywhere in the world.

The International Summer School on Human Rights for Social Development: Frames and Agents will take the participants through the concepts, programmes and practices of human rights and social development through creative use of communication media strategies, tools and techniques. Teachers and students from India, Germany, Bhutan, USA and Sweden will have the opportunity to share their concepts of Human Rights and discuss different approaches.

The objective of the International Summer School is to enhance the competencies of the participants to:
1. understand the meaning and objectives of human rights and human rights based approach to social development;
2. appreciate the various human rights agencies and their framework for international and national human rights practice for social development;
3. be aware of various methods, techniques and strategies for human rights and social development communication;
4. engage in inter-cultural teamwork to promote and protect human rights for social development;
5. network and develop partnerships to engage in promotion of human rights and social development agenda;
6. get an idea of the diverse Indian culture; and
7. be familiar with German culture and be proficient in use of German language for basic communication.

Eligibility criteria for participants
The summer school is a capacity building programme in human rights for students pursuing their undergraduate and post-graduate studies. Human rights practitioners in their early-stage career may also participate in the school. All those who fall within these categories may apply. The number of seats is limited to 40, of which 20 will be outstation participants, and 20 local participants.

How to Apply
Interested candidates can apply via our Online Registration
The last date for registration is 12 pm (Indian Standard Time), 25th August 2019. The selected candidates will be intimated on the 30th August 2019. Should you require assistance, please contact Mr. Victor Narzary: [email protected] , Mobile: +91 6001730031.

Registration Fee
There is no registration fee for the selected participants.

Accommodation, food & travel allowance
Modest food and accommodation will be provided to the outstation participants only. There will be no travel allowance provided.

Duration & Venue
The workshop will be conducted from 9th to 19th October 2019. It will be held in the Assam Don Bosco University, Tapesia Campus, Sonapur, Guwahati, Assam, India, PIN- 782 402.

Key Contact
For any information/clarification please contact the Course Convener(s):

Dr. Riju Sharma,
Director, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Assam Don Bosco University,
Tapesia Campus, Sonapur-782 402
Assam, India
Email: [email protected]


Prof. Dr.Ursula Fasselt,
School of Social Work and Health,
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences,
Nibelungenplatz 1
60318 Frankfurt
Email: [email protected]

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