Just months after the end of World War II, 70 years ago, representatives drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recognizing that the right to education is a human right.
Today, more than 65 million people are today asylum seekers, internally displaced persons or refugees. Half of the world’s refugees are children under 18 years of age. The average length of time a refugee spends in exile is about 20 years, which is more than an entire childhood, and represents a significant portion of a person’s productive working years. While Article 26 of the UDHR affirms the right to education, only 1% of refugees will continue or begin their higher education (UNCHR statistics
Our featured speaker for the International Luncheon at the 2019 AACRAO Annual Meeting
, Dr. Keith David Watenpaugh, professor and founding director of Human Rights Studies at the University of California Davis, has spent his career in supporting the basic human right to education. As a leading American historian of the contemporary Middle East, Human Rights, and modern Humanitarianism, he is an expert on the Armenian Genocide and its denial, and the role of higher education in the life of displaced individuals. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Watenpaugh has authored two major books, Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, and Colonialism and the Arab Middle Class
. (Princeton: Princeton University Press 2006), and Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism
(Oakland: University of California Press, 2015).
Watenpaugh is also the driving force behind the AACRAO-supported Article 26 Backpack project
In addition, he has partnered with the Institute of International Education (IIE) to author multiple publications that fill a gap in the literature on higher education access for refugees and displaced persons. In the research phase of these publications, Dr. Watenpaugh traveled to the host countries to map and catalog what resources Syrian refugees have to gain, or re-gain, access to higher education, and what affect not being in university has on this generation.
Please join us at the AACRAO Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 2 -- International Day
-- for an informative luncheon on how higher education institutions can and must support the right to education for all. Learn more and register now.