Vernacularising human dignity in human rights education: a Cambodian case study

Gillian Kane, Rachel Killean, Boravin Tann

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In this article we interrogate the potential value of ‘human dignity’ as a tool for vernacularisation in the context of human rights education (HRE), drawing on legal higher education in Cambodia as a case study. To do so, we first outline the role of human dignity in human rights education, flagging that while the concept has been identified as a principle, goal, and tool of HRE, there has been little reflection on its diverse and contested meanings across and within different contexts. Drawing on a range of scholarship that interrogates human dignity, vernacularisation and HRE, as well as original data collected in Cambodia between 2020 and 2022, we explore the opportunities and challenges associated with using human dignity as a tool for HRE in Cambodia. We conclude by offering some reflections on the process of drafting a ‘human dignity curriculum’ for use in Cambodia’s legal higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalThe International Journal of Human Rights
Early online date30 May 2024
Publication statusPublished online - 30 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Human dignity
  • human rights education
  • vernacularisation
  • Cambodia
  • human rights


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