Viewpoint: Human Rights in the Engineering Curriculum


Besides discussing some human rights issues affecting all academics, this paper makes the general case why it is specially important to teach human rights to all engineering students. Examples from Sri Lanka, deeply rent by a civil war, are used to show that in divided societies where it is most needed to teach Human Rights, it is also the most difficult to teach it because of the sensitivity of the subject. The curriculum is described and the resources are shown to be widely and easily accessible. Experience in compulsorily teaching human rights to engineers for the first time is shared. As a secondary benefit, in stratified societies where students are reluctant to participate in class, a controversial subject like human rights that animates, proves useful in encouraging discussions and improving communications skills.

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