USN journal receives international award from Amnesty International

Professor Audrey Osler together with Associate Professor Marta Stachurska-Kounta who is the incoming Managing Editor of the Human Rights Education Review, a role she also had in 2019. She takes over the role from USN Assistant Professor Line Jenssen.
AMNESTY AWARD: From left: Professor Audrey Osler together with Associate Professor Marta Stachurska-Kounta who is the incoming Managing Editor of Human Rights Education Review, a role she also had in 2019. She takes over the role from USN Assistant Professor Line Jenssen. (Photo: Jan-Henrik Kulberg / USN)

Three years after its launch, the journal Human Rights Education Review receives an award from Amnesty International in the United States. «I am overwhelmed», says USN professor Audrey Osler.

On Human Rights Day, December 10, the journal receives a brand new award from Amnesty International USA - University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education (UCCHRE)

The Human Rights Education Review (HRER)  focuses on human rights in schools and education. The journal is open access and can thus be read by anyone, even if the target group is primarily academics who are engaging in human rights and education.

A team effort

Audrey Osler is Editor-in-Chief and was the one who initiated the journal. Osler is a professor at USN's Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Sciences and the University of Leeds.

She thanks everyone who has contributed to the realization of the journal, and i grateful for the great commitment both at USN and among partners and researchers internationally.

«This has really been a team effort, and there are many individuals to thank. The development has been enormous in these few years. We can now count over thirty thousand downloads of articles. It may not sound like much to those who are used to numbers from YouTube, but for a journal of this type it is significant. We are also getting more and more submissions. A year ago, around 60 percent of all contributions were accepted for publication. Now this number is down to 30.»

The journal is peer-reviewed and at level 1 in the Norwegian register of scientific publication channels

In addition to a nine-member strong editorial team, a large international editorial board is also very involved in the production. It consists of over thirty academics from around the world.

«They contribute a lot, and are far more personally engaged than editorial boards generally are», says Osler.

Knowledge must be available to everyone

Her first editorial in 2018 was entitled «Human rights education: a project for our common future"». This says something about purpose and ambition, and we ask her how she worked to get the journal on its feet.

«I have a large international network of people I am well acquainted with. I invited them in, and many of them ended up being personally involved in the journal. There are researchers who work with human rights in education, others addressing human rights and multiculturalism and other disciplines. There are also law scolars working with human rights».

Osler says she has always believed that knowledge should be available to everyone. Therefore, it was important not to put this journal behind a payment wall.

ANCHORED AT THE FACULTY: The steering group for the Human Rights Education Review gathered on the Drammen campus and via Zoom. From left: Dean Per-Ludvik Kjendlie, Head of Department Jørn Varhaug, Associate Professor Marta Stachurska-Kounta and Professor Audrey Osler. (Photo: Jan-Henrik Kulberg / USN)

– How would you describe the journals achievement so far?

«Although I am always critical of my own achievements, I must say that we have come a long way in a short time. When we started, I was told that it would take at least ten years to really establish this journal. I would say that we have established a strong Nordic and international presence – we are already almost there, and we are not just publishing the journal. During 2020, we also held eight webinars, supported by the World Educational Research Association, each with between 40 and 100 participants from across the world. We even set up our own YouTube-channel.

– How do you view this award?

«I am overwhelmed and see it as a recognition of how important it is that knowledge about human rights is included in all forms of education, both for children in school and in higher education. I believe that all students, no matter where they live in the world, have a right to learn about human rights in school. We can also find this in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 26).

Dean Per-Ludvik Kjendlie at the Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Sciences sits on the steering group for the journal.

He says the award recognizes the good work that has been put in and the great results that have been achieved.

«It is gratifying to see that the painstaking work to raise the journal's academic level and distribution has yielded results. USN is proud to contribute to this important field, internationally.»

«UCCHRE Human Rights in Higher Education Award»

Human Rights Education Review (HRER)

  • Is an open access international journal.
  • Is USN's first scientific journal.
  • Presents research and critical thinking related to human rights as they are practiced, taught, learned and developed in education, law, politics and human rights organizations.
  • The first edition of HRER was published in June 2018.
  • HRER also has its own own Twitter-account.