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In summary, international human rights is a first order issue in the contemporary world. Despite being among the noblest and most pressing of causes, it is largely neglected in the educational systems of most countries. The study of international human rights has special relevance for Americans and is a new imperative to be accommodated in the general education curriculum at all levels. American education is presently not well equipped to deal with it at any level.

This book on international human rights effectively brings together for educators the fundamental documents, related analysis, and summaries of relevant educational research and experience to date. It will help open the subject to serious study in elementary and secondary schools, in teacher training programs, and in general education efforts in college, university, and adult education programs. The book will also help increase our national capability for international cooperation in education.

We are fortunate to have this work readily available as we begin our third century as a nation, for it seems clear that one of the most pervasive and crucial issues of the next hundred years will be whether the principles of human rights can be made meaningful for the majority of mankind. All forward looking educators are indebted to Professors Buergenthal and Torney for providing this practical introduction to a complex subject which is so basic, yet so neglected. Special commendation is due the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO for its foresight and leadership in commissioning the study and publishing the results to assure widespread accessibility.

September, 1976

Robert Leestma
Associate Commissioner

for Institutional Development

and International Education U.S. Office of Education


The counsel, encouragement and assistance of many individuals have made this book possible. They should neither be blamed for its shortcomings nor held responsible for the opinions expressed in it, but they richly deserve credit for improving its quality.

The Secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO under the able guidance of Mr. John E. Upston, its Executive Director, and Mr. Richard K. Nobbe, its Deputy Director, has been unsparing in its support for our project. We profited immensely from Mr. Nobbe's knowledge, imagination, organizational talents and good will. His enthusiasm and wise counsel greatly facilitated the writing of this book; we could not have asked for a more valuable colleague. Other members of the Secretariat, notably Ms. Barbara J. Good and Ms. Sally Cutting, must also be singled out for giving us the benefit of their experience and for devoting many hours to this project, for which we are also grateful.

Our special thanks must also go to Lauren D. Rachlin, Esq., the distinguished Buffalo attorney, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Human Rights Task Force of the U.S. National Commission and who has performed such outstanding service as its first chairman. Mr. Rachlin's enthusiastic support for this project, extensive experience in dealing with domestic and international human rights matters, and unusual talent for getting things done proved to be invaluable to us.

Dr. Robert Leestma's scholarly and administrative contributions to the international education efforts of the U.S. Government are well known. His extensive experience with international organizations and his manifold efforts to help link the American educational community with the world educational community for mutual benefit further qualify him to write the foreword to this book. We are pleased that he has agreed to make this contribution to our efforts.

We were also most fortunate to be able to draw upon the knowledge and experience of Dr. Richard D. Forster, Deputy Director, Directorate for UNESCO Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Mr. Frederick H. Lawton, Directorate for UNESCO Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and Dr. Boyd Bosma, Civil Liberties and Intergroup Relations, Teacher Rights Division, National Education Association. Each of them read the manuscript in draft form; their comments and our discussions with them proved to be extremely helpful to us in making needed revisions.


We should also like to acknowledge our debt to Dr. Constantine Warvariv, Deputy Permanent Delegate, U.S. Mission to UNESCO. His extensive and insightful grasp of UNESCO affairs has provided us with a better understanding of many problems discussed in this book.

Dr. Richard W. Fogg's perceptive and useful survey of international education teaching materials found in Chapter VII greatly enhances the value of our book, and we thank him for his fine contribution.

We are most grateful for the extensive and invaluable editorial assistance that we received from Mrs. Dorothy A. Buergenthal and Mrs. Anne F. Vollmar. Their suggestions for revisions and persistent questioning of inadequately developed ideas made this a much better book than it would otherwise have been. We are also greatly indebted to Mr. Donald D. Young, a law student at the University of Texas, who compiled the materials in the Appendix, provided bibliographic assistance, and helped us in many other ways to get this book to press.

The Graduate School of the State University of New York at Buffalo awarded a small grant during 1974-75 to Professor Buergenthal who was at that time on the faculty of its law school. We were most grateful for the opportunity this grant afforded us to undertake some of the preliminary research relating to this book.

Our secretaries, Mrs. Joan Beaton in Illinois, and Mrs. Alyce Lottman and Mrs. Hanna Stanberry in Texas, suffered through the various drafts of this book with great patience and handled them with true professional competence. They have earned our special thanks and appreciation.

As in any collaboration with authors located as far apart as Illinois and Texas, our families have had to cope alternately with absent family members and visiting co-authors. We therefore express particular gratitude to the Reverend E. Keith Torney and Mrs. Dorothy A. Buergenthal for their interest and understanding as well as to our children, to whom we dedicated this book.

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