The first internationally recognized statement of modern-day human rights is contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Ratified in 1948 and stimulated in large part by the atrocities of World War II, the UDHR recognizes the “inherent dignity” and “equal and inalienable rights” of all persons.  The 30 articles of the UDHR set forth internationally agreed-upon human rights.  The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which incorporates an unprecedented array of civil, political, cultural and economic rights that accrue to children, has been signed by nearly every sovereign government in the world (it has not been ratified by the United States or Somalia).  As such, the CRC is the most widely adopted and universally endorsed human rights treaty that has ever come before the global community.

The UDHR and the CRC not only articulate the fundamental right to live a life free from violence but also recognizes the inherent dignity and honor of all persons, illuminates how all forms of discrimination are clear human rights violations, and articulates the right for all to meaningfully contribute to society.  While bullying has long been established as a human rights issue, Michael was the first to elaborate in a professional peer-reviewed journal how a human rights framework can be productively used to address bullying in schools link to bullying as a human rights issue article.  Michael has written two additional articles elaborating on how the human rights framework can and should be applied to the prevention of school violence in general and in promoting educational reform provide links to human rights in schools article and monitoring human rights article.  Michael also believes that the human rights framework can and should serve as the central lynchpin for social justice advocacy.