Knowledge of rights and legal issues empower individuals and communities’ to participate in the democratic process, gain access to public services and demand their fundamental rights. Moreover, law-related education programmes have the potential to re-engage adults in life-long education and enables them to take more control over their lives and careers. Recent European research in the field of Law-related education and wider access to justice issues has highlighted significant gaps in the ability of Europeans to understand their rights and the processes that are available to gain redress.
Although Human Rights Education has a law and rights core, it includes much more and seeks to combine the knowledge, skills and confidence in dealing with law-related issues with citizens empowerment for the purpose of encouraging people to enforce and respect rights, to shape new rights, or to defend them.
Although Rights and law are cognitive constructs, learning about, with, and for them addresses skills, knowledge and attitudes. Following the DARE network for Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe this learning includes:
Education for democratic citizenship and human rights education are closely inter-related and mutually supportive. They differ in focus and scope rather than in goals and practices.
Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education seek to combine the awareness and knowledge with empowerment to implement these in the society.
On the state level, at the workbenches, in civil-society organizations or in classrooms. This implies, the training ground and the learning field is the society. Therefore, educational measures in these fields need to build cooperation with the society, include the social reality around the classroom or ideally cooperate in activities planned and conducted by non-formal and formal learning providers together. Non- formal EDC work with young people is probably the perfect training field for democracy: close to society developments, close to young peoples ́ everyday life experience, promoting learning on eye-level, backed with pedagogues who are capable to make the difference:
„Non- formal education has the specific strenght to quickly react on challenges and threats to democracy as it is close to societal developments. it is able to identify issues at their grassroots stage and develop educational concepts, long before the debate has made it to the political and subsequent curricular level.“ 
A toolbox for teaching Human Rights in the field of youth education
A manual on Human Rights Education published by: European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Graz (AT)