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Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Sudan, this article illuminates the consequences of human rights educational workshops as a form of humanitarian assistance in war-ravaged areas. These projects are built on flawed assumptions about Sudanese politics and about the likelihood that human rights education empowers the war-ravaged poor. The beneficial impacts of human rights discourse stem from its side effects, which fulfill urgent and symbolic needs, and not from the core content of human rights. The case of an authoritarian regime exposes an alternative site of rights promotion, outside the established or struggling democracies where most literature on rights resides. Bridging the literature on rights in Western, democratic contexts and on human rights in Africa, this article argues that law is not enough—and is potentially dangerous—in the insecure and impoverished areas where the international aid community has been encouraging it to flourish.