IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

More on Human Rights Education

I have written previously about Human Rights Education, but I think the subject merits more consideration.   I have just finished teaching a course on 3rd world politics which touches on the cultural debate about human rights (Asian values, etc…), and I realized (again) that most people (even educated people) don’t have a very complete picture of what human rights are, how many covenants are already in place, how much consensus there really is already, etc…  It seems it is the differences, rather than the commonalities that get most attention (not that unusual, sadly).

So, again, what is the best way to move the global human rights discourse along?  Certainly, education.  Just google “human rights education” and see all the cool hits you get.  For instance, here is what Amnesty International says about it:

“Human rights education is both a lens through which to observe the world and a methodology for teaching and leading others.

Amnesty International believes that learning about human rights is the first step toward respecting, promoting and defending those rights. The Human Rights Education program (HRE) was established in order to facilitate the teaching of human rights. Designed to support teachers of kindergarten through college as well as educators working in non-formal settings such as community associations and cultural forums, HRE is dedicated to promoting the human rights principles and positive value system that are set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”


“Human rights education is an integral part of the right to education and is increasingly gaining recognition as a human right in itself. Knowledge of rights and freedoms is considered a fundamental tool to guarantee respect for the rights of all. UNESCO’s work in human rights education is guided by the World Programme for Human Rights Education.

Education should encompass values such as peace, non-discrimination, equality, justice, non-violence, tolerance and respect for human dignity. Quality education based on a human rights approach means that rights are implemented throughout the whole education system and in all learning environments.”

…and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:

“Human rights can only be achieved through an informed and continued demand by people for their protection. Human rights education promotes values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage all individuals to uphold their own rights and those of others. It develops an understanding of everyone’s common responsibility to make human rights a reality in each community.

Human rights education constitutes an essential contribution to the long-term prevention of human rights abuses and represents an important investment in the endeavour to achieve a just society in which all human rights of all persons are valued and respected.

The High Commissioner is the coordinator of United Nations education and public information programmes in the field of human rights (General Assembly Resolution 48/141).

OHCHR is working to promote human rights education by:

* Supporting national and local capacities for human rights education in the context of its Technical Cooperation Programme and through the ACT Project, which provides financial assistance to grass-roots initiatives;
* Developing selected human rights education and training materials;
* Developing selected resource tools, such as a Database on Human Rights Education and Training, a Resource Collection on Human Rights Education and Training and a Web section on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
* Globally coordinating the World Programme for Human Rights Education.”

IGBarb says:  Sounds like a plan!


May 20, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. I agree with you. I also think that there is a great deal to do for artists. Their language is universal and reaches a lot of people with minimum effort. As an artist, actively supporting human rights campaigns, I have just launched a project protesting against Witch hunts and witch trials. Thanks again for your post.

    Comment by Ela | June 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. So nice….
    It is effort in the minimum words to put the full story.
    There is a need of its complete knowledge…u say right.

    Custom Essay

    Comment by malcom | October 18, 2010 | Reply

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