National and International Initiatives for the Promotion of Human Rights Education
The Government has nominated the National Observatory for Human Rights as the focal point for the Decade and has translated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in local languages.
Argentina designated a focal point for human rights education. The focal point - the National Direction for the Promotion of Human Rights within the Office of the Under-Secretary of Social and Human Rights of the Ministry of Interior, through a project of technical cooperation established with OHCHR, has carried out, in collaboration with non-governmental organizations, a series of activities. These include training courses on human rights for teachers aimed at the establishment of a national network of teachers for human rights education; dissemination of human rights documents, such as the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child; establishment of a publicly accessible National Documentation Centre; preparation and dissemination of a bibliography on human rights education, which has been distributed to all educational establishments, governmental and non-governmental agencies, libraries and international organizations; human rights training for police officials and trainers; workshops on human rights and the penitentiary system; human rights training for lawyers and other members of the legal profession; establishment of a series of agreements with provincial and national universities in order to carry out joint projects; production of a publication on human rights ("Facts and Rights").
Recent activities have included human rights training for administration of justice officials (police, security forces, judges, etc.), teachers and governmental officials; conclusion of cooperation agreements with private and public universities and organization of joint initiatives; development of education plans at the provincial level; special events, such as school competitions, conferences and sports games; and public dissemination, also through a television and radio campaign, of the Universal Declaration.
In December 1998, the Attorney General announced the establishment of a National Committee for Human Rights Education, which brings together the expertise of business, community organizations and the Government in an endeavour to enhance human rights education in Australia. The Government provided seed funding for the Committee, whose work-plan includes: conduct a comprehensive audit of human rights education needs of the Australian Community; identify and assess current initiatives in human rights education; develop a national action plan for human rights education in Australia focussing on priority needs; in consultation with education delivery agencies, provide assistance in the development of comprehensive and effective human rights education programmes in priority areas; develop effective communication strategies for human rights education; communicate with international agencies and counterparts in other countries to make available best techniques and resources; supporting human rights education initiatives addressing Asia-Pacific needs; developing effective partnerships between Government, business and community sectors; review implementation and report progress.
The Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs has commissioned the Service Centre for Human Rights Education, established in the framework of the Decade at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, to initiate the systematic development of human rights education in Austria; it has focussed on the introduction of human rights education in Austrian schools, a programme supported by the Department of Civic Education and the Service Centre for Human Rights Education, established within the framework of the Decade at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights. Among the various activities undertaken, workshops and training of teachers are organized and appropriate material, such as the UNESCO publication Human Rights - Questions and Answers, are disseminated.
In June 1998, the President approved the "State Programme for Human Rights Protection" which provides for the Government to take specific measures in the following areas: development of specialized training in human rights, in particular through international exchanges; infusion of human rights in the school curricula, and publication of related materials; organization of various events with a human rights theme, such as school competitions and art exhibitions; publication in the national language of international human rights instruments; and production of specific material (newspaper, magazines, poster, etc.) to increase human rights awareness. In July 1998, the Government signed a technical cooperation project with OHCHR which also include human rights education and training activities. gotop
The Council of Ministers approved in March 1999 a National Plan on the Development of Education in Human Rights covering the period 1999-2004. The Plan, which focuses on the school system, aims at: disseminating the International Bill of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Law of the Republic of Belarus on the Rights of the Child, and other national and international instruments; creating a multilevel and comprehensive system of human rights education, incorporating different forms of education and information on the international human rights instruments into curricula and extra-school activities; developing and publishing textbooks, teachers’ guides; analysing new educational technologies and national and international experience in human rights education; furthering cooperation in the above-mentioned areas with the UNOSCE and the Council of Europe. In the framework of the National Plan on the Development of Education in Human Rights (1999-2004). The Ministry of Education, together with other institutions, has started working on the development of textbooks for school children, the organization of seminars for teachers from various educational establishments and of a National Conference on Human Rights in the Structure and Contents of Professional Education.
The Government is favourable to the integration of a national plan for human rights education and information into the overall national action plan for human rights, currently being developed with the assistance of OHCHR.
The Government requested technical assistance from OHCHR for the development of an overall national plan for human rights, which would include a national plan for human rights education and information.
Central African Republic
The Ministry of Justice, in close cooperation with MINURCA, organized in May/June 1999 a national seminar on "The impact of human rights in the national reconstruction process". This project was elaborated with the view of the adoption of a national plan of action for human rights education and promotion. The seminar gathered more than 200 participants, i.e. Government Officials, political parties, religious communities, NGOs and members of the civil society.
The Prime Minister has informed that a National Committee for Human Rights Education has been established in 1997.
Canada has prepared and is making available to the public a thematic and country-by-country human rights report based on United Nations sources. On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the federal Department of Canadian Heritage, in partnership with provincial ministries of education and non-governmental organizations, delivered several human rights awareness campaigns and programmes aimed at all ages. The Canadian Human Rights Commission also informed that human rights education is a regular part of its work and that it would support the establishment of a national plan, if such initiative was to be undertaken in Canada.
Chile forwarded some general information on human rights education in schools; the establishment of an interministerial committee for the Decade is under consideration. The Ministry of Education in Chile has informed that some related activities have been undertaken at the school level, such as the implementation of the education and democracy and women programmes, which include the dissemination of human rights pedagogical materials in schools, the training of teachers and the organization of school competitions. The Educational Reform being currently undertaken in order to include, in the school system, education for democracy, peace and human rights, involves four specific areas : programmes for improvement and pedagogical innovation; curricular reform; professional development of teachers; and Full-Time School Day. In addition, relevant complementary extracurricular activities are envisaged. The Ministry noted, however, that in order to properly implement Decade activities at the national level, an inter-ministerial task force would need to be created.
The infusion of human rights education in the school system is a process which started since 1986, in cooperation with the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights. Then, in 1990-1994, a Curricular Reform was implemented, which included the integration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the juridical and educational system. In 1994-1998, the National Commission responsible for the development of values education, including human rights education, was strengthened. In 1995, a course on the promotion and defence of the human rights and responsibilities was included in the Open Education Programmes for Youth and Adults, through a self-learning module. Finally, in 1998 the Ministry of Education, in coordination with other Ministries within Central America, published a series of modules for adult, non formal, lifelong and continuing education programme related literacy, one of which was dedicated to the promotion of human rights. In cooperation with OHCHR, Costa Rica organized an international Consultation on Pedagogical Foundations of Human Rights Education from 22 to 26 July 1996.
Cuba has reported some initiatives in the area of HRE, also in cooperation with international organizations such as UNESCO and UNICEF. The Government has focussed on the goal of making education accessible to all Cubans. In the school year starting in September 1998, a new school regulation - which will be open to discussion by students and will stimulate a debate on their rights and duties will enter into force.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia established, in 1996, a National Committee for Human Rights Education, a consultative body headed by the Minister of Education, consisting of 17 experts. The Committee has established a National Programme of Human Rights Education based on national and international human rights instruments and focussing on integration with programmes carried out in the framework of cooperation with international organizations (UNICEF, UNESCO). The Croatian Programme has been developed on the basis of a survey of other countries’ programmes conducted by a group of pedagogical science experts from the University of Zagreb and is composed of two sections. The first section has been completed and is now being implemented it targets pre-school education, lower and higher school classes and all types of secondary schools; a cross-curricular approach was undertaken, with the integration of human rights and civic education topics in all suitable school subjects, and various extracurricular and non-school activities; teaching aids and classroom materials are being prepared, and teachers’ and teacher trainers’ seminars being organized. Furthermore, a project with UNESCO entitled "Peace and human rights education for Croatian primary schools" has been started, and its implementation has been entrusted to the Department of Pedagogical Sciences within the Zagreb University Faculty of Arts. This project incorporates field research and the publication of textbooks. The second section of the Programme includes a human rights education strategy for the university system, for the education of adults and a media component. In July 1999, the Draft National Programme was circulated to NGOs, national minorities associations, legal experts and international and regional agencies for comments, and its final version is expected to be published by the year - 2000.
The Government has taken the initiative to set up a National Institute for Human Rights aiming at the widest possible representation. The main objectives of the Institute are to raise public awareness for human rights; to further educate civil servants, teachers, lawyers on human rights; to strengthen human rights education in Cyprus educational system at all levels; to strengthen the capacity of the mass media for human rights education through the use of appropriate means; to promote active engagement of national NGOs in the realization of the goals of the Decade; to establish a human rights library in order to enhance public awareness. Also, the Ministry of Education, after reviewing the current status of human rights education in schools, is developing new curricula and new teaching methods. gotop
The Ministry of Education has provided information concerning human rights education in schools; it affirmed that primary and secondary school curricula cover international human rights standards, and specific policy and materials have been elaborated in consultation with NGOs active in the field of the rights of the child. The Ministry also formulated the State Policy in Respect of the Young Generation which covers, inter alia, human rights education and calls for cooperation between the Government and NGOs in this area. This policy paper represents the Czech national programme to meet the goals set by the 1990 World Summit for Children.
As a joint project between the Ministry of Education and the Danish Centre for Human Rights, a plan of action has been established with the purpose of strengthening human rights education in the Danish primary and lower secondary schools and among the youth. The aim of the plan is to enable key personnel from training institutions and professional organizations to carry out their own training of teachers, as the basis for concrete training courses and the development of human rights education programmes in schools. Two courses for teachers were held in the Spring 1997 with the participation of representatives from teaching aid centres, county resource centres, teacher training colleges, the Royal Danish School of Educational Studies, the Danish Red Cross, the Danish Refugees Council, Amnesty International, DanChurchAid and a number of experts. As a resource tool for those courses, a bibliography of human rights education materials (including textbooks and magazines, audiovisual materials and databases) was compiled. Also, a human rights education bibliography will be published. Implemented activities led to a variety of projects on human rights in schools, educational resource centres and teacher training institutions. Furthermore, in December 1998, the Ministry of Education hosted an International Conference on Human Rights Education, organized in cooperation with the Danish Centre for Human Rights and the National Commission for UNESCO, which gathered teachers at all levels of education. Further initiatives to be launched during the second half of the Decade are now being considered.
Within the school system, following a National Conference on the Development of Primary-level Curricula in 1993 and of Preparatory-level Curricula in 1994, the Centre for the Development of Curricula and Teaching Materials started incorporating human rights, and in particular the rights of the child, women’s human rights and the prevention of discrimination against women, in those two levels of formal education. The approach chosen was the infusion of those issues in all school subjects and textbooks instead of the creation of separate classes. As a result of meetings organized with human rights specialists, the infusion is taking place through different courses of action: the incorporation of human rights in all schoolbooks, the development of accompanying fascicles for students containing practical activities and of teaching manuals for teachers. In addition, training courses for teachers, in order to discuss appropriate teaching strategies, are organized. The Ministry of Education is currently planning to hold a conference on the development of Secondary-level Curricula, and preparatory studies are being conducted.
The Government is receiving technical assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the development of an overall national plan for human rights, which would include a national plan for human rights education and information.
In April 1999, a National Committee for Human Rights Education was established, with the objective to formulate and implement a National Plan of Action for Human Rights Education. The Committee is composed of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Procuradur_a para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos and the Executive Technical Unit of the Coordinating Commission of the Justice Sector; it is envisaged that other governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations and relevant individuals will also be called upon to join the Committee. Local offices of OHCHR, UNESCO and UNICEF will provide support to the Committee in the development of the Plan. The National Committee for Human Rights Education organized in July 1999 a National Consultation, with the participation of representatives of governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations, in order to identify the needs and priorities for human rights education in the country.
The Government reported that the new Constitution (July 1998) provides for the establishment of a human rights commission, among whose tasks will be to promote human rights education.
A National Committee for Human Rights Education has been established jointly by the National Commission for UNESCO and the National Consultative Commission for Human Rights. It includes representatives from 11 relevant Ministries, such as Justice, Education, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs, Interior, Culture, Youth, Humanitarian Action, etc. Its mandate consists of: (a) conducting a survey on past/current activities in the area of human rights education; (b) assessing needs; (c) elaborating a plan of action. Four working groups have been constituted within the Committee to assess the state of human rights education in the following areas: primary and secondary schools; universities and higher education; adult education, including several professional groups (police, armed forces, judges, teachers, social workers, etc.); and activities undertaken by NGOs, associations and trade unions. Also, a national centre for information and training on human rights, publicly accessible and which was provided with a broad range of human rights documentation, was inaugurated in November 1996. The National Committee for Human Rights Education presented a report on the civic and human rights education curricula at the secondary school level, which illustrates the pedagogical objectives, the contents and reference materials for such courses. gotop
The Government of Germany informed that its contribution to the Decade is focussing on three areas. First, human rights education in schools where, even if the federal states have sovereignty over their school systems, the Basic Law, Lander Constitutions, laws, and legal and administrative regulations and several resolutions of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs specify human rights education as one of the educational objectives in all federal states. Accordingly, human rights education is deeply rooted in a number of subjects in schools of all types and at all levels. Second, a public relations and information campaign, aimed at encouraging the integration of foreigners and the dismantling of mutual prejudices among citizens through an information service, editorial services for local newsletters, radio programmes for foreigners and Germans and seminars for people working with foreigners. Third, some development cooperation projects aim at creating learning conditions which will enable broad sections of the population to gain insights into social and administrative processes and thus to exercise their rights.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice informed of some existing activities in the area of human rights education, such as seminars and workshops for professional groups and a mass education campaign to reach out communities; also, since 1994 a course in international human rights law has been offered at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana. The Commissioner pointed out the need of technical assistance in carrying out broad human rights education programmes, including the creation of a national committee for human rights education, as well as the establishment of a human rights resource and training centre. He expressed interest in facilitating the creation of a national committee for human rights education, as well as the establishment of a human rights resource and training centre and specific proposals were made in that regard.
Guatemala informed of a broad range of activities undertaken by various actors in the country; in particular it affirmed that a new impetus to human rights education was given by the signing of the Peace Agreement in 1996. The following most recent initiatives can be highlighted: the Ministry of Education elaborated textbooks for human rights education in schools, developed related training for its staff and courses by correspondence for adults. The Presidential Commission of Human Rights (COPREDEH) developed several human rights publications, seminars and radio programmes, and a CD-ROM containing more than 400 human rights and related documents; in addition, it organized seminars for trainers of the Ministry of Education and a total of 170 activities (in 1998) involving the general public, such as seminars and conferences; in 1999, it started the development of a Documentation Centre and the implementation of a General Cooperation Agreement with OHCHR to train the Commission’s personnel and judges and lawyers. The Procuradur_a de los Derechos Humanos, together with the Ministry of Education, is developing a programme for the integration of human rights education at the primary school level; in addition, it is implementing three specific training programmes targeting community leaders, public officials and the Procuradur_a’s staff. At the university level, professors’ training, development of postgraduate programmes, the establishment of human rights chairs and related activities have been undertaken, under the coordination of the Consejo Superior Universitario Centroamericano. Most of the activities mentioned were carried out with the support of various international organizations and aid agencies such as UNESCO, OHCHR, UNDP, the European Union and DANIDA.
From 1994 to 1997, the National Centre for Educational Resource and Development of the Ministry of Education, the Guyana Human Rights Association and Amnesty International/Guyana Section developed jointly the Programme "Human Rights Education for Citizenship", for primary and secondary schools, in the form of three cycles of national workshops. The aims of those workshops were the training of teachers and other school personnel and curriculum and materials development; in addition, campaigns to sensitize parents and the general public about human rights education were developed. In 1999, the Teachers’ Manual for Caribbean Schoolswas published as a result of the project, and was launched during the First Caribbean Human Rights Education Conference for Chief Education Officers and Curriculum Specialists (Trinidad & Tobago, April 1999).
The Holy See announced the creation of a National Committee composed of representatives of several institutions. gotop
The issue of Human Rights Education is one which has required a long term strategy and the involvement of all possible players, both governmental and non governmental. Since its inception in October 1993, the National Human Rights Commission has become an expression of India's concern for the promotion of human rights education. The Government of India had constituted a Coordination Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Home Secretary, comprising secretaries of other ministries and departments. The Committee requested the National Human Rights Commission to draw up a national plan of action for human rights education, to be vigorously focussed on by the Committee. Priority areas have been identified; these include the introduction of human rights education at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels; the inclusion of a qualification in human rights for recruitment in various professional categories; the preparation of training materials and organization of training courses for professional and other groups, such as security forces, doctors, lawyers, judicial officers, governmental officials, politicians, non-governmental organizations, trade unionists, religious organizations and village-level functionaries; and the organization of debates and seminars on human rights for the general public.
The Indian Institute of Human Rights (IIHR) was established on 10 December 1999 on the occasion of Human Rights Day at New Delhi with the main objective of providing formal, nonformal, lifelong and continuing education in the area of human rights at school, college and university levels, long and short term training programmes for teachers, police personnel, para-military and armed forces personnel, political parties, industrialists, trade union leaders, NGO activists, lawyers, journalists, and for launching a Post Graduate Programme in Human Rights for the accomplished individuals with a view to preparing a competent cadre of human rights academicians, activists and consultants for mitigating the human rights violations. More than 45 universities have participated in this programme by co-sponsoring the birth of IIHR. The UNHCR India Office has also assisted IIHR for strengthening the refugee law content of the Post Graduate Programme in Human Rights.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In collaboration with UNDP and OHCHR, the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Tehran is implementing a project for strengthening national capacities for human rights research and training, which will bring together faculty members, students and university graduates; it is expected that, among the results of the project, a volume of literature on different crucial human rights subjects will be published. In addition, the Government highlighted educational programmes carried out by NGOs (in particular, the Network of Women NGOs), the judiciary branch (which organized courses for lawyers and judges) and the Islamic Human Rights Commission (which organizes courses for various groups involved in law enforcement).
The Government provided information about two initiatives within the Department of Foreign Affairs, in consultation with NGOs, towards the elaboration of a national plan of action. In addition, it mentioned the work of the National Committee for Development Education (NCDE) which is composed of representatives from a broad range of groups involved in development education, including the former education sector; women’s and community groups; and NGOs. NCDE provides grant support for activities, including human rights education projects, undertaken by these groups. It is also involved in the integration of human rights in the school curricula.
A joint effort of the National Academy of Scientists and the Italian Government has produced a survey of human rights education and information in Italy which contains information on human rights education in primary schools, secondary schools and higher education (collected through specific questionnaires), on existing programmes for human rights training for professional groups (police, prison personnel, magistrates and lawyers, teachers, health personnel), and on the existing information about human rights among the public in general, with an emphasis on the role of the media. All the current activities of governmental and non-governmental agencies active in this area are reviewed, and detailed suggestions for improvement, addressed to the Italian Government, are made. Annexed to the survey is a list of documents relating to human rights education translated into Italian (including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and several United Nations documents, including the Plan of Action for the Decade) and a list of the addresses of all institutes and governmental and non-governmental agencies dealing with human rights education, which can be contacted and can provide materials for developing further programmes. The survey has been published and has been disseminated throughout the country, and in particular in all educational establishments.
After the establishment, in December 1995, of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Human Rights Education, chaired by the Prime Minister, a National Plan of Action for Human Rights Education has been released, on July 1997, which includes the promotion of human rights education and training at all levels (school, general public, corporations and civil society movements, professionals), specific programmes for special groups - women, children, the aged, people with disabilities, people with HIV infection, etc., and the promotion of international cooperation and other public information activities, such as symposia and conferences. Several NGOs such as the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism/Japan Committee, the Buraku Liberation League, the National Dowa Educators Association, the Japan Teachers Union and the International Human Rights NGO network have been very actively involved in these initiatives, including the elaboration of the Plan, the organization of training programmes and symposia and the development of publications. The Ministerial Liaison Council for Training related to Human Rights Education was established in July 1998, to promote the exchange of information on training programmes and materials in related ministries and agencies undertaken in 1998, six prefectures had already formulated a local action plan related to the Decade and 20 were considering formulating such plans.
Jordan has informed of a project for the introduction of human rights terms and concepts into school curricula, which includes the establishment of a committee of human rights experts (including representatives of the Ministry of Education and specialists in human rights), a workshop on human rights to be attended by drafters of curricula, a survey of existing textbooks to determine how human rights are presented, and the preparation of training materials and aids for school personnel and of reference sources for students. In addition, the Prime Minister has created the Jordanian National Committee for Education in Human Rights, which is entrusted with the development of a national Plan. Jordanian NGOs active in the human rights field constitute 50% of the membership of the Committee.
Republic of Korea
A variety of measures have been undertaken to promote human rights awareness, including the dissemination of human rights treaties through their publication and translation into Korean; the intensified provision of human rights education to public officials, the organization of a national programme of public lectures and symposia on human rights and the provision of legal aid services, through which fundamental human rights are publicized in medium and small-sized cities, as well as farming and fishing communities.
In addition, South Korea hosted a sub-regional Training Workshop on Human Rights Education in Northeast Asia (Seoul, Republic of Korea), from 1 to 4 December 1999. The Workshop, organized by OHCHR in cooperation with the Government, aimed at providing a forum within which selected participants from Northeast Asia occupying a position of influence in their respective educational systems could explore and discuss strategies and components for the development of human rights education in schools. It was organized both as a follow-up to the Asia-Pacific Framework for Regional Technical Cooperation agreed upon in Teheran in 1998 and as a contribution to the UN Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004).
Within the school system, human rights are taught in primary schools within the compulsory Civics subject, and in secondary schools as a optional course "Politics and Rights". In September 1995, as a contribution to the Decade, the University of Latvia established, within its Faculty of Law, a Human Rights Institute, with the purposes of providing human rights education to law students and students from other faculties; carrying out human rights research; publishing study materials, monographs and articles on human rights; establishing a human rights library; and organizing conferences and seminars. In 1995, the Centre for the Protection of the Rights of the Child was also established at the Ministry of Education and Science; it organized related seminars for school personnel and conferences on children’s rights. The Government also highlighted the on-going human rights education activities carried out by the Latvian National Human Rights Office, such as the production of publications and a series of TV broadcasts, and the maintenance of an Information and Documentation Centre.
In addition to specific activities undertaken within the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Ministry of National Education informed of various initiatives, such as the creation of a multi-disciplinary working group for the integration of human rights in the school curricula, the human rights training of teachers and the support to human rights initiatives undertaken independently by various schools, in collaboration with NGOs.
Within the school system, the 1997 Decree concerning pre-university educational curricula made provisions for a special national education and civics curricula, which provide extensive coverage of the rights of the child, women’s human rights and human rights in general. With effect from the academic year 1998/1999, the National Centre for Educational Research and Development has been publishing related textbooks.
The Government informed that it is focussing on human rights education in schools and other formal education settings, for instance, through the training of teachers and the organization of courses at the university level. The Social Sciences Unit of the Department of Education of Malta, in collaboration with national non-governmental organizations, has started a broad programme of human rights awareness in schools and has prepared training materials on the rights of the child, on tolerance and on human rights in general. It has also promoted in-service courses for teachers on human rights, tolerance and peace.
The Ministry of Education of Mauritius has set up a curriculum panel team to revise materials to be used in schools for human values education, and is working in close cooperation with a national non-governmental organization dealing with teacher training in this regard. gotop
At the initiative of the National Human Rights Commission, and in cooperation with various governmental agencies, in 1997-1998 a broad series of activities were undertaken, including: (a) training courses for public officials (immigration officers, police, security forces, prison officials, armed forces, health personnel, etc.); (b) courses on the rights of particularly vulnerable groups, in cooperation with those groups (women, indigenous peoples, children, migrants, prisoners, persons with disabilities and with HIV/AIDS, etc); (c) within the formal education system (including higher education and vocational training institutes), integration of human rights in the curricula, training of trainers, conferences and other activities; and (d) a public information campaign (including the development of the Documentation Centre of the National Commission, television and radio programmes, the development of the Commission Website, national awards and various publications).
As a contribution to the Decade, the Government of Morocco developed, as a joint effort of the Ministry of National Education and the Human Rights Ministry, a nine-year (1995-2004) project for the introduction of human rights education at the primary and secondary school levels, which is articulated in the following three aspects: the elaboration of pedagogical materials; the revision of school textbooks and curricula; and the training of teachers. The Government requested and obtained for the implementation of the project assistance from international organizations, such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Commission.
While the Government is discussing the possible establishment of a national platform for human rights education, various related activities are currently being undertaken concerning the school system, teaching materials are prepared mainly by NGOs on their initiative or in cooperation with the authorities, while the level of teaching human rights in the classroom is often left to the teacher’s discretion; at the university level, as a result of the collaboration of several law faculties, the School of Human Rights Research was established; human rights training for public officials, police and the military is institutionalized; as well as for people from developing countries. Public information campaigns are organized on relevant issues (for example, refugees and immigrants).
The Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee for Human Rights, established in 1995 within the Ministry of Justice, developed since 1997 a number of human rights training programmes for police, prison officials, military, and, in 1998, a series of human rights training workshops for key sectors (the private sector, parliamentarians, women’s organizations, regional Governors and NGOs). The Committee has been also active in curriculum development within the school system, within a regional project involving Zimbabwe and Mozambique. These projects were organized with the support of international organizations, in particular OHCHR, UNESCO, the Red Cross and the Commonwealth, and through bilateral cooperation. In addition, a Human Rights Documentation Centre was established at the Faculty of Law of the University of Namibia, on the initiative of the Ministry of Justice.
The Government reported on the existence of a National Human Rights Commission which is mandated to promote human rights education.
Since 1993, the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, as mandated in its statute, has been developing human rights education and awareness-raising programmes. Among its activities, the following have been reported: preparation of an educational materials for parliamentarians and distribution to each member of the Parliament (1996); development, in consultation with the Ministry of Education and with Teachers’ Associations, of a training resource materials for schools on the prevention of sexual harassment, and related training (1996-1997); publication of a training resource material for people with disabilities, in cooperation with the disability sector, and related training (1997-1998); development, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, of a human rights module for primary, intermediate and secondary schools (1998- 1999). In 1999, an agreement has been signed with the New Zealand Association of Citizen’s Advice Bureau, which maintains more than 90 offices on the national territory, providing each office with a human rights education presence. In addition to the Commission, also the Human Rights Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been engaged in raising awareness of human rights issues in the country.
A Working Group on Human Rights Education, established in 1980 within the Advisory Committee on Human Rights under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was given new terms of reference in 1995, in connection with the proclamation of the Decade. The Group, which has an advisory role and whose secretariat is assured by the United Nations Association of Norway, should consider and discuss, by its own initiative or upon request from the Ministry, issues relating to human rights education. It is composed of representatives from the Ministry of Education, the teacher’s organizations, the Norwegian Commission for UNESCO, the Norwegian Committee for UNICEF, the Norwegian Red Cross, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Amnesty International and some other relevant NGOs. In addition, the Government, in April 1999, as requested by the Parliament, has decided to develop a comprehensive national plan of action for human rights education and information, whose coordination is responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs, in cooperation with other relevant ministries. The Plan was expected to be submitted to the Parliament by the end of 1999, as a component of a general White Paper on Human Rights.
Panama, in cooperation with the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights, UNESCO and DANIDA, has developed a comprehensive national plan of action for human rights education in schools which includes: a survey on the state of human rights education in schools, a revision of textbooks, training of teachers, workshops, establishment both of a network of human rights trainers and of a National Commission to Promote Human Rights Education and Learning. An agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Inter- American Institute of Human Rights was signed, concerning technical cooperation for human rights education related activities. The Ministry of Education and the Panamanian Electoral Tribunal have concluded a civic electoral education agreement, with the aim of fostering democracy among young Panamanians through education. A five-year community project initiated with the support of UNESCO and the Celest_n Freineth Institute, in 1995, entitled "Tolerance and Education for Democracy, Human Rights, Peace, and Development", as part of the United Nations Year of Tolerance. gotop
The National Council for Human Rights reported on initiatives undertaken (a) within the school system (in particular, the scope and content of the New Curricular Proposal for secondary schools), (b) by the Ministry of Justice (events targeted at administration of justice officials, such as judges and lawyers, but also at teachers and students; preparation of publications), and (c) by the Ministry of Defence and the Interior (respectively, training courses for armed forces and police, and the elaboration of related materials; and the development of specific joint programmes with NGOs, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education).
A National Plan of Action for human rights education was prepared by the Philippine Commission on Human Rights. The Plan includes clear objectives, target audiences (organized and unorganized elements of society), strategies (trainers’ training, organization of networks, integration of human rights in all educational curricula, utilization of village-level officials to reach out the community level, promotional campaigns including artistic and cultural activities, development of monitoring and evaluation systems, etc.) and programmes, including the creation of a human rights training, documentation and research centre (the Human Rights Academy). In the implementation of the Plan, the Commission has entered into a number of formal agreements with other national partners for human rights education, to define in detail specific areas of responsibility, such as Amnesty International/Philippine Section, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Liga NG MGA Barangay (an organization of barangay captains or village chiefs), the Department of Justice, the Department of National Defence, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, and the Commission on Higher Education. This coalition has conducted, since November 1996, consultative workshops to elaborate human rights education plans at the national and regional levels. A national gathering of all regional delegates, human rights practitioners and advocates from both the private, non-governmental and government sectors was hosted by Amnesty International/Philippine Section in February 1997, in order to produce a long-term national plan inclusive of a national vision, mission and objectives for human rights education in the Philippines. Among the recommendations of the consultation were: passing of executive order creating a national inter-agency committee to implement the national plan; establishment of an ad hoc inter-agency task force for each region; development of a memorandum of agreement with all concerned agencies; creation of the National Association of Human Rights Educators, formed by all participants to the consultation and endowed with specific responsibilities in the implementation of the Plan. Finally, the years 1998-2007 have been proclaimed the Decade for HRE in the Philippines.
The "National Commission for the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education" was created through a resolution of the Council of Ministers in April 1998. Although functioning within the framework of the Council of Ministers, the Commission is independent from the Government, due to its statute and the majority of its members, which are institutional representatives, representatives of NGOs or independent individuals. The Commission is presided over by the former President Soares, and is composed of representatives from the Parliament, the Ombudsman office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education, the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, the Secretary of State of the Council of Ministers and the Secretary of State for the Media. In addition, all major national human rights non-governmental organizations (Civitas - Association for the Defence and Promotion of Citizen’s Rights, Forum Justice and Liberties, Amnesty International/Portuguese Section, Law and Justice - Portuguese Section of the International Commission of Jurists, and the Portuguese Association of Women Jurists) are represented in the National Commission. The National Commission has developed a broad Plan of Action for the Decade, which covers the period 1999- 2004. The Plan includes activities to be undertaken within the framework of State organs and governmental agencies; seminars, congresses and other awareness-raising initiatives; activities to be developed within educational establishments, civil society, local communities and mass media; a series of learning tools, such as videos, publications and other material; and dissemination strategies.
Romania has informed establishment of a National Committee in February 1996 whose secretariat is assisted by the Romanian Institute for Human Rights, and whose members are representatives of relevant ministries and non-governmental organizations.
Republic of San Marino
The Government has distributed in December 1998, a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to each secondary school student of the country; in addition, it has financially contributed to the OHCHR’s project for the global dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which constitutes one of the objectives of the Decade.
The South African Human Rights Commission is promoting human rights education and is working on Decade related issues with the Ministry of Education.
National focal point established. National committees for HRE at the state level to be established very soon.
The Slovak Republic presented a survey on human rights education in schools, at the university level and for armed forces and police officials. In particular, as far as the formal education system is concerned, activities recently undertaken included the "Human Rights Olympiad for Secondary Schools", the development/ adaptation of methodological guides for teachers (such as First steps, a guide developed by Amnesty International and endorsed by the Ministry of Education), the organization of seminars for methodologists and teachers of civic education and training courses for teachers organized by the Human Rights Department of the Comenius University of Bratislava. The Government requested assistance from OHCHR in the elaboration of a national plan for human rights education, as a component of an overall national human rights plan. gotop
In January 1998, the Ministry of Education appointed a committee to survey human rights education at the national level and to make recommendations for improvements. Meanwhile, human rights are taught in schools at all levels, and related materials (including free access to the Internet) are made available. At the university level, several law faculties have compulsory courses in human rights (at Lund University the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is active). Specific public information campaigns against racism and xenophobia and on the Holocaust have been launched recently. Various human rights publications are widely disseminated, such as a bibliography of human rights literature published in Sweden over the past 50 years, as a joint project by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with various NGOs, and training material for teachers developed by a broad NGO coalition.
The Federal Department of the Interior has appealed to the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Public Education to enhance human rights education in schools. In addition, it has advised various national agencies and non-governmental organizations which regularly organize human rights education and public information campaigns, such as the Federal Commission against Racism, the Swiss Foundation for Education and Development and the Swiss League for Human Rights.
In May 1998, the Human Rights Coordinating High Committee adopted the "Regulation on the establishment of the National Committee for the Decade for Human Rights Education" and established a national advisory committee for the Decade, consisting of representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministries of Justice, the Interior, Foreign Affairs, National Education, Health, and Culture, as well as four representatives of relevant voluntary institutions and academics with experience in this field. In July 1999, the National Committee published the Human Rights Education Programme of Turkey (1998- 2007), which is composed of the following parts: introductory chapters; priorities of human rights education in Turkey and main target groups; present state of human rights education and relevant proposals of the National Committee, directed to the following sectors: primary schools, high schools and universities; law enforcement officers attached to the Ministry of Justice; law enforcement officers attached to the Ministry of Internal Affairs; mass media; and NGOs. Following the proclamation of the Plan, a circular was issued by the Prime Minister in August 1999 to ensure implementation of the Plan by the Ministries of National Education, Interior and Justice, who will report periodically on this issue to the Human Rights Coordinating High Council.
A National Commission for human rights education, composed by representatives from the Ministries of Education, of Higher Education and Scientific Research, of Youth and Childhood, of Women and Family, of Culture, of Information, of Health, Justice, Interior and Foreign Affairs, from the Higher Committee for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and main relevant non-governmental organizations and associations, has been set up. A Human Rights Documentation, Publication, Research and Study Centre linked to the Higher Committee for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has also been established. The National Commission has prepared a preliminary report, containing information on the status of human rights education in primary schools, secondary schools and higher education, on existing programmes of human rights training for professional groups (such as law enforcement agents, magistrates and lawyers) and in professional training centres, on programmes addressed to vulnerable groups (children, including juvenile offenders, women, people with disabilities, detainees) and on the existing information about human rights among the public in general, with an emphasis on the role of the media. The Government also stressed the important role of the Arab Institute for Human Rights, based in Tunis, in the dissemination of a culture of human rights through the organization of several national and regional seminars. Finally, the Government illustrated its envisaged national strategy for human rights education, which includes close cooperation with United Nations agencies.
In May 1995, the Government issued a decree regarding the programme of legal education of the population of Ukraine, which provides for a wide range of activities in the field of human rights education. In pursuance of this resolution, educational programmes in the field of human rights targeted to different age groups are being developed throughout the country; priority is given to children. Within this general framework, the Government has requested OHCHR to provide a number of institutions (ministries, institutions of higher education and libraries) with human rights publications so that governmental officials, students, researchers and readers may have easy access to international instruments and information on human rights.
With regard to the school sector, the July 1997 White Paper "Excellence in schools" provided for collaborative consultations in order to review the National Curriculum; in that framework, an Advisory Group on Education for Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools, including human rights education, was set up.
The National Centre for Human Rights has elaborated a national Plan of action for human rights education and public information. Among the activities included in the Plan are initiatives addressed to high-school and post high-school institutions and the Academy of the Ministry of Interior; seminars for various professional groups, for NGOs leaders and on women’s rights; translation and publication of UNESCO and OHCHR documents and of international instruments; and other public information activities, such as the production of brochures, posters, TV shows, etc.). This Plan is implemented with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Conrad Adenauer Fund.
Human rights education is being introduced as an integral part of the national human rights plan, developed as a joint effort of governmental authorities, non-governmental organizations and the National Commission of Human Rights. Workshops and regional meetings of teachers are organized by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with various NGOs, such as Amnesty International/Venezuela, the Red de Apoyo para la Justicia y la Paz and the Programa Venezolano de Educaci_n-Acci_n en Derechos Humanos (PROVEA). Relevant materials (such as the Valija Didactica: Educando en Valores developed by Amnesty International/Venezuela) are disseminated in all schools. An International Seminar on Human Rights, in which representatives of different sectors and NGOs involved in educational activities participated, was organized in July 1998. Lastly, the Ministry of Education informed OHCHR that various school programmes, activities and educational materials on the rights of the child have been developed in cooperation with UNICEF and the Centros Comunitarios de Aprendizaje (CECODAP).