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ANNUAL REPORT 2001

People's Movement for Human Rights Education
(PDHRE)


 

PDHRE is happy to present its 2001 annual report that includes reports on its major programs, and notes from its board of directors meeting. The organization had stayed close to its mandate to promote, organize and facilitate the learning about human rights as a powerful tool for social transformation and the strengthening of democracy everywhere.

The 9/11 tragedies affirmed the critical need for dialogue and discussions about human dignity, social justice and democracy for all. It is an imperative to eliminate violence and hate and to enable people to belong in community in dignity and respect. We believe that a human rights culture will contribute to the acceptance of the humanity of the other and insure human security and peace.

We will continue In our mission to have people know and claim their human rights to bring human rights to  all now!


MAJOR PROGRAMS

1. Human Rights Cities

In the years 2001, PDHRE, has continued to facilitate the development of Human Rights Cities. Seven cities are implementing on going programs; these are: Rosario, Argentina -pop. one million; Thies, Senegal –Pop. 300,000, including 10 Human rights villages; Nagpur, India - pop. 2.8 Million and Kati, Mali – pop. 50,000. Te Abra Indigenous Municipality in the Philippines - pop-250.000. Dinajpur -Bangladesh, pop- one Million; and Graz, Austria, pop 250,000.  The programs in each of the seven cities are driven by an exciting and expansive definition of human rights learning as a tool for political, economic and social change.  Each of the seven cities held numerous learning programs with the following constituencies: The Police, the judiciary, University students, indigenous groups, women and labor groups. Town hall discussions in several of the cities led to participation of citizens in the development plans and budget consideration of the cities. In each of the cities workshops were held discussing the position of women in society and the issues of gender equality. In Many of the schools of these cities the Universal Declaration was taught from k to 12 followed by art shows and theatrical reading of the declaration. The training of teachers was part of this effort.

In general the human rights education seminars and workshops held in the cities highlights the normative and empirical power and limits of human rights as a tool in individual and collective efforts to address inequalities, injustices, and abuses at home, in the work place, in the streets, prisons, courts, and so on.

In a Board meeting held in June 2001 it was decided to expand the development of human rights cities in the regions PDHRE is working: South Asia, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa.

The guidelines for the further development of human rights cities will be drawn from the experiences of the seven human rights cities and the various strategies and methodologies developed by the various Steering Committees of Human Rights cities.

By the end of the year several workshops and public meetings were held both in Accra , Ghana and Barcelona, Spain  where plans for developing two additional human rights cities  have been initiated.
 

2. Regional Learning Institutions for Human Rights Education, RLIHRE  

During 2001 the Four RLIHREs in Mali-Africa, Philippines-Asia Pacific, Argentina-Latin America and India-South Asia, were established. Inaugural meetings were held in India and in Mali followed by various seminars and workshop for teachers, community leaders, the police and women groups also in Argentina and the Philippines. Each one of the RLIHREs being adjacent to one of the human rights cities, trainees undertook fieldwork in human rights education at the community level.

At the June Board meeting a decision was made to hold two six week training of trainers workshops, twice a year, in each of the RLIHREs. These workshops will service community leaders chosen from the NGO community in the specific region. These seminars aim to support a new generations/cadres of human rights educators who will establish ongoing programs for learning about the human rights in their communities. 

To further develop the curricula and the pedagogy for these TOT an experts meeting was held in Mali.  Decision were taken to include in the curricula a broad array of subjects such as: international financing, political economy, psychology, sociology, cultural diversities, human rights and human rights education for social transformation with a special focus on gender issues

 

3. Learning About the Human Rights of Women

Numerous training about the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, CEDAW, were organized and facilitated by PDHRE. These were held in Nigeria, Uganda, Mali, South Africa, Villages in Tamil Nadu, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Manila, Taiwan, Peru and Costa Rica. For that purpose it has used visual and written materials, introducing a holistic human rights framework to women These materials include: “Women Hold Up The Sky” a dramatic video series accompanied by a manual  “Between their stories and our realities...”, a comprehensive training manual designed for educators and participants alike. (Available with English, French and Spanish subtitles.)

At the world Human Rights International meeting on Racism, held in Durban, South Africa the organization held a full day workshop on Breaking Through the Vicious Cycle of Humiliation” examining patriarchy as a root cause for human rights violation and racism. Representatives of the organization had also participated in several panels and held special sessions with various governments representatives on the issues of racism and human rights.

4. Publications

During 2001 the editing of Passport to Dignity was completed and brought to print. This workbook connects the 12 areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action to the human rights framework.

Call For Justice a Human Rights Resource Packets –a companion to “Passport”, was also completed. Its aim is to build awareness of the governments’ human rights commitments and obligations.

Web Site

Britannica Website editors have selected and awarded PDHRE’s website as ”one of the best on the Internet when reviewed for quality, accuracy of content, presentation and usability”: http://www.pdhre.org 

 

GENERAL NOTES FROM THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors, at its June 2001 meeting, analyzed the gaps and needs in the international arena regarding in-depth training and learning about human rights and its relevance to human, social and economic development and human security. Further discussed was the imperative of developing human resources committed to promote the understanding and integration of the human rights framework in policy discussions and international program development. The Board also noted the numerous requests from Missions to the UN and international organizations to learn about the relevance of the human rights framework in their national and international policies and resource development.

As a result of these discussions the Board has decided to establish an International Learning Institution for Human Rights Education in New York City.

Some of the objectives identified by the Board are:

- Hold on going training of trainers seminars and learning workshops with members of the international community such as UN Agencies, UN Personnel, Government’s Missions to the UN, and International NGOs working on economic and social justice, to assist them in developing pedagogies specific to their needs; and to facilitate the integration of the learning about human rights as well as an integrated gender perspective in their training activities, so as to include the holistic human rights framework in the development of policies, resources, decision making,  bi and multi lateral activities.

- Facilitate the integration of human rights education in the multitude of various training seminar and workshops now offered by agencies such as UNITAR.

- Research and further develop methodologies, pedagogies, impact evaluation processes, written and audio visual materials, to be translated into many languages, to enhance the holistic learning about human rights throughout societies. 

- Hold international collegiums on human rights education for social transformation that aims to develop critical thinking and systemic analysis, using the human rights framework as a guideline for meaningful change. (Breaking through the vicious cycle of humiliation.)

- Create a reflective space for human rights educators and community leaders from around the world to share experiences and further develop the praxis of human rights education for social transformation at the community level to support human rights education within diverse groups and cultures.

- Network, consult and facilitate, as needed, the activities of the RLIHREs.

In General PDHRE, as advised by its Board and staff, continued its intervention at UN meetings on development, women, and environment. It held workshops and meetings on ESCR at the request of various communities, and prepared materials and concept papers for the World Conference Against Racism. Furthermore, Human Rights advocates from around the world attending yearly seminars at Columbia University in New York received on going tutoring in the pedagogy of human rights education.

 

Prepared and Submitted by Shulamith Koenig/ Executive Director  

 

For more information, please contact PDHRE:

The People's Movement for Human Rights Education (PDHRE) / NY Office
Shulamith Koenig / Executive Director
526 West 111th Street, New York, NY 10025, USA
tel: +1 212.749-3156; fax: +1 212.666-6325
e-mail: pdhre@igc.org


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