Human Rights Education
Human rights education is a way of preparing the ground for reclaiming and securing our right to be human. It is learning about justice and empowering people in the process. It is a social and human development strategy that enables women, men, and children to become agents of social change. It can produce the blend of ethical thinking, action, and participation of people in the decisions which shape their lives, that is needed to cultivate public policies based on human rights. It opens the possibility of creating a human rights culture for the 21st century.
Governments' Obligations and Commitments to Ensuring Human Rights Education for All
What commitments have Governments made to ensuring Human Rights Education for All?
Includes excerpts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN General Assembly Resolution 49/184, establishing UN Decade for Human Rights Education, 1995-2004, the World Plan of Action on Education for Human Rights and Democracy, and commitments made at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, and the World Conference on Women in Beijing.
- "Everyone has the right to education.... Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms...."
- -- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26
- "... human rights education ... should constitute a comprehensive life-long process by which people ... learn respect for the dignity of others and the means ... of ensuring that respect in all societies.... human rights education contributes to a concept of development consistent with the dignity of women and men of all ages that takes into account the diverse segments of society such as children, indigenous peoples, minorities and disabled persons.... Each woman, man and child, to realize their full human potential, must be made aware of all their human rights...."
- -- UN General Assembly Res. 49/184, establishing UN Decade for Human Rights Education, 1995-2004
- "... education for human rights and democracy is itself a human right and a prerequisite for the realization of human rights, democracy and social justice...."
- -- World Plan of Action on Education for Human Rights and Democracy
- "The World Conference on Human Rights considers human rights education, training and public information essential for the promotion and achievement of stable and harmonious relations among communities and for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and peace..... The World Conference on Human Rights calls on all States and institutions to include human rights, humanitarian law, democracy and rule of law as subjects in the curricula of all learning institutions...; recommends that States develop specific programmes and strategies for ensuring the widest human rights education and the dissemination of public information, taking particular account of the human rights needs of women."
- --Vienna Programme of Action, paras. 78, 79, and 81
- "Human rights ... are the birthright of all human beings; their protection and promotion is the first responsibility of Governments.... Actions to be taken by Governments:... Develop a comprehensive human rights education programme to raise awareness among women of their human rights and raise awareness among others of the human rights of women...."
- --Beijing Platform for Action, paras. 210 and 230
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
tel: 212.749-3156; fax: 212.666-6325;