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People's Decade of Human Rights Education
Organization Overview
& Activities Reports: 1995-2000
Activity Report 1999-2000

Report From the Director

Activities Report:

Major Programs

New Initiatives


Board & Staff

1999-2000 Annual Report

People’s Movement for Human Rights Education


PDHRE, People’s Movement for Human Rights Education,
and its five regional offices, Restructuring and
consolidating its international activities


PDHRE, has added a new description to its name : People’s Movement for Human Rights Education Human Rights Education (PDHRE), announces its five newly established PDHRE regional offices. In South Asia, South East Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. These regional offices have been established as part of the restructuring of the organization that started in September 1999. As in the past these funds will enable PDHRE to:

  • Strengthen and further consolidate in three regions our ongoing projects at the community level, on the learning about Economic Social and Cultural Rights ESCR and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, CEDAW.
  • Continue to facilitate the five human rights cities (Graz, Kati, Nagpur, Rosario and Thies.)
  • Develop the Asian/African/ Latin American Learning Institution for Human Rights Education, ALIHRE. (This is an innovative institutional framework for human rights education that will draw upon our rich experience and extensive networking.) The Institution aims to develop a new vocation, i.e. human rights educators. Community leaders from major African/Asian NGO’s and community groups will be trained at the ALIHRE in the holistic methodologies for human rights education for social and economic transformation. Returning to their countries the "educators’ will develop national programs of mass learning about human rights throughout grassroots communities
  • Strengthening our outreach potential through the five PDHRE regional offices in Bamako, Graz, Manila, Mombai, and Rosario. (The regional PDHRE office in Graz is in partnership with The European Training Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, ETC) \
  • Continue our investigation to develop a membership organization that will enhance our financial capacity.

PDHRE will continue its focus on three ongoing projects and two long-range initiatives.

Ongoing projects include, as in the past three years:

  1. the further expansion of our community-based workshops with non human rights
  2. organizations on economic, social, and cultural rights;

  3. the facilitation of the five human rights cities, and the development of new ones aiming to have a total of 10 such cities with in the next two years, and
  4. the ongoing development of our publication program, in print and via our award winning Web Site.


The two long-range initiative are:

1. Learning institutions for human rights education, LIHRE. The project involves young leaders and activists from each of the regions who will participate in learning and developing methodologies and strategies for national plans of HRE. Extensive training will be held for 6 to 10 weeks for participants to be chosen from 10 countries, at a time. They will be learning to develop a political culture based on human rights. These include:

    1. the development of the Pan African LIHRE in Mali
    2. The Development of the Asian LIHRE in India.
    3. We will investigate the development of an LIHRE in the Americas

2. PDHRE developing with various associates, such as HREA and The Center in Atlanta, an international membership organization that would provide support for the Learning Institutions worldwide.

These five PDHRE offices are replacing the London office..

The grassroots ESCR seminars, the CEDAW training programs, the Human Rights Cities and mostly the ALHREs present the full range of our initiatives and programs which are being developed into a globally- integrated system of human rights education and promotion. PDHRE has now institutionalized its activities and is consolidating its rich experience, networking, outreach, and vision.

The PDHRE network consists of a New York international secretariat, the five newly founded regional offices, a Governing Board, an advisory board, national affiliates, and an ever-growing network of educators, international consultants, human rights advocates, journalists, and, most importantly, community workers. PDHRE stresses outreach to social groups and activists who, while not consciously working within a human rights framework, are involved with issues such as social and economic justice, women’s issues, housing, health care, labor, trade and investment, and the environment. PDHRE’s regional offices work to advance the development of human rights cities and the ALIHREs. The national affiliates – who will in the future be connected with the regional offices, are those who have adapted PDHRE’s holistic approach to the learning about human rights, sharing methodologies, strategies and materials of their work on social and economic issues. This international network is constantly enlarged with groups that have been born and nurtured of PDHRE’s training activities and institutional and financial support for which PDHRE is directly and indirectly assisting in training of trainers and the fundraising .

PDHRE constantly assists and supports, who ever approaches it, groups or individuals, who work at the community level, to develop a multiplier-ripple effect for the learning about human rights that leads to the claiming of human rights for all. Be it through invitation or seeking out new partners with the potential to move human rights education forward, PDHRE sees its efforts as an imperative for sustainable social and economic change. Our focus on coalition building –such as the development of four PDHRE regional offices, consolidates and reflects our conviction that when people learn about human rights and own them as a birthright, they are capable of systemic analysis and take actions to eliminate the causes of human rights violations


Benefits, assistance and program activities provided around the world by PDHRE and detailed description of the activities.

During the last three years PDHRE continued to carry out major Educational Programs in the following areas:

A. Human rights education on women’ human rights.

B. Human rights education at the grass roots level for non human rights organization.

C. Researching, publishing and disseminating educational materials

D. Training youth groups

E. Conducting human rights training programs at UN and conferences

F. Developing human rights Communities

G. Developing African and Asian Learning Institutions for Human Rights Education, ALIHRE

Summary of activities 1999-2000

PDHRE has made substantial progress during the 1999-2000 in grounding its projects regionally and institutionalizing its international programs and outreach.

In 1999-2000, the following activities took place toward achieving the goals of the organization:

In 1999, an informal evaluation by Board Members took place:

-on one hand to assess the achievement of 10 years of activities and

-on the other hand to see how to further institutionalize the vision and experience.

It is important to note that the original vision that had established the organization, i.e. promoting throughout all societies holistic learning about human rights as a value system protected by International law and as an ideology which fully encompasses people’s aspiration for economic and social justice, still remains as our principle of action!

Major categories of accomplishment were noted up to the year 2000:

  1. Creating International public policy for the learning about human rights as an imperative for human development. (Evident in the many Summits’ Declarations and plans of action.) (In this context, Decade of Human Rights (PDHRE) had re-defined human rights education and contributed greatly to the development of an HRE world movement, yet to be moved to understand human rights holistically and as a powerful tool for action.)
  2. Vigorously introducing holistic human rights learning to the international women’s movement and developing a global methodology for understanding CEDAW.
  3. Working at the grassroots level to bring up to par the understanding of ESCR with and for non human rights community groups for developing systemic analysis and economic and social change.
  4. Facilitating the historic development of the first three human rights cities ‘Moving power to human rights", i.e. members of the community examining and enforcing human rights laws, policies, resources and relationships as a result of learning human rights as related to their daily lives., concerns and aspirations.

It was also noted that this major accomplishment which must be continued with vigor, was achieved with minimum staff and minimum funding, i.e. in general, funding for project do not include but a small fraction for institutional support and the outcome is enormous in relations to the input of funds.

PDHRE has over the past two years been able to strengthening its working relationship with its active partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America; and to discover the ways and means to institutionalize its regional and international work. Furthermore, it enabled the New York office to further develop the "human rights education and human security" initiative, thus establishing the partnership with the European Training Centre, ETC, an NGO in Graz, Austria.

PDHRE Activities 1999-2000

PDHRE was able to organize numerous activities and some new initiatives in pursuance of its institutional goals. The activities can be grouped under the following general categories:


  1. Preparing text, design and layout of PDHRE brochure, its publication and dissemination.
  2. Editing the Text and Designing two Resource Packets 1.Connecting 20 social justice issues to the human rights framework, and 2.Trade and investment and the human rights commitments and obligations, prepared for general use in PDHRE workshops and the WTO conference in Seattle (2500 of these two resource packets were sent around the world within 10 months).
  3. Preparing Discussion Paper for WTO Seattle conference (November/December 1999)
  4. Preparing Discussion Paper for UN Conference on Trade and Development’s Millennium meeting (Bangkok, February 2000)
  5. Preparation for the Millennium Forum a discussion paper on Human Security and Human Rights Education
  6. Preparation of materials for a three day international conference of human rights educators to develop a statement of human rights education and human security.
  7. Preparation of materials for the PrepCom of LDC’s, connecting the issues of poverty and development to the human rights framework.
  8. Preparing for publication the world report on Human Rights Education for Social Transformation " Making the Connection"
  9. Preparing for publication "Passport to Dignity"
  10. Re editing in three languages – English, French and Spanish- The Manual " Their Stories Our Realities" a companion to the Video training Series on CEDAW. "Women Hold Up the Sky" (500 sets of Video and Manual were disseminated around the world).
  11. Preparing Resource Packet for special interest groups at their request.


  1. Attended, participated and held workshop at special meetings of the UN, such as: CEDAW, Social development, Sustainable Development, Millennium Forum, CSW, Beijing plus five, and UNDP.
  2. Continued its communication strategy by using several list serves to promote its workshops and seminars especially on ESCR and CEDAW
  3. Participated regularly in the Human Rights Education list serve, to promote discussion on holistic learning about human rights and direct contact to share experiences and share networking.
  4. Provided ongoing resource and referral service on human rights education and related issues to interested citizens, other NGOs and media persons
  5. Liaised with media and issued regular press releases on PDHRE, and partner organization INCHRITI’s (International NGO Network on Trade and Investment), assessment of WTO ministerial conference (Seattle, November/December 1999)
  6. Organized launch of book on human rights and globalization in cooperation with ICDA, INCHRITI and Global Publications Foundation during WTO Seattle Conference (November 1999)
  7. Devised communication strategy to inform NGO and CBO peers, policy makers, media and others about creation and activities of PDHRE London office using variety of e mail listserves, NGO networks and existing contacts.
  8. Attended variety of NGO campaigning meetings and fora with academics and policymakers to publicize PDHRE’s work and network with peers



1. Advocated on need for human rights education and a human rights framework:

-in international trade and investment policy at WTO Seattle conference (Seattle, December 1999)

-in international trade and development policy at UN Conference on Trade and Development (Bangkok, February 2000)

-for domestic and international social policies at PrepCom for 5th Review of the UN Social Summit (New York, April 2000)

2. Advocated the inclusion of Human Rights Education in the NGO document prepared at the Millennium Forum for the Millennium Summit

3. Advocated the inclusion of Human Rights Education as an imperative for Social development at the Copenhagen Plus Five, prepCom.

4. Members of the Board of PDHRE advocated the inclusion of "Human Rights Education as a strategy for Human Security" in the documents of the H-8 intergovernmental Human Security Initiative.

5. Participated in the HCHR meeting in Japan, of the Asian Intergovernmental meeting on human rights Education.


Human Rights Education workshops with a focus on ESCR, held by PDHRE staff members.

One day public Teach-In on Human Rights and the World Trade Organization during the Ministerial Conference of the WTO (Seattle, November/ December 1999)

  1. Panel debate on Human Rights and World Trade with senior trade officials (including one minister), leading academics, UN officials and NGOs during the Ministerial Conference of the WTO (Seattle, November/ December 1999)
  2. Workshop in Mombai with grassroots women organization at the Yuva Offices (December).
  3. Workshop with Street Children at a Children Shelter. ( Mombai , December)
  4. Workshop with Dalit Leaders in (Chennai, December)
  5. Workshop in Dalit villages ( December)
  6. Workshop with European and Indian NGOs working in Dalit villages (Aurovile, December)
  7. Workshop on human rights and globalization at NGO Forum during the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s Millennium Conference (Bangkok, February )
  8. Workshops with Sudanese, Malian and Senegalese men and women ( Theis Senegal, February)
  9. Workshops with Government and NGOs and educators (February, Bamako and Kati Mali)
  10. Workshop at Barnard college ( New York – March)
  11. Workshop with Human Rights Advocates, Columbia University ( New York, March))
  12. Workshop with Educators at Teachers College ( New York, March)
  13. Panel debate on human rights and the global economy during the PrepCom for 5th Review of the UN Social Summit (New York, April)
  14. Workshops on human rights and the WTO and human rights education on ESCR at international conference on enforcement of human rights. (Cleveland, April)
  15. Workshops with activists from Nigeria, Congo and Rwanda (New York, May.)
  16. Workshop at the Copenhagen plus five meeting (Geneva, June.)
  17. Workshops on CEDAW- with special focus on ESCR ( See below) ( New York, June)
  18. Workshop, UNDP staff members ( July, New York)
  19. Organized a 3-day forum for youth on human rights jointly with Atlantic College in South Wales, UK. Sponsored by the Commonwealth of Learning and the British Institute of Human Rights. (Atlantic College, October 2000)

PDHRE special events, field work and development meetings

1. Five day meetings at the Nagpur, human rights City . The meetings workshops and consultations included YUVA’s staff members, Lawyers, educators, municipal workers, academicians, environmentalists, youth groups, medical students, women, children, labor, development and religious groups, Municipal workers and more., to develop the plan of action and declare Nagpur a " Human Rights Sensitive City" (Participated from PDHRE: Malini Mehra, Miloon Kotahri and Shula Koenig, Nagpur, December, 1999.)

2. Seminars and dialogues at the Human Right City, in Thies, Senegal. Meeting with the Governor, local facilitators, neighborhood centers, human rights villages and women groups. (Koenig and Modrowski, Senegal, February )

3. Development meeting in Mali with Adama Samassekou and the training institute in Kati . preparation for PDHRE, Mali. ( Koenig, Modrowski, February.)

4. One day meeting with representatives from Senegal, India-Dalit, Congo, and Nigeria with several PDHRE members and advisors discussing the African and Asian Learning Institution for Human Rights Education –ALIHRE (New York, April.)

5. Six week field work in Mali including initial investigation on developing a human Rights City in Kati, Developing the Board for PDHRE- Mali including several workshops on pedagogy and methodology (Kathleen Modrowski,- April May )

6. Training of Trainers on CEDAW: Two major workshops in English and Spanish.

7. The Conference on Human Security and Human Rights Education was initiated by PDHRE and organised by the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, ETC, (Graz) and the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Human Rights (Vienna) at the Karl-Franzens-University of Graz with the financial assistance of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the City of Graz and the Government of Styria. Several PDHRE members and partners have participated. (Graz, June.)

8. PDHRE representative participated in a training for the Federal Funding Program after being accepted as member for receiving funds for Federal workers.

9. Several days consultation and planning with Pamela Collet in preparation of developing an HRE program with women groups in Somalia.

10. Special 2 day consultation with several academic members of the PDHRE Board on proposal for Learning Institutions for Human Rights Education and closer cooperation with academic institutes. ( London, June.)

11. Meetings with Bhutanese Refugees, living in Nepal and New York, facilitating with them an advocacy program in the USA and HRE in the camps. Also with a Pakistani Parliamentarian requesting to Open a PDHRE affiliate in Pakistan.

12. Discussions and consultation with Bedouin in the Negev, the Mayor of Ma’alot- Tarshicha and WATC, a Palestinian women’s organization, to develop programs for human rights education and a human rights city in Israel and/or Palestine. A seven day workshop for 25 young leaders from the Bedouin community will take place next February in the Negev. (Israel/Palestine – August /September.)

During 1999-2000, as part of the institutionalization process, four new members were added to the Board of Directors:

-Adama Samassekou, Former Minsiter of education, Mali

-Justice Richard Goldstone, South Africa

-Virginia Dandan, Chairperson of the ESCR Committee, Philippines

-Fantu Cheru, Prof. Of Africa and Development Studies, American University, Special Rapporteur on Structural Adjustment and the Debt.


  1. PDHRE Mali was established in Bamako Mali, now developing the infrastructure for the African learning Institution for Human Rights Education (ALIHRE). A Human Rights City is being developed in Kati, Mali, as grounds for field work for the ALIHRE.
  2. PDHRE Asia is being established in Mombai, India in collaboration with YUVA . developing the Asian LIHRE.
  3. PDHRE- Latin America is being established. Activities have been accelerated –regardless of lack of funding - at the Human Rights City in Rosario, Argentina, with more workshops and seminars taking place with and for the police, women groups and university student focusing their activities of HRE with the Toba people.
  4. PDHRE Europe is being established as a partnership with the European Training Centre for Democracy and Human Rights, ETC- Graz, Austria to assist in fundraising for projects in the south. It will also facilitate the development of a Human Rights City –the first in Europe- in Graz and initiate regional outreach.
  5. PDHRE asked Loretta Ross to be its representative at the various meetings preparing the UN Conference on Racism. (June-Geneva, July-Warsaw)
  6. 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."  The PDHRE web site ( http://www.pdhre.org) is a valuable educational resource for holistic human rights learning.
  7. During the year more workshops on ESCR were held by local organization supported and guided by PDHRE in Nepal, Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Sri Lanka.

Information on Major Partner Organizations:


The Institute of Gender, Law and Development in Rosario Argentina, promotes women's rights through law and policy reform and works to bring about the domestic application of international human rights norms for the achievements of women’s rights. The institute conducts on-going seminars and training on cultural, civil, economic, political and social human rights from a gender perspective, and promotes advocacy and action on these issues as related to women’s lives.

Contact Person: Ms Susana Chiarotti
Rosario, Argentina
Tel/Fax: +54 341 4370 874
Email: insgenar@tau.org.ar



YUVA, based in Mumbai and Nagpur, India, is dedicated to educating and empowering street children and developing advocacy and policy on the issue of child labour. Over the years it has worked with more then 40,00 children, training youth to develop self-help educational programs, support groups, and hotlines on issues of heath and child labour. It also conducts training for marginalized groups such as the Dalit people in slum areas, focusing on systemic change towards poverty alleviation with a special focus on women’s issues in these communities.

Contact Person: Mr Minar Pimple
YUVA, Mumbai, India
Tel: +91.22.414 3498/ 4155250, fax: +91-22-413 5314
Email: yuva@vsnl.com 

TOSTAN (The African Regional Office is being developed in Mali By Adama Samssekou and with the collaboration with TOSTAN)

TOSTAN works in the rural areas of Senegal, often in partnership with UNICEF, holding training and training of trainers workshops on the human rights of women and children. It focuses on the rights to health and education which have led to villages –women, men and religious leaders declaring an end to Female Genital Cutting. It is also training facilitators from various West African countries to develop culturally sensitive strategies and methodologies for human rights education at the village level. TOSTAN is also developing unique human rights training manuals for illiterate people in collaboration with the people of the community.

Contact Person: Ms Molly Melching
TOSTAN, Thies, Senegal
Tel: +221-951-10-51
Fax +221-951-34-27
Email: melching@telecomplus.sn

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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