Human Rights Education

ACEI UN Representative Cassandre Guibord Cyr attended the High-Level Panel Discussion on the 5th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education & Training on 14 September 2016. You can read highlights from her report below. For her full report, click here.

The Fifth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, panelists and state representatives exchanged information on best practices and their national initiatives regarding human rights education.

A predominant topic was the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its Target 4.7, calling for education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development. Panelists and country representatives also referred to the Global Education First initiative and the World Programme for Human Rights Education.

Many representatives expressed the will of their states to use the 2030 Agenda and Target 4.7 as a framework to further develop their national tools and provide human rights education. The representatives spoke of the intention to expand education to as many actors possible, such as policymakers, the armed forces and police forces, teachers, children, and teenagers, through renewed curriculum. They also plan to reach out to the media and indigenous groups, emphasizing that human rights education brings a more stable and peaceful society. The state representatives expressed the belief that human rights education is imperative to create participative and inclusive societies where diversity is respected. They also called for increased international cooperation and the creation of technical global and regional partnerships to achieve the goals of the declaration as well as the SDGs, in order to protect fundamental rights and foster safe, inclusive societies for all. Many representatives sought increased accessibility of resources and publications.

The four panelists characterized the 2030 Agenda as a renewed opportunity to achieve an integrated approach for human rights education. To achieve these goals, they seek a stronger emphasis on human rights education by all actors, including the private sectors. More resources need to be allocated, new partnerships need to be created, and the UN initiatives such as SDG Target 4.7, Global Education First, and the World Programme for Human Rights Education need more support.

H.E. Ms. Sonia Marta Mora Escalante, Minister of Education, Costa Rica
H.E. Ms. Flavia Piovesan, Secretary for Human Rights at the Ministry of Justice, Brazil
Mr. Driss El Yazami, Chair, National Human Rights Council of Morocco
Mr. Herman Deparice-Okomba, Executive Director, Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, Montréal (Québec), Canada.

Background Documents:
Human Rights Council resolution 31/21 of 24 March 2016, “Human rights education and training”
Evaluation of the implementation of the second phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, A/HRC/30/24 of 16 July 2015 and A/HRC/30/24/Corr.1 of 4 September 2015
Human Rights Council resolution 27/12 of 25 September 2014, “World Programme for Human Rights Education: Adoption of the plan of action for the third phase”
Plan of action for the third phase (2015-2019) of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, A/HRC/27/28 of 4 August 2014 and A/HRC/27/28/Corr.1 of 26 August 2014
General Assembly resolution 66/137 of 19 December 2011, “United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training” 
General Assembly resolution 59/113A of 10 December 2004, “World Programme for Human Rights Education”
Movie: Documentary A Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education (2012)

Anne Bauer