Human rights education and the United Nations
The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed it as central to the achievement of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): “
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms...
” —Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 Article 26.2 of the UDHR states the role of educators in achieving the social order called for by the declaration: “
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
” —Article 26.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states to ensure that children are enabled to develop a respect for their own cultural identity, language and values and for the culture, language and values of others. The importance of human rights was reaffirmed by the United Nations in the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action: “
The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that States are duty-bound, as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in other international human rights instruments, to ensure that education is aimed at strengthening the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
” —Paragraph 33, section 1 of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
States shouls strive to eradicate illiteracy and sould direct education toward the full development of the human personality and to the strengtheng of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. 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 curricula of all learning institutions in formal and non- formal settings. Human rights education should include peace, democracy, development and social justice, as set forth in international and regional human rights instruments, in order to achieve common understanding and awareness with a view to strengthening universal commitment to human rights.
” —Paragraph 79 and 80, section 2 of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action As a result of the Vienna Declaration the decade from 1995 to 2004 was declared the UN Decade of Human Rights Education. UNESCO has a responsibility to promote human rights education, and was a key organiser of the UN's Decade for Human Rights Education UNESCO attempts to promote human rights education through: •
Development of national and local capacities for human rights education, through its co-operation in development projects and programmes at national and sub-regional levels. •
Elaboration of learning materials and publications and their translation and adaptation in national and local languages. •
Advocacy and Networking Activities.
Following the Decade of Human Rights Education, on 10 December 2004, the General Assembly proclaimed the World Programme for Human Rights Education, and ongoing project to advance the implementation of human rights education programmes in all sectors: “
Building on the achievements of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), the World Programme seeks to promote a common understanding of the basic principles and methodologies of human rights education, to provide a concrete framework for action and to strengthen partnerships and cooperation...
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