Human Rights Education

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Human Rights Education (HRE) according to Shiman 1999 is ‘all learning that develops the knowledge, skills and values of human rights’. If HRE is effective then it can change a person’s values, attitudes and behaviour which could potentially be life changing (University of Minnesota, 2009).Despite the widespread recognition of the importance of education and that education is a basic human right; there are staggering statistics to show that many people go without a basic education. Many children miss out on good quality education or any type of education at all due to political and religious conflict against their right to an education. Throughout this essay challenges to HRE will be critically discussed and examples of the challenges to HRE will be given using case studies. The question of why education is so significant in today’s society is often raised. However many people do not see that education is perhaps one of the most important factors in life. Without education it would be virtually impossible for the world to develop and to eradicate poverty and famine. Through education society can move forward due to people gaining skills and knowledge which give them the ability to devise new ideas to help improve the world. The ability to gain a good job with high pay all comes from a good education and money enables a person to have a better future and live in comfort (Dr. Diamond, 2007). It has been proven that the more educated a person is the more likely they are to live a healthy life style. This is because they are also more likely to utilise health facilities and health information which is available for everyone, this makes a positive impact on their health (Pyke, 2003). This means that education can also lead on to the eradication of diseases such as HIV and AIDS, as a good education equips girls and boys with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to stay away from such diseases (UNICEF, 2010). Health is vital in life and without an education a person’s health is likely to suffer and consequently leading to a shorter life span. Many political conflicts end in war, which is very difficult to escape from once invloved. The former president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, launched his takeover of the country by using a trained group of soldiers which consisted predominately of children. These children were engaged as soldiers from a very young age and spent their younger years immersed in a world of violence. Constant engagement in violence can have serious affect on ones values and morals; by witnessing violence constantly it is likely that they will believe that violence is correct. Child soldiers will become guided by violence instead of becoming a part of society that wants to create peace. The basic human right to an education is denied from child soldiers as they are needed to defend their country. During the wars in which they fight many schools are destroyed, teachers flee and the government tend to put all their resources into the war rather than in to services such as education. This makes it very difficult to return to education after they are finished fighting in war (Wessells, 2007). However some child soldiers view their life style as a good thing and believe they are not missing out on education as they are still learning through war. In Sierra Leone many teenagers join the rebel army named the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). They join this group voluntarily in order to gain training, knowledge and skills. Some teenagers say that they learnt to read by studying revolutionary literature distributed by the RUF. In a country like Sierra Leone where there is a lot of war and conflict it is viewed by many that joining groups such as the RUF is the only way of gaining some sort of education and building a future (Wessells, 2007) In countries where children are denied education poverty seems to be paramount and a bleak future is insight as children grow up without the...
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