Human Rights Education 2017-05-26T19:59:28+00:00

What is Human Rights Education?

In 1993 the World Conference on Human Rights declared human rights education as ‘essential for the promotion and achievement of stable and harmonious relations among communities and for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and peace.’ Human Rights has been defined by the Council of Europe as ‘educational programmes and activities that focus on promoting equality in human dignity, in conjunction with other programmes such as those promoting intercultural learning, participation and empowerment of minorities.’ Amnesty International underlines that ‘human rights education is fundamental for addressing the underlying causes of human rights violations, preventing human rights abuses, combating discrimination, promoting equality, and enhancing people’s participation in democratic decision-making processes.’ Human Rights Education is thereby a process in which people learn about their human rights and the rights of others within an interactive learning environment. It seeks to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the creation of a human rights culture.

In December 2011 the General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training. The declaration recognises that ‘everyone has the right to know, seek and receive information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms and should have access to human rights education and training; and that ‘human rights education and training is essential for the promotion of universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, in accordance with the principles of the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights.’

Through Human Rights Education activities, the following can be achieved:

    • An emphasis on the importance of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
    • A cultivation of respect for human rights and human dignity;
    • The promotion social inclusion through an appreciation of cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic diversity;
    • The promotion of gender equality in the private and public sphere;
    • The endowment of individuals and communities with a spirit of active citizenship

Watch here a film developed by the United Nations which illustrates the impact of human rights education on school children in India, law enforcement agencies in Australia, and women victims of violence in Turkey (produced jointly with Human Rights Education Associates and Soka Gakkai International).

Read here a compendium of good practices on Human Rights Education in the School Systems of Europe, Central Asia and North America.

Human Rights Education Resources

This section provides a range of educational resources that can be used with young people for purposes of tackling hate speech as well as related themes, such as racism and intolerance, and for creating the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the creation of a human rights culture which has no space for hate speech, either online or offline

Human Rights Education

All Different All Equal: An education pack with ideas and activities of working on intercultural education with young people and adults.

BOOKMARKS: A Handbook for Combatting Hate Speech Online: A manual with information and activities of working with young people on the theme of online hate speech.

COMPANION: A handbook on education and learning for change within the framework of diversity, human rights, and participation.

COMPASS: A Human Rights Education Manual for Young People

COMPASITO: A Human Rights Education Manual for Children

DOMINO: A manual to use peer group education as a means to fight racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance

Gender Matters: A manual on addressing gender-based violence affecting young people

Practical Guides to the European Convention on Human Rights: These guides allow educators (and not only) to understand particular rights of the Convention in more detail.

Evaluating Human Rights Training Activities: A Handbook for Human Rights Educators

Human Rights Training: A Manual on Human Rights Training Methodology

ABC – Teaching Human Rights: Practical Activities for Primary and secondary Schools

Human Rights and Prisons – A Manual on Human Rights Training for Prison Officials

Human Rights and Prisons – A Trainer’s Guide on Human Rights Training for Prison Officials

Human Rights and Law Enforcement: A Manual on Human Rights Training for the Police

Human Rights and Law Enforcement: A Trainer’s Guide on Human Rights for the Police

Click here for the full range of activities produced by Amnesty International for human rights education
Handbook for Human Rights Education in Cameroon: This is a handbook with important information and resources on Human Rights Education which can be used by persons working in Cameroon and beyond.