Thursday, December 10, 2015

International Human Rights Day in Education




"On Human Rights Day, let us recommit to guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms and protecting the human rights of all."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Today, December 10 we celebrate the International Human Rights Day. A day to mark the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on 10 December 1948, is one of the most profound works of human civilization. It asserts, for the first time in history, the equality of all human beings, without distinction, in law and in dignity.



Credits: UN (1950)

This year’s theme Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. 

The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms - freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear - which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago. 



© UNICEF/UNI195353/Georgiev

Education:

Every year I write about Human Rights in educationEducation should encompass values such as peace, non-discrimination, equality, justice, non-violence, tolerance and respect for human dignity. 

Quality education based on a human rights approach means that rights are implemented throughout the whole education system and in all learning environments.




credits: Council of Europe

All schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Teachers have a crucial role on the alert of iliteracy, poverty, child labour cases among their students.

In our days, teachers help students draw attention to situations like students living below poverty line in their own schools, or countries. And this year, of course, they will alert students to many children among refuges who came to Europe.




credits: Council of Europe

As educators, we can hold events at the school to draw the attention of the students, and start school campaign fighting the injustice of poverty, solidarity, peace among our students. 

We live in developed countries. Sometimes our children live hard times. Incredible. How can students be successful in school curricula if some of them come to school without taking a good meal? Unbelievable.






Let us draw inspiration from some good actions to strengthen respect for human rights of children and young adults. 

Teachers can hold activities and events at school. We must stimulate the interest  of our students every day by acting well every day. Fighting  injustice of inequality, promoting solidarity, non-descriminitation, respect and similar values.

This holds the key to more inclusive and stronger societies, to live in peace and to strengh the work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.



Credits: Council of Europe


Children should be able to learn about children rights and access information on their rights. 

The Council of Europe has therefore produced child-friendly material which is available in different languages. It's free. Students will have access to the 
 website of the Council of Europe Programme Building a Europe for and with children.

Teachers are encouraged to use and disseminate this material. 





Right to Education
Intl Human Rights Day 2015
credits: Unesco

Some Activities:

  • Read the Universal Declaration of Human RightsUDHR has been translated into at least 398 languages and dialects;
  • Wear a t-shirt on Human Rights Day you and your students. Make or have a t-shirt made just stating that it is Human Rights Day. 
  • Ask your students to write out a specific article from the United Nations Declaration : Article 26- Education - is a good one.
  • Organize film series, book discussions, workshops, seminars, debates among students, parents, on human rights;
  • Go out school with your students to help other young people and old people within  your community;

Resources:

  • Primary education:



  • Secondary education:







For more this year's theme and the year-long campaign, see the website of the UN Human Rights office.

"Respect for rights is not an abstract commitment enshrined in a charter, it is a daily fight and every day we must renew the practical means of waging that fight."
Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General

G-Souto

10.12.2015
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