Türk calls for policies supporting human rights education programmes
HRE programmes can help enable more resilient and meaningful participation both online and offline.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk called today for policies supporting human rights education programmes, particularly “prioritising young people in situations of exclusion or vulnerability” to ensure no-one is left behind.
“Young people must be leading in planning, designing, and implementing these programmes for their peers,” he said.
“By encouraging inclusion and participation, preventing violence and conflict, promoting solidarity and ensuring right-based responses to crises, human rights education constitutes a crucial investment for building a just, peaceful and sustainable future.”
Human rights education (HRE) refers to a wide range of educational participatory processes that aim to develop learners’ knowledge, skills and attitudes, enabling them to exercise their rights and respect and uphold the rights of others.
“HRE empowers children and young people to become active citizens at a time when they explore the meaning of belonging to a community and society,” said the High Commissioner. Among other things, HRE helps nurture critical thinking and identify, dispel and debunk disinformation – an increasingly important skill in today’s world.
HRE programmes can help enable more resilient and meaningful participation both online and offline. As such, human rights education is a powerful antidote to the tremendous challenges undermining the basic fabric and social cohesion of our societies, such as inequality, discrimination and violence, said Türk.
The UN Human Rights Office is launching a film at the Human Rights 75 Youth Dialogue in Geneva on 11 December documenting the stories of seven young human rights educators from across the world. The 56-minute film, “Changemakers: stories of young human rights educators”, is co-produced by UN Human Rights, Amnesty International and Soka Gakkai International. It is being screened as part of events marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has been developed in the context of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005-ongoing), a global initiative launched by the UN General Assembly to encourage national implementation, currently focusing on youth.
Each month in 2023, the UN Human Rights Office has put the spotlight on a series of human rights issues, enshrined in the Universal Declaration, in need of concrete and urgent action from States and other duty bearers. Human rights education is the final spotlight in the series.