Resolution on Human and Social Rights Education

The 6th World Congress of Education International (EI) meeting in Cape Town, South Africa from 22-26 July 2011,
1. Notes that:
a. the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights has developed a permanent World Programme for Human Rights Education;
b. the first phase (2005-2009) of the World Programme for Human Rights Education focused on human rights education in the primary and secondary school systems, and the second phase (2010-14) includes a focus on human rights education for teachers and educators;
c. a diverse group of education and human rights practitioners from all continents contributed to the development of the Plan of Action for the first phase and proposed a concrete strategy and practical ideas for implementing human rights education at the national level; and
d. the UN Human Rights Council is developing a United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, which is anticipated will be presented to the General Assembly for a vote in 2011.
2. Declares that
a. the right to human rights education is a fundamental right inherent in the dignity of the human person and is intimately related to the effective enjoyment of all human rights, in accordance with the principles of universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights;
b. human rights education and training concerns all levels — preschool, primary, secondary and university — and all forms of education, training and learning, whether in a public or private, formal, informal or non-formal setting; and
c. human rights education and training is an essential component of the right to education for all, as recognised in both the international and regional framework and the domestic law of different States.
3. Reaffirms the role of Human and Social Rights Education as:
a. an essential element in promoting and protecting human rights, including the right to education;
b. a tool to encourage commitment to social justice and solidarity with those whose rights are denied;
c. a tool to combat social prejudices and discrimination, as well as racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of bias;
d. a means to promote peace and democracy;
e. a basis for dialogue between different perspectives and as principles for living together and resolving conflicts justly and peacefully;
f. a way to develop thinking skills and skills to affect change;
g. an effective way for schools to be inclusive centres of learning that promote the human dignity of all;
h. a way to bring schools, parents and communities closer together, in an environment reflective of human rights values; and
i. a means of accessing decent working conditions and salary.
4. Affirms that:
a. human rights education embodies the principles and practices of human rights and is sensitive to issues of diversity and potential vulnerability such as poverty, social discrimination, inequality, race, gender, language, age, disability and sexual orientation; andb. educators and their unions play a vital role in initiating and developing human rights education.
5. Welcomes the work of EI on human and trade union rights and the lead that it takes in defending human and trade union rights worldwide.
6. Resolves that EI and its affiliate members should:
a. urge national governments to ensure that human rights education is embedded in the curriculum and education systems as a whole;
b. press governments to ensure that initial training and continuing professional development for educators provides a proper focus on human rights education;
c. ensure compliance with the same principles by the management of autonomous establishments when these provide training for educators; and
d. support educators in seeking to achieve these objectives.
7. Mandates the EI Executive Board to:
a. organise an international human rights education conference in 2013 to share best practice amongst affiliates in promoting human rights education;
b. explore external sources of funding to support the organisation of the conference
c. develop a section on the EI website on human rights education;
d. urge EI affiliates to campaign for the implementation of a programme by their governments on the issues outlined in 6 above; and
e. lobby international bodies to support governments in the fulfilment of their obligations to provide human rights education.

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