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NEW DEVELOPMENTS in HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION IN EUROPE Audrey Osler University of Leeds International Conference on Human.

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Presentation on theme: "NEW DEVELOPMENTS in HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION IN EUROPE Audrey Osler University of Leeds International Conference on Human."— Presentation transcript:

1 NEW DEVELOPMENTS in HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION IN EUROPE Audrey Osler University of Leeds International Conference on Human Rights Education Soochow University Taiwan 20 April 2004

2 Outline Human rights and a changing Europe Human rights education and democratisation HRE: learning to live together HRE in schools

3 Europe today: the Council of Europe

4 The Council of Europe founded in 1949 (11 member states) 2004: 44 member states aims to promote peace, justice and international co-operation inspired by United Nations engages in shared actions for the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms all member states are required to sign the European Convention on Human Rights (based on Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

5 Europe Today: the European Union

6 The European Union (EU) founded in 1957 (6 member states) today: 15 member states from 1 May 2004: 25 member states originally economic co-operation, as the basis of greater understanding between countries formerly at war European Union now makes explicit reference to human rights as its basis eg: in Maastricht Treaty 1992 member states confirm: ‘an attachment to the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and of the rule of law’.

7 Processes of democratisation long established democracies eg: Britain, France, Sweden former dictatorships (1970s) eg: Spain, Greece, Portugal post 1989 democratisation eg: Slovenia, Hungary, Poland countries in the process of democratisation eg: Macedonia, Albania

8 Education and democratisation democratisation of national education systems education for democracy human rights education a key element of democratisation transnational programmes: eg: human rights education programmes - education for democratic citizenship - education for European citizenship

9 Human Rights Education and education for citizenship in Europe at school level HRE is commonly an element of citizenship education HRE is a foundation of citizenship education citizenship education: local, national, regional, global NGOs work in partnership with schools, government agencies and international partners

10 Learning to live together

11 Human rights education: learning to live together An educated citizen will be confident about his or her own identities and will work to achieve peace, human rights and democracy by: developing skills to cope with change working collaboratively to solve problems respecting diversity, according to gender, ethnicity and culture recognising no individual or group holds the only answer negotiating with others on the basis of equality resolving conflict in a non-violent way protecting the environment, developing a sustainable lifestyle (from UNESCO, 1995)

12 A Cross-cultural encounter, travel and exchange: youth exchange between Northern Ireland and Poland programme of visits, social events, workshops encouraged individuals to reflect on own identities focused on young people’s health and on tolerance of others IMPACT: increased self-esteem, recognition of own identities, increased openness to those who are ‘different’ in own communities

13 Understanding exclusion and discovering active citizenship linked work between high schools in Finland, Greece and Britain to investigate voluntary organisations working with disabled, homeless, victims of violence and racism students participated in own time as well as in classroom reported to other countries, through newsletter learned how people were working to ensure others’ rights based on students’ own research

14 Human rights education in primary schools

15 cooperation between teachers in Irish Republic and in Northern Ireland coordinated by NGO designed to support teachers in teaching about UN Convention on the Rights of the Child children learn about own rights and responsibilities develop skills to enable them to defend and promote human rights experience respect and responsibility (not just taught about them)

16 Understanding needs and rights

17 Human rights in schools: Council of Europe guidelines R(85)7 1.Human rights experience is an important element of the preparation of all young people for life in a democratic and pluralistic society 2.Human rights concepts can be taught from an early age 3.Opportunities for HRE can be found across the curriculum, particularly in history, geography, social studies, language, literature, moral education, economics 4.Human rights inevitably involve politics. Teachers should have international agreements and covenants as a starting point. Avoid imposing personal convictions on pupils

18 5.Skills -listening, discussing -making judgements -social skills 6.Knowledge - key people and events in the struggle for human rights - covenants and declarations - positive examples - concepts: justice, equality, freedom, peace, dignity, rights, democracy 7.Climate: democracy is best learned in a democratic setting where views can be expressed and discussed and where there is freedom of expression for pupils and teachers

19 8.Teacher Training: Future teachers should be encouraged to take an interest in national and world affairs - be taught to identify and combat all forms of discrimination 9.Schools and teacher training colleges should be encouraged to celebrate International Human Rights Day

20 Our world, our rights

21 Conclusions Human rights are built upon international agreements Human rights education is being taught as part of citizenship education in schools Human rights education is essential beyond school Human rights education needs to involve NGOs Transnational initiatives are invaluable Teacher education and training is needed in human rights

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