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The Campaign for Human Rights Education for ALL

Realising Rights will defend the Human Rights Act but we think that you have to understand what Human Rights are and why it's important to defend them. If you don't understand them and how they protect you, the individual and how they can promote a fairer and socially just society, they it's hard to defend them.  That's why we support HRE4ALL - the Campaign for Human Rights Education, which is a coalition of organisations (ACT, Amnesty, BIHR, Bingham Trust Liberty, Realising Rights and RightsInfo) and individuals who are involved in education and Human Rights.


In line with the international treaties / agreements (listed below) Human Rights Education (HRE) is to be realised as a right for all.

1.   Through the campaign a shared and evolving understanding of HRE will be developed based on the following nine principles:  

2.   Modelling human rights based values and attitudes in school leadership and teaching

a.  Developing relevant knowledge and skills which are clearly linked to the human rights system, instruments and standards 

b.  Enabling participation and empowerment of young people and adults alike

c.  Being learner-centred

d.  Applying interactive and participatory learning methodologies

e.  Highlighting accountability and rule of law

f.  Modelling and promoting non-discrimination, equality and the protection of vulnerable groups

g.  Modelling and promoting community cohesion

h.  Encouraging action and change to build a universal culture of human rights

(Based on Danish Institute for Human Rights publication HRE Toolbox) 

3.   In signing up to the international agreements, listed below, and in particular The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the government of the UK has the responsibility to take the lead in the realisation of this right. Provision needs to be made for HRE to be embedded in the policy and practice of the Education Departments of all jurisdictions of the UK. The Education Department's policy and practice must ensure HRE is be incorporated into:
        i. Requirements of, and courses for, school leadership and initial teacher education
       ii. School inspections
      iii. Teaching standards

4.   The rights of young people as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child shall be incorporated, promoted and respected by all schools.

6.  The implementation of Human Rights Education is to be monitored and evaluated.

Eleanor Roosevelt in a speech to the United Nations (1958)

“Where after all do human rights begin? In small places close to home. Unless these rights have meaning there,

they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home,

we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."

"But to uphold their rights, citizens need first to know them.

“Progress in the larger world must start with human rights in just those small places, close to home.”

Major international agreements on Human Rights Education supported by the UK

From the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

“Every individual and every organ of society … shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms…’

From the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 29 (ratified by UK in 1991)

1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:

(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;

(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;

(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;

(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;

(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.

From the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, 2011

Human Rights Education …. provides persons with knowledge, skills and understanding, and develops their attitudes and behaviours, to empower them to contribute to the building and promotion of a universal culture of human rights. 

From the UN Sustainable Development Goals (adopted by the UK and the other 192 member states of the United Nations in 2015)

4.7. By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

From the Council of Europe’s Charter for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (adopted as a recommendation by all 47 member countries in 2010)

h. Ongoing training and development for education professionals and youth leaders, as well as for trainers themselves, in the principles and practices of education for democratic citizenship and human rights education are a vital part of the delivery and sustainability of effective education in this area and should accordingly be adequately planned and resourced.