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Human Rights Education What UNESCO HAS Done and How UNESCO Could Assist Member States in Human Rights Education By Dra.Hasnah Gasim National Coordinator of Associated School Project Network Definition of Human Rights Education According to the Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), human rights education is defined as “training, dissemination and information efforts aimed at the building of a universal culture of human rights through the imparting of knowledge and skills and the moulding of attitudes directed to: (i) the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, (ii) the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, (iii) the promotion of understanding, tolerance, gender equality and friendship among all nations, indigenous peoples and racial, national, ethnic, religious and linguistic groups, (iv) the enabling of all persons to participate effectively in a free society, (v) the furtherance of the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace” UNESCO ‘s Role and Responsibilities in the Implementation of Human Rights Education Development of National Plans of Action on Human Rights Education Providing Support to Governments Providing Networks in Human Rights Education Publication of Documents on Human Rights education UNESCO as an International Lead Agency for Education , UNESCO is called upon “…to play a central role in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects under the Plan of Action of the UN Decade for Human Rights Education”, considering the Organization’s “…long experience in education, educational methodology and human rights and through its network.” UNESCO Networks for Mechanisms in Asia Pacific UNESCO could strengthen the following networks for mechanisms in human rights education in Asia Pacific: Asia Pacific Network for International Education and Values Education( APNIEVE) Asia Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding ( APCEIU) Associated Schools Project Network UNESCO Clubs UNESCO Human Rights Chairs Practice of Human Rights Education through School Life and Outside the school Human rights education should provide opportunities for young people to develop and practice the skills to respect human rights and citizenship through “school life” and through opportunities outside the actual teaching activities. Human Rights Education should include the following education: Education which builds the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity Education which contributes to the development of individuals who possess the skills to interact in a society Education which provides the learning and practice of human rights and teaches both human rights content and experiences. Education which builds a universal culture of human rights by imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes of human rights to be used in their daily life. UNESCO’s Actions in Human Rights Education 1.Provide Assistance in developing Educational Policies in Human Right Education: UNESCO should provide assistance to its member states in order to develop educational policies, which promote the values, attitudes and behavior related to a culture of peace and democratic citizenship ,the revision and continuous adaptation of learning materials, the training of educational personnel and the exchange of information and experiences. 2.Advocate the importance of universal values: UNESCO should advocate the importance of the inclusion of universal values within the education system and organize national forums and workshops to facilitate policy dialogue between all actors interested and involved in human rights education. 3.Secure National and Regional Capacities for Delivering Human Rights Education UNESCO should secure the existing and effective national and regional capacities for the delivering of human rights education and enhance the dissemination of documents/learning materials and best practices in the teaching and learning human rights education. 4. Use ASPnet to practice the teaching of human right education Schools associated with UNESCO should receive learning materials on the teaching of human rights education Experimental projects on human rights teaching implemented by schools should be shared by other schools and the best models in teaching human rights should be disseminated widely. Conclusion Finally, we hope that UNESCO’s actions as mentioned above could help member states in implementing Human Rights Education so that human rights will be implemented in the daily life of the people which will in turn create a peaceful community.
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