First, it is appropriate to determine who is part of this World Programme. The NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning (NGO WG on HREL) of the NGO Committee on Human Rights, Geneva, comprising more than 50 NGOs (including OIDEL), aims to ensure civil society participation in the processes of global policy making on human rights education in relation to United Nations institutions, principally the UN Human Rights Council.
The World Programme for Human Rights Education is a global initiative, which aims to provide a common sense of purposes, goals, and action as well as an incentive to enhance human rights education around the world. Thus, two objectives of the NGO WG should be highlighted:
- To bring and share the views of the different stakeholders, particularly Member States, relevant intergovernmental organizations including UNESCO, national human rights institutions and civil society, regarding the focus on the fourth phase of the World Programme.
- Take this opportunity to address progress and challenges regarding the on-going third phase which strengthen implementation of the first two phases and promote human rights training for media professionals and journalists.
OIDEL was part of the joint written statement for the Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights including the right to development.
In previous sessions of the Council, one of the most repeated ideas was the importance of the acceptability and cultural appropriateness of the human rights educational programmes. In addition, some delegates stressed the need for a sound methodology that considered different cultural contexts.
The statement also highlights the importance of teaching the concepts of human rights to children correctly. Thus, teachers or instructors should always be respectful of cultural diversity, particularly of cultural minority children.
Likewise, it is necessary to quote the CESCR General Comment No.13 on the Right to Education, which highlighted the importance of education to be acceptable. The Comment understands “acceptable” as relevant, culturally appropriate and of good quality to students and parents.
The first three phases of the World Programme were focused on specific sector. Although resolution 59/113 determines that it is not necessary to focus on a specific objective, group or sector, but it is convenient to focus on a cultural approach to allow a better implementation of Human Rights Education.
Focusing now on the fourth phase, it can be said that it should address youth. One of the reasons is that youth are “critical agents of change” that will shape the future. Young people play an essential role in realizing human rights, peace and sustainable development.
As articulated in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, young people can defend, protect and respect human rights, they can contribute to the realization of a “pluralist and inclusive society”.
The results that the NGO WG expects are the following:
- The views of other stakeholders regarding the focus of the fourth phase of the World Programme.
- Up-to-date information on the other relevant initiatives on human rights education, including by exploring synergies with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Finally, OIDEL would like to promote any initiative in this area and to continue working for the protection of the right to education.