The importance of human rights education has been reiterated in/at:
The World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993 which called on states to include human rights, democracy and the rule of law as subjects in the curricula of all learning institutions in formal and non-formal education.
The decision taken at the second Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (1997) to launch an initiative for education for democratic citizenship with a view to promoting citizens’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities in a democratic society.
The Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1682 (2004) calling for a European framework convention on education for democratic citizenship and human rights education to be drafted.
The call by the 7th Conference of European Ministers responsible for Youth in 2005 for a framework policy document on education for democratic citizenship and human rights education.
The World Programme for Human Rights Education adopted by the General Assemble of the United Nations in 2005.
According to the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education, Human Rights Education means “education, training, awareness raising, information, practices and activities which aim, by equipping learners with knowledge skills and understanding and developing their attitudes and behaviour, to empower learners to contribute to the building and defence of a universal culture of human rights in society, with a view to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Human Rights Education establishes a culture where human rights are understood and respected and thereby ensures democracy, social justice and tolerance. By implementing Human Rights Education Projects AEQUITAS seeks to achieve the following:
- Emphasize the importance of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
- Cultivate respect for human rights and human dignity
- Promote social inclusion through an appreciation of cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic diversity
- Ensure gender equality in the private and public sphere
- Endow individuals and communities with a spirit of active citizenship
“Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace”.
Article 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.