United Nations is one of the flagman organisation for advancing the work on human rights education with youth, one of the examples is the Plan of Action on World Programme on Human Rights Education which was adopted recently and targets specifically young people. Non-profit organisation are one of the resource-actors in advocating for the implementation of the programme, that's why they have a special role in consulting the Human Rights Council (HRC). Elisa GAZZOTTI, our newest HREYN member is someone to ask about the advancements in this collaboration.
Dear Elisa could you briefly introduce the work of HRC in HRE and involvement of CSOs?
The latest developments in Human Rights Education and youth at the Human Rights Council concerns the adoption of Resolution 39/3 in 2018 which decided, after an open consultation with diverse stakeholders including States, National Human Rights Institutions and civil society actors, to make youth the focus of the Fourth Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2020-2024). A year later, the Plan of Action for the Fourth Phase of the World Programme (A/HRC/42/23), was subsequently adopted by the Human Rights Council through resolution 42/7 (26 September 2019). Civil society and particularly the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning was highly vocal in advocating that the 4 th phase should focus on youth. After the adoption of the Plan of Action in December 2019 at the UN in Geneva, an inclusive workshop with young people from different part of the world was organized seeking their views on how to implement the Plan of Action in their own countries.
What kind of opportunities are out there for the NGOs advocating or practising HRE?
The Fourth phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education focusing on youth is a key framework for all of us advocating for, and practicing human rights education at the international, national and local levels. Currently, the COVID-19 crisis is exposing deep inequalities and structural discrimination in all our societies. This represents in itself a challenge and opportunity for all of us to even more strongly advocate for the implementation at all levels of Human Rights Education.
How do we keep ourselves up-to-date about HRE?
There are quite a few resources out there, starting for instance with the OHCHR website section on human rights education for youth.
NGOs also collect and compile a lot of materials on HRE for instance, UPR.info recently launched a new database where (among others) it is possible to find recommendations to States on HRE. In addition, in the NGO Working Group on HREL website you can find written and oral statements on HRE submitted during each Human Rights Council Session.
Also of course there is a lot of information on the Council of Europe website. Moreover, on the open resources website on human rights education there is also a section on updates where we try to keep up to date posts about the latest information
and activities on HRE.
The new website looks very interesting, what kind of resources could be found there?
Thanks so much. The website is an open resource tool aimed at promoting human rights education targeting particularly youth. To make it more accessible, we are currently working on translating it into French, Spanish and Arabic and to have it as an offline resource. On the first page you can view, and access, different sections: What are human rights, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, why human rights education now, what is human rights education, case studies of human rights education into practice, global initiatives, commitments by governments, actions by other groups.
Under success stories for instance, if you click on the button “learn more” you can see the world map with 5 case studies that introduce stories showing the concrete effects of human rights education. You can also press the button “take action” where which shows concrete actions that all of us can undertake based on the idea that respecting, promoting and protecting human rights begins with developing our own understanding and skills, and taking small steps in our immediate environment. For instance, under the category “create” there are ideas of what all of us can do. In addition, the open resource website includes the film titled “A Path to Dignity-The Power of Human Rights Education” which we launched in partnership with OHCHR and HREA with subtitles in 7 languages.
There is also a section on updates where we try to keep posting the latest information and activities on HRE.
Is it possible for NGOs to submit their practices to you?
Yes! That would be great!