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HREA Online - August 2010

In this issue

- From the HREA staff: Recent policy developments in human rights education
- Third issue of Research in Human Rights Education Papers
- Arab Institute and HREA launch 20th edition of Anabtawi summer school online
- HREA conducts training workshop for staff of Ontario Ombudsman for Children and Youth
- Introductory e-course on rights of refugees and displaced persons

From the HREA staff

Dear colleagues and friends of HREA,

Recent months brought some interesting political and policy initiatives to promote human rights education.

The draft UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training was moved to the next stage by the Human Rights Council in its most recent session. The Declaration is expected to enhance commitment to human rights education by UN member states and send a message that human rights education is a crucial tool to prevent human rights violations and to realise a global culture of human rights. At the same time the Declaration would codify human rights education as a human right. HREA provided substantial input into the last version of the draft, which is expected to be finalised in 2011.

The Plan of Action for the Second Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education has also been drafted, with HREA providing detailed input. This Plan of Action will be finalised later this year.

In May, the Council of Europe member states adopted the Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education. The Charter provides an important policy framework for the future of education for democratic citizenship (EDC) and HRE in Europe. HREA and network members gave significant input to the development of the Charter and we have promoted it at several European fora over the past years, including the European Parliament. The Charter underlines, among other things, the importance of monitoring & evaluation mechanisms at the national level to measure impact, and calls on governments to make more resources available for EDC and HRE. It also acknowledges the important role the NGO sector and civil society play in EDC and HRE, both in the formal and non-formal education systems.

With very best wishes from the HREA staff and Board,

Frank Elbers
Director of Programmes

Third issue of Research in Human Rights Education Papers

Research in Human Rights Education PapersThe third issue of the Research in Human Rights Education Papers Series is now available in digital format. The paper by Kevin Chin describes facilitators' educational beliefs about human rights education. "Exploring Facilitators' Beliefs about Human Rights Education: Evidence of Universal and Local Influences" indicates that educational beliefs are both significant factors and viable research foci involved in the professional practices of facilitators working in non-formal contexts.

Through the Research in Human Rights Education Papers Series HREA hopes to encourage more research on the impact of human rights education and make the results available to practitioners, to academics and to funders. In 2010 two more papers will be published, including an evaluation of a state-wide HRE programme in schools in India.
Download the research paper.

Arab Institute and HREA launch 20th edition of Anabtawi summer school online

After a successful pilot project last year, for the second time an on-line component was added to the 20th edition of "Anabtawi", the summer school for Arab human rights defenders. Anabtawi traditionally consists of a two-week intensive training workshop that takes place in Tunis annually and is organised by the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR). HREA and AIHR collaborated on the online preparatory phase.

Fifty participants from 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa participated in nine weeks of intensive on-line courses that began on 3 May and concluded on 11 July. The courses introduced participants to the main UN human rights mechanisms, children's rights and women's rights, and the basics of international humanitarian law, and familiarised them with other Anabtawi participants and the trainers.

HREA and the AIHR added the pre-course on-line phase to Anabtawi in order to save time during the summer school by introducing participants to basic human rights knowledge on-line so that during the summer course more emphasis could be placed on skills development and strategising. The on-line phase also allowed for more reflection and in-depth engagement with the theory and background of human rights mechanisms and human rights law.

HREA conducts training workshop for staff of Ontario Ombudsman for Children and Youth

HREA conducted a two-day introductory training workshop on April 8-9 for staff of the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth at its headquarters in Toronto (Canada). The aim was to increase capacity in implementing a child rights-based approach in the Advocate's office programming.

Twenty participants from all departments of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth were introduced to human rights concepts and instruments, human rights mechanisms and child rights-based approaches. HREA trainer Felisa Tibbitts facilitated hands-on interactive sessions on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, tools for planning, monitoring and evaluation, and other aspects of the child rights-based approach to advocacy and programming. Read further >>

Introductory e-course on rights of refugees and displaced persons

Kosovar refugees flee homelandHREA launched an introductory e-course on the rights of refugees and displaced persons. This e-course gives an overview of the institutions and mechanisms that serve to protect refugees and internally displaced persons. It combines text with rich multimedia, including videos and podcasts. Knowledge checks and quizzes engage the learner and reinforce the knowledge learned.

Try it out: Short demo

(To view demo, Flash Player must be installed. Get it here.)

Course outline

- Introduction
     - Overview and history of international protection

- The role of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
     - The evolving mandate of UNHCR

- International protection of refugees
     - Understand the 1951 Refugee Convention and its Protocol
     - Asylum seekers in a state of limbo

- Regional protection of refugees
     - African Union: Progress towards protecting the internally displaced
     - Council of Europe: Protection of the European Convention on Human Rights
     - Organization of American States: The Cartagena Declaration on Refugees

- National protection of refugees
     - Where asylum seekers go
     - Developments in legislation and the tightening of regulations

- Internally displaced persons
     - The different rights of the internally displaced
     - Who can assist the internally displaced
     - The UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement


Format of course


The introductory e-course is "self-paced": learners can proceed at their own speed. The course can be accessed at any time that is convenient. There is no instructor. Instead, the learner interacts directly with the content. The course can take between 3 and 10 hours to complete. For those wanting more detail, the course also links to relevant supplementary documents. Because the course is self-paced, learners can complete it in a day, or spread their participation over days, weeks, or even months.

Learn more and enroll >>

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Upcoming e-learning courses

HREA offers courses in English and French on monitoring human rights (source: Steve Courchesne)
HREA is offering sixteen e-learning courses in the third trimester of 2010 (13 September-30 November), including courses on election observation, gender mainstreaming, health and human rights, international humanitarian law, international refugee law, monitoring children's rights, monitoring & evaluation in the NGO sector, rights of persons with disablities, and the right to education.
Find out more about these and other upcoming e-learning opportunities.

Index 2009-2010 Global HRE List available

The Index of all messages distributed on the Global Human Rights Education listserv from June 2009 to May 2010 is now available in PDF format. The Global Human Rights Education listserv is a moderated on-line community of practice on which over 7300 human rights defenders and educators from 130 countries share new resources, methodologies, strategies and lessons learned. Download the Index 2009-2010.

Results of HRE impact assessment by HREA now available

The results of an evaluation conducted by HREA of Amnesty International's human rights education programmes in ten countries are now available. Read further >>

HREA and UPEACE Human Rights Centre start collaboration

HREA and the Human Rights Centre of the University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica have agreed to jointly offer short certificate courses via e-learning in order to expand both institutions' educational offerings. New courses on international trade and human rights; international refugee law; environment and human rights; and health and human rights will already be offered in 2010. Read more >>

HREA offers e-learning workshop in Beijing

HREA's Director of Programmes Frank Elbers conducted a one-day workshop on e-learning for partners of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute's China Programme. Staff of Peking University Law School, China University of Political Science and Law, National Prosecutor's College and the Beijing office of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute were introduced to different types of e-learning, learning management systems and ways to integrate e-learning into existing training programmes. Read more >>

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HREA offers news by e-mail for a variety of human rights topics, including children, the Human Rights Council, refugees, and others. Each day, HREA staff scans news sources like the UN, Council of Europe, OSCE, Asian Human Rights Commission and other human rights NGOs to find pertinent news items and monitoring reports.
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