Dear Friends, Indeed it is difficult to participate in all the discussions that re going on. I often write a direct reponse as the one to Clare Magil about changing the "rights approach" to the "human rights approach" and changes were made. It is our responsibility to take this very important burden we all undertook to become human rights educators and never beleive that we have the answer.. but many questions and often some insight (I still say that we do not know in depth what human rights education and learning is all about.. hoping for such investigation and research to start soon.) Some of you wrote about poor and needy people .. and how we do HRE in such situations -- is this what we need to do? -- Indeed when you have to lift a person from a flood or feed people when there is a draught ...-this comes first- but what if people knew that they are not getting charity but what is coming them as a human rights birthright and recognized as such...-- the world will be different. Yes! As we are now trying to develop clinics for such poor people to bring forth human rights literacy and legal empowerment. In PDHRE's human rights cities we did see how very poor women were able to overturn discriminatory health policies -- and one empowerment leads to another, Allow me to add to the discussion with a paragraph I have sent a while ago but take the liberty to sedn it again: A human rights educator is a person, a women and a men, who is capable of evoking critical thinking and systemic analysis with a gender perspective about political, economic , social cultural and civil concern within a human rights framework that leads to action. You may say this is too complicated for teachers and/or children .. too overwhelming. I have worked with children all over the world, whom I met in the communities I have vested .. and learned how to de compartmentalized human rights which they understood it as a way of life...-- and have been able to analyze their concerns within a human rights framework..and planned action to make their school a human rights school.. Human rights is the way we have to be in the world with one another and with our authorities and they with us.. there is no other option. If this is correct it our responsibility to know and our humility to guide us that both chidden and teachers know and understand when injustice is present and justice must be pursued. (Issues such as poverty, patriarchy -- as complicated as it is, but of which we all, women and men alike are oppressed by.) Yes the teacher has to understand that human rights is a political "ideology" in the sense that it is informing our being in the world in dignity with others. The word political needs to be discussed .. the word democracy needs to be considered in the context as a delivery system of human rights. and of course "citizenship" as one that have each one of us implement respect and claim human rights. Teachers also have to undreamt that their main responsibility is to evoke thinking, which evokes analysis..all children are capable of it before they are discourages.. but can the teachers?? I have so with my own grandchildren at 8 and 7 in their classrooms who interpreted the word dignity to me beyond the "Me Me" syndrome in a most sophisticated way .. and they are NOT "geniuses". Every part of the life of the children who are learning human rights is about human rights.. and so is the lives of the teachers.. Thus the holistic vision and mission of human rights must underlie the teaching of human rights and be presented as such .. but first teachers must understand what human rights is -its moral genesis and conceptually- and what human rights are politically... If we have such a discussion, of what is the holistic vision of human rights.. which I believe we all know but must internalize we will be better human rights teachers. And last but not least.. you must love the chidden you teach and also learn from them,.. you must RESPECT and TRUST them if they are to take human rights seriously and not just as another subject in which they excel or fail. (The Children's Convention asserts that "love" is a human right.) So as some of you have said so well, we must stop being technical and merely informative. Children know if we really mean it -- even if we share with them the most lofty ideas. Indeed as was said: it is the body language and feeling that we project .. and the way we treat the children if they are to underrating that human rights give us moral and political guidance which is protected by international law. Thank you to all for paying attention to my many words, --with a smile, Shula Shulamith Koenig PDHRE People's Movement for Human Rights Learning 526 West 111th St. Suite 4E, New York, NY 10025, USA Tel: 1-212-749-3156 * Fax 1-212-666-6325 ======== Asia Pacific Human Rights Education listserv ======== Send mail intended for the list to < >. If you have problems (un)subscribing, contact < >. **You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please retain the original and listserv source.
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