Dear Colleagues, This is a very last minute input in the on-going dialogue on the UN Decade. Internet is nearby but I could not sit down to make any long messages. > > - Did your organisation use the UN Decade for Human Rights Education as a > > mobilisation tool within its activities? How? Our center, the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURIGHTS OSAKA), has since 1995 been using the Decade as a major focus of its activities. Its domestic and regional human rights programs have all been anchored on the Decade. HURIGHTS OSAKA promotes it in full recognition of its importance, as well as in response to demands from the institutions it deals with domestically and regionally. > > - Is a Decade a useful tool for raising awareness and stimulating action > > on human rights education? If not, which procedures/mechanisms/instruments > > could be better used/created at the international level to strengthen > > action on HRE worldwide? The Decade has been used by many institutions (governmental and non-governmental) in promoting human rights. For these institutions, the Decade represents an international initiative that gives focus and legitimacy to the value of human rights education. So many international declarations mention human rights education as an important of follow-up activities, and yet the implementation of this component of the document is largely missing. The Decade is therefore an incentive, and an excuse, for governments to finally act on their international commitments. So many institutional institutions have been involved in the Decade. The problem is the consistency as well as sufficiency of their involvement - financially and otherwise. > > - Do you think the Decade for HRE (1995-2004) needs to be followed by a > > second Decade for HRE, as has been the case with the Decade to Combat > > Racism and Racial Discrimination? If a second Decade for HRE is desirable, > > what would be the main aims, strategies, and approaches? I support the idea of a second Decade for HRE because it will provide international support for the regional and national programs created in line with the first Decade. For those who have been supporting the first Decade, a second Decade constitutes an acknowledgment of the work that have been accomplished and an opportunity extend their program to other institutions. It will also give governments which have not given attention to HRE the opportunity to start programs based on the experiences of other countries and institutions. A second Decade should mean supporting/continuing the gains of the first Decade. > > - Should the function of monitoring governments' compliance with HRE > > commitments made at the international level be a main task of the United > > Nations (such as OHCHR or UNESCO) and other international organisations? If > > yes, how should that be done? For instance, would a Special Rapporteur or > > an Independent Expert for Human Rights Education be a useful mechanism? If > > so, what should be her/his tasks? I think it is best for the UN specialized agencies' country and regional offices to take a more active role on monitoring government compliance with HRE commitments at the international level. They are the ones who implement support programs that facilitate the translation of the international commitments into regional and national activities. Geneva and New York offices cannot respond effectively to the needs of the regions and countries. They can in most cases have one-off activities rather than continuing program implementation. OHCHR and UNESCO Paris can, for example, provide the main direction of the regional and national programs. > > - Should the United Nations create a permanent voluntary fund to support > > HRE? Does a grant programme, such as the ACT Project (administered by > > OHCHR in cooperation with the UN Development Programme, and providing > > small grants to NGOs for HRE activities) meet the needs of civil society > > at the local level? Why or why not? A stable source of funding support to longer-term programs (aside from funds for short-term projects) is a need. Training of trainers requires multi-stage and multi-year program to be able to yield a better result. Also, a longer-term program would be able to reach more educators. Funding is always the major reason why many training workshops remain one-off activities. Follow-up activities is uncertain when no funding agency commits fund for longer period. > > - How can representatives of inter-governmental organisations in your > > country (such as local offices of United Nations agencies) better support > > your HRE work? In which areas could partnerships be established or > > strengthened? Country offices of UN agencies or centers of regional organizations based in some countries are in the best position to help promote human rights education because they have some resources at their disposal. But this can only happen if they make human rights education an important part of their program. Not all of these institutions make a conscious effort in support of human rights education. While those who undertake activities in support of human rights education are mainly concentrated on particular issues and institutions in the country. It would help if these offices network with other institutions within the country especially those who are not their usual partners. Some of the SEAMEO regional centers (there are 15 of them all over Southeast Asia), for example, can support human rights education by making their materials more widely circulated to groups doing human rights education work. They may also open their programs to those who are not working on human rights education in the formal education sector. > > - Should the dissemination of human rights education materials (easily > > accessible -- i.e., on-line, distributed free of charge and translated > > into local languages) be a priority of international organisations? International organizations have the capability to do this task. They simply have to give space for it in their programs. > > - How could non-state actors --including the business community, as well as > > development, trade and financial organisations-- better support HRE? How > > might they be encouraged to do this? Non-state actors can very well fund the preparation of teaching materials for schools and communities. This funding should not only be limited to providing funds for printing but also for the necessary preparatory work from research to pilot testing of the materials. They can also participate in the Decade by incorporating human rights education in their staff development programs with the support of human rights education institutions. Jeff Plantilla HURIGHTS OSAKA Osaka, Japan E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ======== Global Human Rights Education listserv ======== Send mail intended for the list to <email@example.com>. Archives of the list can be found at: http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-education/markup/maillist.php If you have problems (un)subscribing, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>. **You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please retain the original and listserv source.
[Reply to this message] [Start a new topic] [Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index] [Subject Index] [List Home Page] [HREA Home Page]