“Human rights education can make a real difference in people’s lives – whether a woman in Turkey, a police officer in Australia or a child in India, as we see in this film,” says UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay in her introduction to a 28-minute movie entitled A Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education.
The movie presents three case studies illustrating the impact of human rights education among school children in India, law enforcement agencies in Australia and women victims of violence in Turkey.
From Tamil Nadu, in Southern India, Maria Soosai Selvaraj, National Programme Coordinator for the Institute of Human Rights Education says that “each child can make a change through practising human rights values.” In addition to learning about the Indian Constitution, the children develop an understanding of the rights of the child, and the principles of non-discrimination and equality, and how these apply to their daily lives.
In Victoria state, Australia, a human rights project monitors all aspects of policing and educates Victoria Police employees on human rights. “Human rights training forms part of our foundation training programme now,” explains Charlie Allen, an inspector. “Recruits marching into the academy or going into the academy for their training phase do initial education in human rights.”
In Turkey, the human rights education programme for women consists of weekly workshops. Women learn about their human rights and the laws that protect these rights. Mujcan Guneri, a human rights trainer, says that “the women they reached through this training programme, who have come to realize their value as individuals, have all taken steps forward. They begin to see the next step. They engage more with people and take better advantage of the opportunities offered by the State.” “Some go back to school. Some return to work life,” she adds.
The film is available in English and is subtitled in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.