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Human Rights Council adopts UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training

Geneva, 24 March 2011 -- Yesterday the Human Rights Council adopted the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training and recommended its adoption by the General Assembly. In a resolution adopted without a vote, the Council adopted the Declaration and invited governments, agencies and organisations of the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations to intensify their efforts to disseminate the Declaration and to promote universal respect and understanding thereof.

The Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training clearly defines human rights education and related terms (e.g. culture of human rights), and its relationship to the right to education, drawn from good practices around the world. It emphasises the need for education and training of both "rights-holders" and "duty-bearers", those individuals or institutions who have to guarantee or protect human rights -- for example law enforcement officials and public officials. The Declaration also recognises the importance of civil society organisations and other stakeholders -- e.g. educational agencies, NGOs, professional associations -- in human rights education and training.

"The Declaration can serve as a powerful tool for lobbying and advocacy, and a means of attracting financial resources from private sources as well as by governments", according to HREA's Director Felisa Tibbitts. She continues: "In UN member states that have not ratified or signed the main human rights treaties, a soft-law instrument like the Declaration can provide legitimacy to civil society organisations involved in human rights education and training." The Declaration does not specifically recognise human rights education and training as a human right, but is an expression of commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights.

HREA, in partnership with Soka Gokkai International, CONGO, Amnesty International, OIDEL and numerous other NGOs, has been closely involved in the consultation and drafting process of the Declaration since 2008.

Text of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training PDF file 



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