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HREA lobbies for NGO resolution during 58th session of the Commission on Human Rights

Cambridge, 28 April 2002 -- A dedicated group of NGOs cooperated with the mission of the government of Costa Rica in organising an intervention urging the Commission on Human Rights to support concrete human rights education activities. The Commission held its 58th session in Geneva from 18 March-26 April 2002. The NGO resolution was intended to inform the Commission of the human rights education interests of a large, worldwide group of NGOs and individuals. HREA's Global HRE listserv was utilized to facilitate NGO input and support for the intervention.

HREA worked closely with IMADR, Soka Gakkai International, the Summer University on Human Rights, Pax Romana and the International Organisation for the Development of Freedom of Education -- and the Costa Rican mission -- in formulating a resolution that would "put teeth" into the UN Decade for Human Rights Education. Although the Decade for HRE was passed unanimously by the U.N. General Assembly, only a few states have made serious efforts to initiate national programs. The steps contained in the recommendations were designed to encourage concrete movement in this area.

The resolution proposed the appointment of a Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Education; the creation of a voluntary fund to support this person and related activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and workshops aimed at defining priorities and setting agendas for the remaining years of the Decade. A high degree of pragmatism was used in developing these particular ideas, which are considered to be timely and realistic. If even some of these are achieved, it will mean progress in terms of concrete U.N. support for human rights education.

The resolution was distributed via the Global Human Rights Education listserv -- a network administered by HREA that currently has 3,000 members from approximately 150 countries. The recommendations were signed by 90 NGOs from 47 countries, as well as numerous individuals.

HREA has since been working with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure follow-up to the resolution. From 18 November-10 December 2002, HREA will organise a global on-line consultation on the follow-up to the UN Decade for Human Rights Education.



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