Education and human rights.

1993/56. Education and human rights

The Commission on Human Rights, Bearing in mind that the international community has repeatedly recognized the importance of education as one of the fundamental rights of the human being, Recalling that article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reflects the consensus of peoples concerning the aims of education, which "shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace", Aware that the lofty aims stated in the aforementioned article are reflected in the provisions of the majority of the international conventions that promote and protect economic, social and cultural rights, such as article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and that article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that education shall be directed to the development of the child's personality, respect for human rights and cultural identity, and the preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, Taking into account the fact that the international community, inspired by these principles and realizing the urgent need to promote education, has established international and regional bodies for this purpose, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization and the United Nations Children's Fund, Convinced that the promotion of literacy worldwide can contribute to a better understanding of and respect for human rights, Considering that significant efforts are being made by States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to develop human rights education programmes, Bearing in mind that these human rights education programmes have served to create a keen awareness, in the various regions of the world, of the high priority of the educational process and its importance for the promotion, dissemination and knowledge of human rights, Taking into account the fact that human rights education is a universal priority in that it contributes to a concept of development consistent with the dignity of the human person, which must include consideration of the diversity of groups such as children, women, indigenous persons, racial minorities, the disabled and others, Bearing in mind that knowledge of fundamental rights and mechanisms for their protection will permit the strengthening and consolidation of democratic processes Aware that human rights education involves more than merely providing information to the recipients and, rather, constitutes a comprehensive process depending essentially on respect for the human person, human dignity and the fostering of attitudes conducive to coexistence, justice and peace,

1. Calls upon States to step up their efforts to eradicate illiteracy and to provide the necessary facilities to ensure that the entire population has access to all-round education as an essential element in its development;

2. Supports the efforts of States that have initiated human rights education processes in the formal system of education, as regards both adjustment of the curriculum and development of teaching methods and resources suited to such programmes;

3. Recognizes the contribution made by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to this new human rights education process in the field of formal and non-formal education;

4. Urges all governmental and non-governmental educational agencies to coordinate their efforts so as to give their initiatives greater impact;

5. Calls upon States that have not yet done so to join in efforts to introduce all-round education as a matter of high priority, and to include within it the subject of human rights;

6. Recommends that knowledge of human rights, both in its theoretical dimension and in its practical application, should be established as a priority in educational policies;

7. Also recommends that, in devising such policies, particular account should be taken of the multi-ethnic character of the various societies and of respect for the identity and needs of groups such as minors, women, indigenous persons, racial minorities, the disabled and others;

8. Urges international agencies for financial and technical cooperation to include support for human rights education programmes as well as programmes for the promotion of literacy and to allocate funds for the realization of these programmes;

9. Recommends that the General Assembly take the appropriate measures to declare a decade for human rights education in the light of the recommendations of the International Congress on Education for Human Rights and Democracy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization, being held at Montreal, Canada, from 8 to 11 March 1993;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission on Human Rights at its fiftieth session a detailed report on action taken in relation to the declaration of a decade for human rights education, for consideration under the agenda item "Further promotion and encouragement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the question of the programme and methods of work of the Commission".

63rd meeting
9 March 1993
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XI.]

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