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Human Rights Education connects us with real life issues empowering us to make meaningful change

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what we have in common

No matter how we look,
where we are born,
what faith we follow,
whether we are rich or poor,
there is one thing we all
share equally.
Hands

It's time we sent human rights back to school. Not just for a while, in a single classroom
or as one part of the curriculum. But as an ever present influence that transforms the lives
of everyone involved in school life.

When human rights come into class, onto the playground and into the hearts and minds of young people, attitudes and behaviours begin to change. As children, teachers and others present in school explore,
promote, and live human rights and responsibilities, a collective conscience naturally develops.
The values and principles of human rights start to direct the thoughts and actions of the school community.
With human rights as an instinctive frame of reference, inclusion, tolerance, and respect for diversity enter into school life, leaving little room for bullying and discrimination.

That's how our human connection deepens, widens and gets cemented. We begin to relate to each other not as rich or poor, dark or fair, passed or failed, but as human beings made equal by the rights we share. Knowing this, makes us act... speak out and stand up for our rights and respect the rights of others.

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To read about
the ten global principles of human rights
click here
HRE = I+U+R4
a human rights equation?
Human Rights Education is about I and U and our ability to
Recognise and Respect each other's Rights and Responsibilities.
How many formulas do you know that are as easy to understand!

what is a human rights
approach to education?

A Human Rights approach to education assures every adult and child their internationally recognised human rights. It is an approach that brings those rights into school education so that they become second nature to all those who experience it.

Imagine a learning environment where human rights and responsibilities lie at the very heart of school life. Where everything said and done is unconsciously filtered through human rights. Where human rights values are not just spoken about but actually practiced. In such a school, real change is possible. From such a school, a rights respecting generation is bound to arise.

Human Rights Education is:
About Human Rights
Cat and Dog
What are our human rights?
What do they mean?
Can learning about them
change our lives?
Through Human Rights
Cat and Dog
Just learning is not enough.
Practice makes perfect, right? Try being
inclusive, participatory, democratic and
see the difference it makes.
For Human Rights
Cat and Dog
It's empowering when
we stand up for our rights and
those of others. That's when
real change can happen.

why is human rights education important?

Human Rights Education (HRE) gives schools a shared language of equality, non-discrimination, inclusion, respect, dignity and participation. It upholds the fundamental rights of every individual and brings us closer to becoming a rights respecting, global family.

Human rights provide a valuable framework for good inter-personal relations and for making balanced, informed choices. It provides us with the skills necessary to work with each other, across differences, in order to address the global and local challenges of our times. Be it speaking up for issues such as violence against women, questioning government action or practicing citizenship on a day to day level...it all begins when human rights go back to school.

HERE'S HOW the HRE BUILDING BLOCKS STACK UP

how can human rights education transform a school

child friendly
child friendly
eco friendly
eco friendly
HUMAN RIGHTS friendly
HUMAN RIGHTS friendly

A Human Rights Friendly School is where human rights are learned, taught, practiced, respected, protected and promoted. Through a whole school approach, 'human rights friendliness'
spreads into every area of school life.

A school that is 'friendly' to human rights is one in which all are included yet every individual is unique. It is a place where human rights values are nurtured in via the school curriculum, through relationships, within the school environment and in the way the school is governed. When human rights spread through school life so completely, attitudes and behaviours are bound to change.

Reports from human rights friendly schools around the world are very encouraging. Almost all schools have registered a reduction in disciplinary measures, an increase in attendance, positive shifts in classroom/playground relationships, and better peer/social interaction.
Now, that's hugely transformative, wouldn't you say?

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To read about the whole school approach
and the four areas of school life
click here
Blackboard

benefits of becoming
a human rights friendly school

Ripple Effect

From a school to a movement. The first and perhaps most significant circle of influence in creating a rights respecting world is the Human Rights Friendly School. In this learning environment, education is channeled through human rights values and principles.

A Human Rights Friendly School is an empowering place where teaching replaces instruction, shared reponsibility replaces authority, guidelines replace rules. At such a school, teachers find it easier, and more enjoyable to teach because students tend to be more receptive. Students too enjoy the learning process because they feel empowered and secure to inquire, express their opinions and stand up for what they think is right. As Human Rights Friendly Schools send into the world, individuals who have an inbuilt understanding of living through the principles of human rights, wider circles of influence ripple out.

Our Human Rights Education Programme

Let's make a difference!

Join The Amnesty International Human Rights For Education Programme in India and become a part of the global network of Human Rights Friendly Schools.

Amnesty International has launched a Human Rights for Education (HRE) Programme, in line with the UN World Programme for Human Rights Education. Our vision is to empower India's youth while promoting human rights values in all areas of school life. We work closely with students, teachers, parents and administrators in schools across India, to bring human rights into schools and through it, lay the building blocks of a rights respecting society.

The HRE programme is an enabler

Join The Amnesty International Human Rights For Education Programme in India and becomea part of the global network of Human Rights Friendly Schools.

Its designed to help schools recognise the difference HRE can make. Through one-on-one assessments and the resources of the network of human rights friendly schools, the HRE programme facilitates the kind of change every school seeks for itself.

We're mentors, not implementers!

Join The Amnesty International Human Rights For Education Programme in India and becomea part of the global network of Human Rights Friendly Schools.

Our job is not to change a school or push an agenda. We're here to help schools steer their own course towards human rights friendliness. So, typically, we take schools through a self assessment workshop where they can identify the significant ways in which human rights can change their school. We then work with individual schools to create an action plan that will implement their vision.

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To follow the journey of a school
on its way to becoming a Human Rights Friendly School
click here


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self assessment form

We're excited that the human rights for education programme interests you AND that you would like to nurture the seeds of potential that already exist in your school. In order to start you off on your journey towards becoming a human rights friendly school, we need you to assess it's current level of human rights friendliness and will assist you in creating an action plan based on your understanding of your schools' current situation. Fill out this sample assessment form and we'll get in touch with you to get your school started on this journey. Feel free to contact us in case you have any clarifications.

Guidelines for this form:

  1. There are four sections in this form: Curriculum and Co-curricular activities, School Environment, School Relationships and School Governance. These sections cover different areas of school life.
  2. Under each section there are situations listed. Please mark the situation that you feel is closest to your schools reality.
  3. At the beginning of each category under a domain, there is a definition explaining the term. There is also a box provided at the end of each sub-section for Additional Comments: .
  4. Before you begin, fill out your particulars to help us communicate better with you.

Particulars:

* The following fields are mandatory. We never share e-mail addresses or any other personal details.

A. Curriculum and Co-Curricular Activities

The teaching of human rights, both content and methodology. Opportunities for students to engage in learning about human rights and learning through human rights can be offered both through the curriculum and through extra-curricular clubs and activities.

CURRICULUM POLICY AND CONTENT:

This is considered as one of the key pillars of school life and education and deals with the teaching-learning process.

Human rights is taught as a separate subject in my school. Human Rights is also integrated into many or all other subjects.
Human rights is taught as a separate subject.
In my school, there are references to human rights in one specific subject (such as social studies, moral science etc.)
In my school there is no reference to human rights in curricular policy or content.

B. School Environment

The environment in which learning experience takes place. Learning about human rights in schools is most effective if it is seen and practiced in the school environment (inside as well as outside the classroom).

HUMAN RIGHTS FRIENDLY CLASSROOMS:

Classrooms need to be a space where students feel free and safe to express themselves. This will help in their journey of learning and growth.

All students in my school feel safe. There is no discrimination. Everybody respects one another.
Whenever discrimination occurs, it is challenged. Most students feel safe and able to learn effectively in an atmosphere of non-discrimination, respect and dignity.
There are mechanisms to deal with discrimination. However, discrimination sometimes occurs, especially among a certain section of the students and the school has no policy to counter it.
Discrimination often occurs, as does some verbal and physical conflict and bullying in the classroom. There are no mechanisms as yet to deal with this.

C. Relationships

How members of the school community interact with each other. An atmosphere of equality, nondiscrimination, inclusion, respect, and dignity exits across the whole school community.

STUDENT-STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS:

Student- student relationships are complex in school life as students come from different backgrounds.

In my school students treat each other with respect and dignity, conflicts are managed effectively and peacefully, and the school supports the students to develop skills necessary for working together.
In my school students treat each other with respect and dignity, conflicts are managed effectively and peacefully, and the school supports the students to develop skills necessary for working together. But this has limited implementation.
In my school, students acknowledge the need to build relationships amongst each other. The school supports students to develop the necessary skills for working together, but there are not yet mechanisms for mediating conflicts between students or developing related skills.
My school has an unhealthy relationship between students and many incidents of conflict often occur. (e.g. bullying or discrimination are commonplace) No mechanisms exist for mediating conflicts. My school has not yet thought of any mechanisms for mediating these conflicts.

D. Governance

The way the school is run. Democratic and participatory system of managing/governing the school, encouraging all members of the school community to participate freely, actively and meaningfully.

SCHOOL PARTICIPATION:

All schools have a system of decision making that includes a certain set of people’s participation. Participation could involve a few members of the school community of the school or enable a wider comprehensive representation.

In my school all members of the community are involved in making decisions about how the school is run, and all are adequately supported in order to be able to participate in governance.
In my school there are decision-making bodies which promote active participation from different members of the school community. They are however given limited decision making opportunities (e.g. there are different bodies of students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community but they have mandate to only decide about issues such as annual event, sports event, excursion and not issues such as , student-teacher welfare schemes etc.)
In my school, governance decisions are made by a small group of school management staff; (e.g. Only few selected teachers are involved in discussions relating to school governance, the final decisions are made in a smaller group)
In my school, governance decisions are taken by the senior management team with no scope for participation from other members of the school community (e.g. governance decisions are taken by the Principal and/or the Board)
  • Leftab0 Yellow
  • 10 global human rights principles
  • 4 areas of school life
  • Steps TO becoming a human rights friendly school
  • related links
 
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10 global human rights principles

A Human Rights Friendly School is rooted in 10 principles which are derived from international human rights standards, norms & instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). These principle strengthen the thoughts and actions of every member of the school community. They are the foundation for the four key areas of school life: Curriculum, Relationships, Environment and Governance.

Tabwin 10principles
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4 areas of school life: the domains
of change

For a school to become
human rights friendly, the 10 Global Human Rights Principles need to be wholly integrated into every aspect of school life: Curriculum, Relationships, Environment and Governance. These areas are not separate, rather they are continuously overlapping
and co-dependent. The team at
Amnesty International is excited about helping every school to create domains of change within these four areas of school life.

4 areas of school life 4 areas of school life 4 areas of school life 4 areas of school life
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who we are

  • The Team »
  • Tara Rao »
  • Krittika Vishwanath »
  • Inka Dama »
  • Somya »
  • Ankita »
  • Amnesty International »
  • Amnesty International India »

the team

We are passionate about human rights education and believe that a human rights approach to education can bring about meaningful change. That's why we're so excited to be part of the Amnesty International Human Rights for Education Programme.

But to call this initiative a programme is in many ways diminishing its scope and impact. We truly believe that we are together seeding a global movement. One that will start with schools and work it's way outward to change communities and in good time, create a rights respecting world.

We are delighted to be facilitators for such amazing possibilities.

Tara Rao

Tara RaoLeads the Human Rights for Education team in developing the Human Rights Education Programme with schools communities, resource networks and the wider public | BA in Architecture before joining the development sector | MA in Gender and a management degree | Previously worked as Senior Policy Advisor Global Climate and Energy Team for WWF | Lead author of Building an Equitable Green Economy, commissioned as a contribution to the Rio+20 Environment and Development Conference | Previously worked for various development bi-lateral and multi-lateral organisations - researching, assessing, evaluating and training | Enjoys playing tennis, singing/music and doing intricate jigsaw puzzles

Krittika Vishwanath

Krittika VishwanathSupports schools to integrate human rights education into school life | MA Sociology, MA Elementary Education (currently pursuing) | Previously a teacher-educator for government school teachers across Karnataka covering areas of social studies, teacher professional development and integrating technology into education | Also worked with youth groups on urban governance, youth participation and climate change | Passionate about travel and food

Inka Dama

Inka DamaWorks on all communication and media-related aspects of the Human Rights for Education programme | BA in Economics and Commerce & PG Diploma in Social Communications Media| Previously worked in advertising and communications, and as a copywriter with Ambience Publicis Advertising | Volunteered as junior communications officer with Pax Christi International in Brussels & worked with CRY - Child Rights and You | Loves music and food (in no particular order)

Somya

Archana Ganesh RajSomya is programme officer with Amnesty International India. She holds a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Delhi. Her previous work experience with several National and International organizations has strengthened her belief that children can be change makers if they are empowered. She directly works with students, teachers, schools and NGO partners across the country as part of the HRE programme. She comes to work so that she can go back to school and watch children become change makers.

Ankita

Archana Ganesh RajCoordinates internal communication, documentation, and monitoring and evaluation of HRE’s work in schools | Also conducts training for Telecalling and Face to face teams in Bangalore and Chennai | BA in Journalism from Delhi University | MA in Social Work | Previously worked for a skill development organization | Experience in working with children in juvenile homes/ youth in observation homes | Theatre enthusiast, trekker and music lover.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement with three million members that has campaigned for justice, freedom, truth and dignity for the past five decades. In recognition of its work and accomplishments, Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978.

Amnesty International India

Amnesty International India focuses on creating a rights respecting society in India. Drawing on Amnesty International's 50+ years of experience as a global campaigning movement, Amnesty International India is led and funded by people in India, directed by their dreams and aspirations.

We work in two broad areas within the human rights spectrum - building awareness and catalysing action on key human rights issues and violations, and providing much-needed commitment to human rights education and awareness.

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Contact us

Amnesty International in India
Ground Floor, # 235, 13th cross, Indira Nagar II Stage, Bangalore, Karnataka, India - 560 038
Phone : +91 (080) 49388000 Email: rights4edu@amnesty.org.in