the buzz

Here's where we share all that is happening in the world of human rights education. What human rights friendly schools are doing, what they have achieved, what challenges they face, and what more can be done! Hear the voices from the ground and listen to expert opinions so that you too can be inspired to make a difference. 

Success Stories

First Student Council of the Human Rights Education programme in India

The student council module was introduced at the Al – Azhar Foundation School.

The Head Mistress and the teachers decided on the structure and form of the proposed student council. The roles and responsibilities of the council were also outlined by them. As this was the first student council in the school, the students were nominated by the faculty of the school.

The nominated students were asked to prepare short speeches on why other students should vote for them and then asked to campaign by going from class to class. Nominated students, who were generally reserved and timid, took this opportunity to speak up and have their voices heard. Once the election process had been completed and the votes had been tallied, the teachers were amazed to see that a Head Girl had been elected rather than a Head Boy; this was because the girls were very shy and quiet when compared to the opinionated and outspoken boys. The HRE team from Amnesty International India then conducted a training workshop with the students elected to the student council.

A brief synopsis of the first training session with the student council is as follows.The children, elected to the student council, were working in a group for the first time. However, they seemed to be very excited and were quite talkative in their groups; they were able to delegate tasks amongst themselves for the activities.

The teachers were very supportive and gave the students the opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas. After some persuading the HM decided not to sit in during the discussion as she realised that the students would be very nervous in her presence.

As they do not have previous experience with a student council an idea we presented them with was to have a session with the student council of another school; therefore, allowing them to share their experiences.

The plan ahead for the student council is:

  1. Discipline - work with teachers on how and where discipline can be maintained in the school.
  2. Suggestion box- work with the teachers to design a suggestion box. The student council introduces and encourages their friends to use the box. Student council will also regularly check the box and work with teachers on solving the issues raised.
  3. Events - Student council will work together with teachers to design and co-ordinate the events in the school. They will also take the help of other students for this.

        School Election

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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.

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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.

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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
1074/B-1, First Floor, 11th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indira Nagar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India - 560 008
Phone : +91 (080) 49388000 Email: [email protected]