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. 


Wonderful Step By A School In Bangalore Can Be The Stepping Stone Towards Human Rights For All

“I will try to solve problems of my friends and ensure that everyone gets equal opportunity to participate in school events”, said Kushnaaz Begum (13) of 8th standard in Al- Azhar foundation school, as soon she was elected the new head girl of her school. This student council election was by far one of the most exciting moments of my life, no less than the 2014 general elections.

Kushnaaz along with twelve other students had been contesting the school’s second student council election. A week before the Election Day, I heard one of the students saying, “This time the 9th standard girl will win, it looks like this only”. The excitement and the thrill of the election was in the air with students speculating who would win. Their enthusiasm was contagious and one could see the spark of democracy and the responsibility that the students were getting ready to shoulder. After the results were announced, Mohd. Salauddin (12) of 7th standard, who had not been elected, said, “I will try next year again and will do more campaigning… Inshaallah I will be head boy next year. I will do good work.”



Al- Azhar foundation is an NGO run school located amidst a largely Muslim neighbourhood in South Bangalore. The school has been working with Amnesty International India’s Human Rights Education programme for the last two years now. This was the second year of the school’s student council elections, a concept it had adopted as part of the programme.

Imrana, a teacher in Al-Azhar said, “This year, the students themselves came up and gave their names for nominations, unlike last year.” She added, “Last year the student council came up with the idea of a suggestion box and we actually received bullying complaints through the box. The issue was addressed by talking to the students and teachers. The student council had an important role to play in this.”

Bullying in schools has serious mental and emotional health effects on both the victim and the bully. By some estimates, up to 25% of high school students report being victimised by bullies. 13% of victims have committed suicide because they felt bullied. In rural India alone 31% of middle school students report being bullied (V.Y. Kshirsagar 2007)





An idea like a student council can make such a difference in the school system. Children can suddenly feel empowered – the feeling that they have the right to be heard makes all the difference.

Informed decision making, enabled by democratic student council, can give a fresh perspective to prevent bullying in schools. A small step towards democratic governance in schools can be a stepping stone towards ensuring human rights for all.

Believe a human rights module like this should be enacted in every school to prevent bullying? Help us take this to 100 schools by this year!

Human rights course not a priority for varsities

Human rights education is not on the platter of majority State universities though the University Grants Commission (UGC) has come forward to liberally fund courses offered in this emerging area of study. Go to article...

CBSE to introduce gender studies in schools

Amid demands for sensitization of youths following the national outrage over Delhi gang rape incident, CBSE has decided to introduce 'human rights and gender studies' for students from the coming academic session. Go to article...

A Whole School Approach in Creating Safe School Environment

‘Safe and supportive schools’ refers to the provision of an environment that protects the emotional, psychological and physical well-being of students. In a ‘safe school environment children are to be protected from verbal, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, including indirect forms of abuse, such as discrimination, exclusion and isolation by their peers. Go to article...

Kids to be made aware of their rights

Empowering children to exercise their rights, the Bangalore Rural Education and Development Society ( BREADS) launched the Child Rights Education and Action Movement (CREAM) across 10 districts in Karnataka on Monday. Go to article...

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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.

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)


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.


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]