The Sixteenth Session of the Human Rights Council

28 February – 25 March 2011

Joint Oral Statement


International Standards for Human Rights Education:

The Rights-Based Approach



Thank you Mr. President.

I speak on behalf of 19 organisations.

This statement reflects views of NGOs expressed in discussions facilitated by the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning of the Conference of NGOs (CoNGO) and through an international network, Human Rights Education Associates (HREA).

We support the draft text of the UN declaration on human rights education and training, made available before the Council.

Many NGOs made substantial contributions to the drafting process since its very beginning.

We stress the following.

Human rights education is a sustainable endeavour for dealing with the root causes of human rights violations and abuses, contributing to the prevention of such violations and abuses.

Human rights education is a lifelong process for all persons, regardless of age, and including women, men, children, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, elders, migrants, and all minorities and vulnerable groups of people.

The effective implementation of human rights education requires the rights-based approach.

As article 1 of the draft declaration stipulates, we call upon all Member States to make efforts to ensure that everyone has access to human rights education and training.

Such efforts should take into account various settings, whether public or private, formal, informal or non-formal.

Languages and methods suited to the local specific needs and conditions should be utilised.

At the international level, the Council’s Special Procedures and UPR should be recognised as contributory mechanisms for the effective implementation of human rights education.

Mr. President,

The declaration will be a significant momentum for the UN to officially proclaim international standards for human rights education.

We hope that it will be an opportunity for all stakeholders, including civil society and all governmental authorities, to work together to encourage a more conscious and robust culture of human rights in all countries.


Joint statement by: Soka Gakkai International - Worldwide Organization for Women - Myochikai (Arigatou Foundation) - International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) - International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education (OIDEL) - International Catholic Child Bureau - Al-Hakim Foundation - Planetary Association for Clean Energy, Inc. - International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) - International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse - Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH) - Association Points-Coeur - Servas International - Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) - Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development - United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY Peacebuilders) - Soroptimist International - International Association for Religious Freedom - International Association of Peace Messenger Cities


15 March 2011