Parent Education Handout #8b

Why Teach and Learn About Human Rights in Schools?

1. To know about basic rights and fundamental freedoms is part of everyone's birthright, and should be part of the curriculum of all young people. For students living in countries that are members of the Council of Europe, where human rights are not just claims andassertions but part of the legal framework, human rights are part of every student's law-related education.

2. Human rights cases and issues are humane and can interest and encourage the humanity of students.

3. Human rights offer a value framework suitable for modern society which is multi-cultural and multi-faith and part of an interdependent world. Human rights are an essential element in education for modern citizenship.

4. Human rights offer young people something positive in which to believe.

5. No man or woman is an island. We are all our brothers' and sisters' keepers and helpers.

6. Young people have rights and responsibilities and developing an awareness of them is a proper part of education in citizenship.

7. Important organizations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and some national human rights commissions support the teaching of human rights in the schools.

8. The facilitation of nonviolent change is the most urgent task todayboth within societies and between societies.

9. Teaching and learning about human rights can contribute to a political education which transcends party politics.

10. Teaching about human rights affords students opportunities for active learning and working on nonpartisan projects such as conducting campaigns on behalf of political prisoners, raising funds for famine relief, or providing housing for the homeless.