United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/45



The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Reaffirming article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in accordance with which education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Recalling the provisions of other international human rights instruments, including article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which reflect the aims of the aforementioned article,

Taking into account its resolution 1993/56 of 9 March 1993, in which the Commission recommended that knowledge of human rights, both in its theoretical dimension and in its practical application, should be established as a priority in education policies,

Believing that every woman, man and child, to realize their full human potential, must be made aware of all their human rights, civil, cultural, economic, political and social,

Believing also that human rights education constitutes an important vehicle for the elimination of gender­based discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities through the promotion and protection of the human rights of women,

Convinced that human rights education should involve more than the provision of information and should constitute a comprehensive life­long process by which people at all levels of development and in all societies learn respect for the dignity of others and the means and methods of ensuring that respect in all societies,

Convinced also that human rights education and information contribute to a concept of development consistent with the dignity of women and men of all ages which takes into account particularly vulnerable segments of society such as children, youth, older persons, indigenous people, minorities, rural and urban poor, migrant workers, refugees, persons with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome infection and disabled persons,

Bearing in mind the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights (A/CONF.157/23), in particular Part II, paragraphs 78 to 82, thereof,

Recalling the responsibility of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to coordinate relevant United Nations education and public information programmes in the field of human rights,

Recalling also General Assembly resolution 49/184 of 23 December 1994, by which the Assembly proclaimed the 10­year period beginning on 1 January 1995 the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education, welcomed the Plan of Action for the Decade as contained in the report of the Secretary­General (A/49/261/Add.1­E/1994/110/Add.1, annex), and requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to coordinate the implementation of the Plan of Action,

Noting General Assembly resolution 52/127 of 12 December 1997, in which the Assembly urged all Governments to contribute further to the implementation of the Plan of Action, in particular by establishing, in accordance with national conditions, broadly representative national committees for human rights education responsible for the development of comprehensive, effective and sustainable national plans of action for human rights education and information,

1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary­General to the General Assembly on the implementation of the Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (A/52/469 and Add.1 and Add.1/Corr.1);

2. Welcomes the steps taken by Governments and intergovernmental and non­governmental organizations to implement the Plan of Action and to develop public information activities in the field of human rights, as indicated in the report of the Secretary­General;

3. Urges all Governments to contribute further to the implementation of the Plan of Action, in particular by establishing, in accordance with national conditions, broadly representative national committees for human rights education responsible for the development of comprehensive, effective and sustainable national plans of action for human rights education and information, taking into consideration the guidelines for national plans of action for human rights education, contained in the report of the Secretary­General (A/52/469/Add.1 and Corr.1);

4. Urges Governments to encourage, support and involve national and local non­governmental and community­based organizations in the implementation of their national plans of action;

5. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to accelerate, within existing resources, the implementation of the Plan of Action and, in particular, to encourage and facilitate the establishment of national plans of action for human rights education in Member States in accordance with national conditions;

6. Encourages the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to support national capacities for human rights education and information through its technical cooperation programme in the field of human rights, including the organization of training courses and the development of targeted training materials for professional audiences, as well as the dissemination of human rights information materials as a component of technical cooperation projects;

7. Requests human rights treaty monitoring bodies to consider adopting a general comment on human rights education and to place emphasis, when examining reports of States parties, on the obligations of States parties in the area of human rights education and information, and to reflect this emphasis in their concluding observations;

8. Invites the specialized agencies and relevant United Nations programmes and funds to contribute, within their respective spheres of competence, to the implementation of the Plan of Action and to cooperate closely with the Office of the High Commissioner in that regard;

9. Urges the relevant organs, bodies and agencies of the United Nations system, all human rights bodies of the United Nations system, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to provide training in the human rights of women for all United Nations personnel and officials;

10. Calls upon international, regional and national non­governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations, in particular those concerned with women, labour, development, food, housing, education, health care and the environment, as well as all other social justice groups, human rights advocates, educators, religious organizations and the media, to undertake specific activities of formal, non­formal and informal education, including cultural events, alone and in cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in implementing the Plan of Action;

11. Encourages Governments and intergovernmental and non­governmental organizations to undertake human rights education and information initiatives as a contribution to the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to continue this work, in accordance with the Plan of Action, for the duration of the Decade;

12. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to consider appropriate ways and means, including the possibility of establishing a voluntary fund, to support human rights education activities, including those undertaken by non­governmental organizations;

13. Decides to continue consideration of the question of human rights education at its fifty­fifth session under the same agenda item, in connection with the question of public information activities in the field of human rights, including the World Public Information Campaign for Human Rights.

52nd meeting
17 April 1998

[Adopted without a vote. See chap. IX.]


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