United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/44


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, that reflect the aims of the aforementioned article,

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

Believing that each 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 gender-based 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 life-long process by which people at all levels of development and in all strata of society 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 contributes to a concept of development consistent with the dignity of women and men of all ages which takes into account the diversity of society including children, indigenous people, minorities and disabled persons, Bearing in mind the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23) adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, 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 General Assembly resolution 49/184 of 23 December 1994 by which the Assembly proclaimed the ten-year 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 Secretary-General (A/49/261-E/1994/110/Add.1, annex), and requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to coordinate the implementation of the Plan of Action,

Noting General Assembly resolution 50/177 of 22 December 1995 by which the Assembly appealed to all Governments to contribute to the implementation of the Plan of Action and, in particular, in accordance with national conditions, to establish a national focal point (national committee) for human rights education and a resource and training centre for human rights education or, where such a centre already exists, to work towards its strengthening, and to develop and implement an action-oriented national plan for human rights education, as foreseen in the Plan of Action,

1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade on Human Rights Education (E/CN.4/1996/51);

2. Requests the United Nations 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, focal points and centres of human rights education in Member States in accordance with national conditions;

3. Invites all Governments to consider the establishment, in accordance with national conditions, of national focal points and plans of action for the implementation of the Plan of Action of the Decade, including the building and strengthening of programmes and capacities for formal and informal human rights education and cooperation with non-governmental organizations and the private sector in pursuing the objectives of the Plan of Action;

4. Requests human rights monitoring bodies to consider adopting a general comment on human rights education, placing emphasis on the implementation by Member States of their international obligation to promote human rights education;

5. Invites all relevant specialized agencies, in particular the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Labour Organization, United Nations programmes, especially the United Nations Children's Fund, and other intergovernmental organizations to enhance their contribution, within their respective spheres of competence, to the implementation of the Plan of Action and to continue cooperating with the High Commissioner for that purpose;

6. Calls upon international, regional and national non-governmental organizations, in particular those concerned with women, children, indigenous people, minorities, labour, development and the environment, as well as other social justice groups, human rights advocates, educators, religious and community organizations and the media, to increase their involvement in formal and non-formal education in human rights and to cooperate with the High Commissioner and the Centre for Human Rights in implementing the Plan of Action;

7. Invites the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to seek the views of States on ways and means to increase support to the Decade, with special emphasis on activities of non-governmental organizations in the field of human rights education, and on the advisability of establishing a voluntary fund for this purpose, and to include this information in his report to the fifty-third session of the Commission on Human Rights;

8. Decides to continue consideration of the question of human rights education at its fifty-third session under the same agenda item.

52nd meeting 19 April 1996
[Adopted without a vote]


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