Distr.
GENERAL

A/51/506/Add.1
12 December 1996


Original: ENGLISH

Fifty-first session
Agenda Item 110 (b)


HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS: HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS, INCLUDING
ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES FOR IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVE
ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS


Note by the Secretary-General


Addendum


The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the General Assembly the addendum to the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), issued pursuant to General Assembly resolution 50/177 of 22 December 1995 (A/51/506).


ANNEX



Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on
the implementation of the Plan of Action for the United Nations
Decade for Human Rights Education


INTRODUCTION

1. The World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, June 1993) in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action stated that human rights education, training and public information were essential for the promotion and achievement of stable and harmonious relations among communities and for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and peace. The Conference recommended that States strive to eradicate illiteracy and direct education towards the full development of the human personality and the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It called on all States and institutions to include human rights, humanitarian law, democracy and the rule of law as subjects in the curricula of all learning institutions in formal and non-formal settings.

2. Pursuant to a suggestion of the World Conference, the General Assembly, in its resolution 49/184 of 23 December 1994, proclaimed the 10-year period beginning on 1 January 1995 the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education, and welcomed the draft Plan of Action for the Decade contained in the report of the Secretary-General (A/49/261-E/1994/110/Add.1, annex).

3. The General Assembly appealed to all Governments to contribute to the implementation of the Plan of Action and to step up their efforts to eradicate illiteracy and to direct education towards the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; urged governmental and non-governmental educational agencies to intensify their efforts to establish and implement programmes of human rights education, as recommended in the Plan of Action, in particular by preparing and implementing national plans for human rights education; and requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to coordinate the implementation of the Plan of Action.

4. In the same resolution the General Assembly invited the specialized agencies and United Nations programmes to contribute, within their respective spheres of competence, to the implementation of the Plan of Action; called upon a wide range of non-governmental organizations and others to increase their involvement in formal and non-formal education in human rights; and requested the existing human rights monitoring bodies to place emphasis on the implementation by Member States of their international obligation to promote human rights education.

5. The Plan of Action has five objectives: the assessment of needs and formulation of strategies; building and strengthening human rights education programmes; developing educational material; strengthening the mass media; and the global dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Plan focuses on stimulating and supporting national and local activities and initiatives and is built upon the idea of a partnership between Governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, individuals and large segments of civil society.

6. The active engagement of non-governmental organizations, grass-roots organizations and professional associations in the various activities of the Plan of Action is seen as a crucial element for success. The General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights both called upon international, regional and national non-governmental organizations, in particular those concerned with women, labour, development and the environment, as well as all other social justice groups, human rights advocates, educators, religious organizations and the media, to increase their involvement in formal and non-formal education in human rights and to cooperate with the Centre for Human Rights in carrying out the activities of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education.

7. The Plan of Action is set out in the appendix to the present document. It reflects comments made by Governments as requested by the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights.

APPENDIX


Plan of Action for the United Nations Decade for
Human Rights Education, 1995-2004: Human rights
education - lessons for life


CONTENTS

Paragraphs

I. NORMATIVE BASIS AND DEFINITION 1 - 2


II. GENERAL GUIDING PRINCIPLES 3 - 9


III. OBJECTIVES 10


IV. PRINCIPAL ACTORS 11 - 19


V. TARGET GROUPS 20 - 26


VI. STRUCTURE FOR COORDINATION AND IMPLEMENTATION 27 - 28


VII. PROGRAMME OF IMPLEMENTATION 29 - 92
A. Component one: assessing needs and formulating strategies 30 - 42
B. Component two: strengthening international programmes and capacities 43 - 52
C. Component three: strengthening regional programmes and capacities 53 - 56
D. Component four: strengthening national programmes and capacities 57 - 63
E. Component five: strengthening local programmes and capacities 64 - 69
F. Component six: coordinated development of materials for human rights education 70 - 77
G. Component seven: strengthening the role of the mass media 78 - 84
H. Component eight: global dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 85 - 92


VIII. MID-TERM GLOBAL EVALUATION 93 - 95


IX. CONCLUSION OF THE DECADE 96


X. FOLLOW-UP TO THE DECADE 97 - 99

I. NORMATIVE BASIS AND DEFINITION

1. The United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education shall be based upon the provisions of the international human rights instruments, with particular reference to those provisions addressing human rights education, including article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 10 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, article 7 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, paragraphs33 and 34 of the Vienna Declaration and paragraphs 78 to 82 of its Programme of Action.

2. In accordance with those provisions, and for the purposes of the Decade, human rights education shall be defined as training, dissemination and information efforts aimed at the building of a universal culture of human rights through the imparting of knowledge and skills and the moulding of attitudes and directed to:

(a) The strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;

(b) The full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity;

(c) The promotion of understanding, tolerance, gender equality and friendship among all nations, indigenous peoples and racial, national, ethnic, religious and linguistic groups;

(d) The enabling of all persons to participate effectively in a free society;

(e) The furtherance of the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

II. GENERAL GUIDING PRINCIPLES

3. The United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education shall be guided by the definition and normative basis set out in part I of the present Plan of Action and shall further be directed to creating the broadest possible awareness and understanding of all of the norms, concepts and values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in other relevant international human rights instruments. The Decade is placed within the context of action of States and others to eradicate illiteracy and understands education to be a constant factor in the multidimensional life of individuals and of society of which human rights are an integral part.

4. A comprehensive approach to education for human rights, including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights and recognizing the indivisibility and interdependence of all rights, as defined by the United Nations, shall be adopted for all activities under the Decade.

5. Education for the purpose of the Decade shall be conceived to include the equal participation of women and men of all age groups and all sectors of society both in formal learning through schools and vocational and professional training, as well as in non-formal learning through institutions of civil society, the family and the mass media.

6. In order to enhance their effectiveness, human rights education efforts for the Decade shall be shaped in such a way as to be relevant to the daily lives of learners, and shall seek to engage learners in a dialogue about the ways and means of transforming human rights from the expression of abstract norms to the reality of their social, economic, cultural and political conditions.

7. In recognition of the interdependence and mutually reinforcing nature of democracy, development and human rights, human rights education under the Decade shall seek to further effective democratic participation in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres, and shall be utilized as a means of promoting economic and social progress and people-centred sustainable development.

8. Human rights education under the Decade shall combat and be free of gender bias, racial and other stereotypes.

9. Human rights education under the Decade shall seek both to impart skills and knowledge to learners and to affect positively their attitudes and behaviour, consistent with all other principles set forth in the present Plan of Action and in the international human rights instruments upon which it is based.

III. OBJECTIVES

10. The objectives of the Decade shall include:

(a) The assessment of needs and the formulation of effective strategies for the furtherance of human rights education at all school levels, in vocational training and formal as well as non-formal learning;

(b) The building and strengthening of programmes and capacities for human rights education at the international, regional, national and local levels;

(c) The coordinated development of human rights education materials;

(d) The strengthening of the role and capacity of the mass media in the furtherance of human rights education;

(e) The global dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the maximum possible number of languages and in other forms appropriate for various levels of literacy and for the disabled.

IV. PRINCIPAL ACTORS

11. Governments should play an active role in the implementation of the programme of the Decade through the development of national plans of action for human rights education, the introduction or strengthening of national human rights curricula in their formal educational systems, the conducting of national information campaigns on human rights and the opening of public access to human rights resource, information and training centres, as well as through enhanced donor support for relevant voluntary funds and international and national human rights education programmes.


12. National human rights institutions, such as human rights commissions, offices of the ombudsman and human rights research and training institutes should play a central role in the development, coordination and implementation of human rights education programmes at the national level.

13. The active engagement of national non-governmental organizations, grass-roots organizations, professional associations and interested individuals shall be encouraged to assist in the realization of the goals of the Decade. To that end, national organizations should be given the full support of international programmes, Governments and others to assist them in their human rights educational activities, both through technical assistance and training and through financial support to aid them in strengthening their role in civil society.

14. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is the highest official of the United Nations dealing with human rights matters. He is specifically responsible for coordinating relevant United Nations education and public information programmes in the field of human rights, in keeping with General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20December1993.

15. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights are a unity whereby the High Commissioner sets the policy direction and the priority of action and the Centre implements those policies. In this connection, the Centre for Human Rights, in consultation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), shall continue to provide to Governments, on request, human rights education, training, information, fellowships and advisory services programmes. The Centre should continue its emphasis, in this regard, on the training of teachers, police, prison officials, lawyers, judges, government officials, the media, the military, non-governmental organizations, electoral officials and the general public. The Centre should also continue to provide human rights training to international civil servants, development officers and peacekeepers.

16. United Nations human rights treaty monitoring bodies, the Commission on Human Rights, the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and all other United Nations human rights bodies and programmes shall, in the course of their mandated functions during the Decade, encourage the furtherance of human rights education, including through appropriate recommendations to States, to the High Commissioner for Human Rights and to others involved in human rights education.

17. UNESCO, by reason of its long experience in education, educational methodology and human rights and through its network of UNESCO schools, clubs, human rights chairs and national commissions, shall play a central role in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects under the Plan of Action. Accordingly, UNESCO will be called upon to cooperate closely with the High Commissioner and the Centre for Human Rights in the implementation of the Plan.

18. Similarly, other United Nations specialized agencies, units of the Secretariat and programmes involved in human rights educational activities, including the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations University (UNU) and various United Nations institutes engaged in research and training shall be encouraged to work with the High Commissioner for Human Rights in order that existing capacities for human rights education may be fully coordinated and mobilized towards the objectives of the Decade.

19. Other international organizations, including intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations active in the field of human rights, shall be encouraged to continue and enhance their activities in the area of human rights education and to avail themselves of the coordination of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the purposes of the Decade.

V. TARGET GROUPS

20. Activities carried out under the Decade shall be designed to bring the objectives of the Decade to as wide an audience as possible, through both formal and non-formal education and, to this end, should encourage an approach that is designed to build permanent capacity, including through the training of trainers.

21. The general public shall be the subject of far-reaching human rights information efforts designed to inform them of their rights and responsibilities under the international human rights instruments.

22. Human rights education initiatives taken under the Decade shall include the use of audiovisual and multimedia materials, with a view to the effective delivery of human rights education to people at all levels of literacy and education and to persons with disabilities.

23. Special emphasis shall be given in human rights education activities under the Decade to the human rights of women, children, the aged, minorities, refugees, indigenous peoples, persons in extreme poverty, persons with HIV infection or AIDS and other vulnerable groups.

24. Special attention shall be given to the training of police, prison officials, lawyers, judges, teachers and curriculum developers, the armed forces, international civil servants, development officers and peacekeepers, non-governmental organizations, the media, government officials, parliamentarians and other groups that are in a particular position to effect the realization of human rights.

25. Schools, universities, professional and vocational training programmes and institutions should be encouraged and assisted in developing human rights curricula and corresponding teaching and resource materials, with the help of Governments and international donors and programmes, for incorporation into formal education at the early childhood, primary, secondary, post-secondary and adult education levels.

26. Appropriate institutions of civil society, including non-governmental organizations, workers' and employers' organizations, labour unions, the mass media, religious organizations, community organizations, the family, independent information, resource and training centres and others, for the purpose of incorporating human rights education into non-formal programmes, should be encouraged and assisted in developing and delivering such non-formal programmes, with the help of Governments and international donors and programmes.

VI. STRUCTURE FOR COORDINATION AND IMPLEMENTATION

27. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the assistance of the Centre for Human Rights, will promote and coordinate the implementation of the present Plan of Action. He shall consult with the United Nations human rights treaty-monitoring and Charter-based human rights bodies regarding the Plan of Action and consider ways of supporting any recommendations made by those bodies in the area of human rights education. He will also consult closely with Governments, regional organizations, national institutions, specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations and grass-roots and professional associations, and will prepare an annual report on the progress made at all levels based on information supplied by those sources.


28. In recognition of the fact that action at the national and local levels is crucial to the effective promotion of human rights education, as is an effective international coordination structure, the Plan of Action envisages that:

(a) National focal points for human rights education should be designated in each State, according to national conditions. Such focal points may consist of specially constituted committees including representatives of relevant government agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and educators; or, alternatively, existing appropriate structures or organizations, such as ombudsman offices, national human rights commissions or national human rights training and research institutes may be designated to perform this function;

(b) Each national focal point should be charged with identifying national human rights education needs, developing a national plan of action, raising funds, coordinating with regional and international bodies involved in implementing the objectives of the Decade and reporting to the High Commissioner for Human Rights on needs, proposals and progress made towards the realization of the goals of the Decade;

(c) Each national focal point shall also serve as a conduit for the channelling of international and regional input, information and support to the local and grass-roots levels in their respective countries;

(d) Each State shall be encouraged to establish a national human rights resource and training centre capable of engaging in research, training of trainers, preparation, collection, translation and dissemination of human rights materials, and organization of conferences, workshops and courses, or, where such centres already exist, to work towards their strengthening;

(e) International programmes and activities, including those of the United Nations and other international agencies, donor Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations should provide stimulus and support to national and local efforts in advancing the objectives of the Decade.

VII. PROGRAMME OF IMPLEMENTATION

29. The particular objectives of the Decade, the programme of implementation for the realization of those objectives and the means for follow-up and assessment of each programme element shall be as described below.

A.
Component one: assessing needs and formulating strategies

Objective

30. The objective of component one is to assess needs and to formulate effective strategies for the furtherance of human rights education at the international, regional, national and local levels.

Programme elements

31. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the assistance of the Centre for Human Rights and in cooperation with UNESCO, shall conduct, in 1995, a preliminary survey and evaluation of existing human rights education programmes and initiatives at the international, regional and national levels, and shall issue a report of the results of that survey and evaluation.

32. The preliminary report shall take into account all available information on existing programmes and initiatives, shall identify shortcomings and needs for the realization of the goals of the Decade and shall make recommendations for action to address those needs effectively during the Decade.

33. For the purposes of the High Commissioner's preliminary report, all participating national focal points, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, specialized agencies and programmes, and interested others, shall be requested to provide relevant information to the High Commissioner, based upon their own independent assessments and activities. National focal points, in particular, shall be requested to conduct detailed assessments in their own countries and to report thereon to the High Commissioner.

34. The survey and evaluation and the resulting preliminary report shall seek to identify with particularity, at the international, regional and national levels,
interalia, the number and types of human rights educational materials available, existing human rights educational institutes, centres and permanent focal points, national percentages of teachers trained in human rights education, the percentage of schools having adopted human rights curricula at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels, and number and types of human rights education components in professional training and non-formal education programmes.

35. The preliminary report shall identify, as well, the needs and requirements of Member States, non-governmental organizations and other implementing partners for the enhancement of existing human rights education programmes and for the creation of new programmes in order to contribute to the objectives of the Decade and shall make recommendations to those ends.

36. The report should also explore other aspects of the socialization process, outside of traditional education, with a view to expanding human rights education in new directions so that human rights values may become more effectively integrated throughout society.

37. Annexed to the report should be a roster of national focal points, international and regional organizations cooperating in the Decade, existing human rights research and training institutes and centres, and other Decade partners. Information should also be provided on agencies, organizations, foundations and institutions providing financial and technical assistance to national governmental and non-governmental educational institutions and organizations engaged in human rights education.

Assessment and follow-up

38. Following the publication of the preliminary report of the High Commissioner, the High Commissioner and the Centre for Human Rights shall convene an international planning conference on the Decade, with the participation of UNESCO, other United Nations agencies and human rights bodies participating in the Decade, representatives of involved regional and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, donor Governments, educators and other experts from all parts of the world.

39. The conference will review the preliminary report of the High Commissioner and develop detailed plans for the implementation of its recommendations and for the allocation of responsibilities to that end. Such plans will include timetables, designation of local, national, regional and international implementing agencies, budgets and implementation and funding strategies.

40. The High Commissioner will use the meeting as an opportunity to appeal to donors to support the funding of the various programmes resulting from the preliminary report and the conference.

41. The conclusions of the meeting will be contained in a report, which will be complementary to the preliminary report of the High Commissioner and which will be made available together with the preliminary report to all organizations, Governments and national focal points participating in the Decade.

42. Upon receipt of the complementary reports, all national focal points will be requested to develop a five-year detailed national implementation plan for human rights education including target groups, methodologies, timetables, budgets and funding strategies, covering efforts to meet the objectives of the Decade up to the mid-term evaluation period in the year 2000.



B. Component two: strengthening international programmes and capacities

Objective

43. The objective of component two is to build and strengthen programmes and capacities for human rights education at the international level.

Programme elements

44. Under the overall policy guidance of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Centre for Human Rights will continue and enhance its activities relating to programme development in the field of targeted human rights education, including the production of handbooks and training manuals on human rights for selected audiences. The Centre will ensure the broad distribution of its manuals and handbooks on human rights and social work, human rights and elections, human rights and pre-trial detention, and human rights reporting, and will produce further manuals and handbooks on human rights and national institutions, human rights and police, human rights and prisons, human rights and the administration of justice, human rights and the armed forces, human rights and constitutions, human rights and conflict resolution, human rights and teachers, human rights and the media, and human rights and parliament. In these materials, the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all rights should be reflected, and they should specifically address economic, social and cultural rights.

45. The Centre for Human Rights will continue and enhance its technical cooperation activities relating to human rights education, both for the general public and for specialized audiences, under the programme of advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human rights.

46. The Centre for Human Rights, in cooperation with UNESCO, will develop model human rights curricula, pedagogical techniques and teaching materials for primary and secondary schools. The Centre for Human Rights, under its programme of advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human rights, will utilize these materials in its provision of technical assistance to requesting States.

47. Each specialized agency will be requested to enhance its efforts in the area of human rights education and to appoint a human rights education liaison officer to work with the High Commissioner and the Centre for Human Rights in the development of joint educational activities relating to human rights in the areas of competence of each agency. Each agency will provide information to the High Commissioner on programmes undertaken and materials produced in the field of human rights education for the High Commissioner's preliminary, mid-term and final reports.

48. The Centre for Human Rights will promote the organization of international workshops to identify concepts, materials and methods for human rights education on priority human rights themes.

49. Consistent with the directives of the World Conference on Human Rights in its Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the Centre for Human Rights will continue and enhance its activities aimed at assisting peacekeepers, international civil servants and development officers in integrating human rights standards, concepts and methods into the planning and implementation of their work. To that end, the Centre should develop specific training programmes for each of these groups, and should cooperate with the relevant agencies and departments of the United Nations in incorporating such programmes into their activities.

50. The Centre for Human Rights, as well as relevant specialized agencies and international programmes, will explore possibilities for the development and use of advanced technologies, including telecommunications networks, electronic mail databases and data exchange to facilitate networking among international programmes, national focal points, educators and resource and training centres involved in the Decade.

51. The Secretary-General shall be requested to establish a United Nations voluntary fund for human rights education, to be administered by the Centre for Human Rights through the programme of advisory services and technical assistance. The fund shall be used to support activities under the Decade, including support for building human rights education capacities in governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations at the national level.

Assessment and follow-up

52. The High Commissioner will report on progress and developments in all of these programme elements in his preliminary, mid-term and final reports. He will also make recommendations for advancing the objectives of these elements in each such report. Each international actor implicated in these programme elements will accordingly be called upon to provide updated and detailed information to the High Commissioner.

C. Component three: strengthening regional programmes and capacities

Objective

53. The objective of component three is to build and strengthen programmes and capacities for human rights education at the regional level.

Programme elements

54. All regional and subregional human rights organizations will be requested to enhance their efforts in the area of human rights education and will also be requested to appoint a human rights education liaison officer to work with the High Commissioner and the Centre for Human Rights in the development of joint educational activities relating to human rights in the respective regions of each organization. Liaison officers will, as well, be requested to report to the High Commissioner, on behalf of each organization, on programmes undertaken and materials produced in the field of human rights education, for purposes of the High Commissioner's preliminary, mid-term and final reports.

55. In regions or subregions where such organizations do not yet exist, the High Commissioner, with the assistance of the Centre for Human Rights, will encourage their establishment through the convening of workshops and through the provision of technical assistance, where appropriate.

Assessment and follow-up

56. The High Commissioner will report on progress and developments in all of these programme elements in his preliminary, mid-term and final reports. He will also make recommendations for advancing the objectives of these elements in each such report. Each regional organization participating in these programme elements will accordingly be called upon to provide updated and detailed information to the High Commissioner.

D. Component four: strengthening national programmes and capacities

Objective

57. The objective of component four is to build and strengthen programmes and capacities for human rights education at the national level.

Programme elements

58. Every State will be requested to draw up a national plan of action for human rights education, reflecting the principles and objectives of this international plan and forming an integral part of a comprehensive national plan of action for human rights. Such national plans of action for human rights education should be completed during 1995, in consultation with all relevant national and local actors and groups, and should be transmitted to the High Commissioner for Human Rights for purposes of effective coordination and cooperation in their implementation. Each national plan should contain specific objectives, strategies and programmes for the enhancement of human rights education in pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, higher education, professional schools, the training of public officials and in non-formal learning, including general public information. National focal points should periodically review the implementation of the frameworks and revise them as necessary.

59. As described in paragraph28 above, every State will be requested to designate a national focal point for human rights education, which shall assist in the identification of needs, the development of a national plan of action, fund-raising and international and local liaison and coordination with the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

60. Every State will be encouraged to establish a national public access human rights resource and training centre or, where such centres already exist, to take concrete steps to strengthen their capacity to support human rights education at the national and local levels. International and regional programmes and organizations should assist in the establishment and strengthening of such centres, including through the provision of financial and technical assistance. States should provide to the High Commissioner, for purposes of his preliminary, mid-term and final reports, all available information on the existence, operation, functions and resources of such centres.

61. National human rights resource and training centres, in cooperation with national focal points, should engage,
inter alia, in the following tasks:

(a) Research on human rights and human rights education;

(b) Translation and culturally appropriate adaptation of training materials;

(c) Outreach to professional groups and community workers;

(d) Gender-sensitive training of trainers;

(e) Organization of internship programmes for students and teachers interested in developing projects in human rights education;

(f) Organization of special cultural events for art, music and theatre performances, and the production of journals, popular books and audiovisual materials on human rights;

(g) Maintenance of a roster of national experts and institutions in human rights education;

(h) Assistance in the implementation of internationally sponsored technical cooperation projects for human rights education;

(i) Establishment of a human rights extension service for making consultations, publications and teaching materials available to individuals and groups requesting assistance in matters relating to human rights education. Assistance in the development of guidelines and materials for these extension services should be provided to the national resource and training centres by competent international programmes and organizations on request.

Assessment and follow-up

62. The High Commissioner will report on progress and developments in all of these programme elements in his preliminary, mid-term and final reports. He will also make recommendations for advancing the objectives of these elements in each such report. Each national focal point participating in these programme elements will accordingly be called upon to provide updated and detailed information to the High Commissioner.

63. The reports of the High Commissioner will be made available to all national focal points in order that they may take into account his recommendations, and so that they may make use of other information contained in those reports, for purposes of programme development, identification of sources of funding and technical assistance, and liaison with other actors in the Decade.

E.
Component five: strengthening local programmes and capacities

Objective

64. The objective of component five is to build and strengthen programmes and capacities for human rights education at the local level.

Programme elements

65. National focal points will be encouraged, in the interest of building local and community-based capacities for human rights education, to include all local and community-based organizations in the national roster described in component four above, and to direct their efforts and resources, including support received from international sources, to enabling such local and community-based organizations to deliver effective human rights education to their constituencies.

66. With the support of national focal points and national resource and training centres, local and community-based organizations should be prepared to deliver popular human rights education, through vocational and adult education, literacy training, local non-governmental organizations, family outreach and religious education.

67. To these ends, national focal points should be charged with organizing regular consultations and annual meetings with local groups and representatives, and with soliciting their active input for purposes of national evaluations, plans of action, projects and reports to the High Commissioner.

68. Local and community-based groups should also be fully involved in the implementation of national projects for human rights education, with a view to delivering the benefits of the Decade to all levels and sectors of society.

Assessment and follow-up

69. The High Commissioner will report on challenges, progress and developments in the delivery of human rights education to the local level in his preliminary, mid-term and final reports. He will also make recommendations for advancing these efforts in each such report. Each national focal point participating in these programme elements will accordingly be called upon to provide updated and detailed information to the High Commissioner on the number and types of local and community-based groups cooperating with each national focal point and the kind of support delivered to the local level, as well as challenges and difficulties encountered.

F.
Component six: coordinated development of materials for human rights education

Objective

70. The objective of component six is to ensure the coordinated development of effective human rights education materials.

Programme elements

71. The High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights shall develop and publish, in cooperation with UNESCO and all other actors in the Decade, a current and periodically updated listing of available human rights educational materials, including manuals, handbooks, curricula, audiovisual tools and other such materials, concurrent with his preliminary, mid-term and final reports. The listing shall also contain information on how such materials may be obtained by interested organizations and individuals. The listing should be made available on an electronic database as soon as possible. The educational material collected in connection with the listing should be maintained at the Centre for Human Rights and made available upon request to interested parties.

72. UNESCO and other international and regional organizations and agencies will be requested to enhance their activities directed at the development of such materials, with priority attention to be directed to any lacunae revealed in the compilation of the High Commissioner's listing and to the strengthening of existing materials where necessary.

73. Educational materials developed at the international and regional levels should benefit from the review and input of national focal points and national resource and training centres and should be made available to national and local programmes for translation, cultural adaptation, testing and revision, with the financial and technical assistance of international and regional programmes.

74. Every national resource and training centre should be provided with a full set of such materials for use in the development of national and local programmes, and national focal points, in their reports to the High Commissioner, should identify national needs in this regard. National focal points will, in turn, be responsible for making such materials available to local and community-based groups, national professional training programmes, national non-governmental organizations and other national actors in the Decade.

75. In the development of new materials for specialized audiences, the following considerations should be taken into account, in addition to the normative basis, definition, guiding principles, objectives and target groups described in parts I to V of the present Plan of Action:

(a)
Collegial presentations. Where possible, effective training efforts should draw from a list of experts which is practical in orientation. Rather than assembling panels composed entirely of professors and theorists, consideration should be given to preparing practitioners in the relevant field to deliver human rights education, be they lawyers, judges or police officers. Much more can be accomplished through the collegial approach of, for example, police discussing with police, than could be gained by a professor-student model of training;

(b)
Training the trainers and capacity-building. Participants in targeted human rights courses should be selected with the understanding that their responsibilities will continue after completion of the training exercises. They should be charged with conducting their own training or dissemination efforts after returning to their normal duty station. In this way, the impact of such courses is multiplied severalfold, as the information imparted is disseminated throughout the institutions concerned;

(c)
Pedagogical techniques. Courses developed under the Decade, in each case, should include a section designed to introduce a variety of effective techniques for the training of specific audiences. In particular, suggestions should be made for the use of creative, interactive teaching methods, which offer the best hope for securing the active, engaged participation of the programme participants. Such techniques may include the use of working groups, lecture-discussions, case-studies, panel discussions, round-table discussions, brainstorming sessions, simulation and role-playing, field trips, practica and the use of audio and visual aids, as culturally appropriate to the specific audience;

(d)
Audience specificity. The mere recitation of vague principles of general applicability offers little hope of affecting the actual behaviour of a given audience. To be effective, indeed, at all worthwhile, training and education efforts must be directly targeted and appropriately addressed to a particular audience, be they police, health care workers, lawyers, students or others. Accordingly, the content of the Decade's teaching activities should focus more on the standards directly relevant to the daily work of or role in the community of the audience and less on distant theoretical notions;

(e)
Practical approach. According to the report of a recent parliamentary commission investigating violations at one country's police stations, when confronted with evidence of abuses the police said that they lacked understanding about interrogation methods and techniques, that they carried out interrogations by outdated methods and that they did not know how interrogations were carried out in other countries. In order to compare their methods and improve them, they wanted to have the chance to do research and observe interrogation methods in other countries. Such accounts reveal two important areas of focus, extendable by analogy to audiences other than police trainees. Firstly, offering justifications of any kind for serious violations such as torture demonstrates a lack of familiarity with the most fundamental of standards for human rights. There are no legitimate justifications for such activities. Secondly, police (and other groups) in the real world want to know not just what the rules are, but also how to do their job effectively within the confines of those rules. Training efforts that ignore either of these areas will likely be neither credible nor effective. Accordingly, educational efforts under the Decade should include practical information on proven techniques for the performance of the target audience's duties, as derived from the recommendations of experts and literature on the current best practice for the profession in question;

(f)
Comprehensive presentation of standards. Courses and materials developed under the Decade should be thorough in their presentation of the relevant international standards. To that end, relevant instruments and simplified learning tools should be translated and provided to trainees;

(g)
Teaching to sensitize. The goals of materials and courses developed under the Decade should not be limited to the imparting of standards and practical skills, but should also include exercises designed to sensitize trainees to their own potential for violative behaviour, however unwitting. For example, well-developed exercises that can have the effect of making trainees aware of notions of gender or racial bias in their own attitudes or behaviour can be quite valuable. Similarly, the special import of particular standards as they apply to women (for example) are not always readily obvious. Trainees should be made to understand, for example, that the term "degrading treatment", as found in the various international instruments, may have different practical implications when applied to women as compared to men, or when applied to one cultural group vis--vis another;

(h)
Flexibility of design and application. To be universally useful, training courses and materials must be designed in such a way as to facilitate their flexible use, without imposing a single rigid focus or approach on the trainers. Such courses must be adaptable to the particular cultural, educational, regional and experiential needs and realities of a diverse range of potential audiences within the target group;

(i)
Evaluation tools. Training materials and courses should include pre- and post-training evaluative exercises, such as testing questionnaires, which serve three crucial purposes. Pre-course questionnaires, when properly utilized, allow a trainer to tailor his or her course to the particular educational needs of the audience. Post-course questionnaires and evaluation sessions will both allow trainees to gauge what they have learned and assist in the continuous (crucial) modification and improvement of courses offered under the Decade.

Assessment and follow-up

76. The High Commissioner, concurrently with his preliminary, mid-term and final reports, will make available for distribution to all international organizations, regional organizations and national focal points the current listings of available training materials described in this component.

77. The High Commissioner, based upon information to be provided in reports by national focal points and from other partners in the Decade, will encourage the development and distribution of new materials, as indicated by evolving needs.

G.
Component seven: strengthening the role of the mass media

Objective

78. The objective of component seven is to strengthen the role and capacity of the mass media in the furtherance of human rights education.

Programme elements

79. In recognition of the important role of the mass media in bringing human rights education to all sectors of society, including to persons at all levels of literacy and those living or working in remote areas, journalists, broadcasters and other media professionals should, during the course of the Decade, be subject to increased training and assistance in incorporating human rights information and public education into their work. All programmes and organizations engaged in the provision of training and technical cooperation under the Decade should consider contributing to these efforts. The Centre for Human Rights, in particular, should produce a manual on human rights for the media and increase its media training activities.

80. All actors in the Decade shall encourage, in their contacts with the media, enhanced public coverage of human rights issues and the development of programmes that provide information and ideas about human rights and contribute to a public dialogue about human rights, in full respect for the independence of the media and the freedoms of information and expression.

81. In consultation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights, the Department of Public Information of the United Nations will increase significantly the production of United Nations television and radio educational programmes on human rights. The Department will be requested to produce videos, films and programmes for radio broadcasting on human rights themes.

82. The High Commissioner and the Centre for Human Rights, with the cooperation of the Department of Public Information, will establish a media advisory board for public information and education on human rights and will develop a mass media campaign to publicize human rights standards and mechanisms.

83. In the context of the World Public Information Campaign for Human Rights, and in cooperation with relevant non-governmental organizations and agencies, the Centre for Human Rights will intensify the publication of fact sheets, studies and other public information human rights materials. It will also organize or participate in public human rights events such as the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations, in 1995, and the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in 1998. The High Commissioner will encourage global media coverage of these events.

Assessment and follow-up

84. The High Commissioner, in his preliminary, mid-term and final reports will provide information on measures undertaken to increase media attention to human rights issues at the international, regional and national levels. All national focal points will be requested to maintain a review of national press coverage of human rights issues and to report to the High Commissioner on such coverage. A similar press review, at the international level, will be maintained by the Centre for Human Rights and the Department of Public Information.

H.
Component eight: global dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Objective

85. The objective of component eight is to achieve the global dissemination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the maximum number of possible languages, and in other forms appropriate for various levels of literacy and for the disabled.

Programme elements

86. The High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights, in cooperation with UNESCO, the Department of Public Information and its United Nations information centres, will conduct a global survey of existing printed language versions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as of existing versions in pictorial, audiovisual or other formats, and will ascertain the availability of the various versions for distribution in each Member State, commencing in 1995.

87. Based upon the results of the survey, a plan will be developed by the High Commissioner for the production of further language versions of the Universal Declaration, with priority attention to be given to ensuring the existence of at least one printed format version for the main language of each Member State, and at least one audio or other appropriate version for persons of various levels of literacy and for the disabled in each Member State. Additional versions, in minority and other national languages, and in other formats for persons of other levels of literacy and for the disabled, should immediately follow the production of these versions.

88. Under the coordination of the High Commissioner and the respective national focal points for human rights education, and according to the plan developed following the survey, Governments and national non-governmental organizations, universities and institutes, will be called upon to carry out translation, publication and distribution of appropriate versions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with technical and financial assistance from international organizations and programmes, where necessary. Such international organizations and programmes, including the advisory services and technical assistance programme of the Centre for Human Rights, UNESCO, other United Nations agencies and international non-governmental organizations, will be encouraged by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to make available such assistance, and the international donor community will be called upon to support these efforts.

89. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in 1998, major celebratory events will be organized at the international, regional and national levels, during which the importance of universal knowledge and understanding of the provisions of the Universal Declaration will be emphasized. At the international level, the High Commissioner for Human Rights will convene an international conference on dissemination of the Universal Declaration, for the purpose of devising strategies for ensuring that the Declaration is globally available and effectively incorporated into human rights education at all levels and in all Member States. Regional organizations and national focal points will be called upon to hold corresponding events and to contribute to and implement the recommendations of the international conference.


Assessment and follow-up

90. The results of the survey conducted by the High Commissioner and the report of the international conference to be held in 1998 will be distributed to all regional organizations, national focal points and other interested partners in the Decade upon their completion.

91. All regional organizations, national focal points and other interested partners in the Decade will be requested to report to the High Commissioner for purposes of his mid-term evaluation in the year 2000, and again for his final report in 2004, on progress made since the completion of the survey, including celebratory events held and versions of the Universal Declaration available, and on continuing needs and challenges in the achievement of the objectives of these programme elements.

92. The High Commissioner will incorporate all such information into his mid-term and final reports, and all programme partners will be called upon to redirect their efforts according to the information and recommendations contained in those reports.

VIII. MID-TERM GLOBAL EVALUATION

93. During the year 2000, a mid-term global evaluation of progress made towards the achievement of the objectives of the Decade shall be undertaken by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights, in cooperation with all other principal actors in the Decade. The High Commissioner shall report to the General Assembly on the results of that evaluation.

94. The evaluation report shall take into account all available information on what has been accomplished at the international, regional, national and local levels, shall identify remaining shortcomings and needs, and shall make recommendations for action during the five remaining years of the Decade.

95. For purposes of the High Commissioner's report, all participating national focal points, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, specialized agencies and programmes, and interested others, shall be requested to provide relevant information to the High Commissioner, based upon their own independent assessments and activities. National focal points, in particular, shall be requested to conduct detailed assessments in their own countries, and to report thereon to the High Commissioner.

IX. CONCLUSION OF THE DECADE

96. The year 2004 shall be the final year of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education. That year shall, accordingly, be set as the target date for achievement of generalized human rights education programmes through the implementation of State action plans. It shall also be the target date for the completion of a comprehensive collection of human rights education materials and their broad distribution throughout all Member States. By the conclusion of the Decade, effective national capacities for the delivery of human rights education should be secured worldwide.

X. FOLLOW-UP TO THE DECADE

97. After conclusion of the Decade, the High Commissioner, with the assistance of the Centre for Human Rights and in cooperation with UNESCO, should issue a final report on the state of human rights education at the local, national, regional and international levels. The High Commissioner, in the final report, should seek to identify, as precisely as possible, progress in the various areas, including in which languages the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is available, the number and types of human rights educational manuals, handbooks and teaching materials developed by international and regional organizations and programmes, the number of human rights educational institutes, centres or permanent focal points established at the national level, the national percentages of teachers trained in human rights, the number of schools having adopted human rights education curricula and the number and kinds of education in the professional fields and in informal and non-formal education. The report should also provide precise information on how various language versions of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and human rights teaching materials may be obtained by interested groups and individuals.

98. The national, regional and international structures and networks established under the Decade should continue to serve as permanent focal and contact points for international cooperation in the field of human rights education, and the High Commissioner and the Centre for Human Rights, in cooperation with UNESCO, should maintain, and make available upon request, a current roster of such organizations and focal points.

99. Human rights educational materials developed under the Decade should be subject to periodic review, supplementation and revision to take into account changing needs and realities, and should continue to be made available on the widest possible basis.



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