Universal Declaration of Human Rights - teaching

Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 01:57 am
On 10 December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Following this historic act, the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

(I didn't know that did you? I never heard it in school or anywhere else, until i looked it up recently. Anyway, here it is. The full text of which you can read via the link below. )

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

* All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

* Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

* Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

* No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

* No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

* Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

* All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

* Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

* No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10..

* Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

* (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
* (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

* No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

* (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
* (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

* (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
* (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

* (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
* (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

* (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
* (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
* (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

* (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
* (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

* Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

* Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

* (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
* (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

* (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
* (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
* (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

* Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.
* (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
* (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
* (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
* (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

* Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

* (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
* (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

* (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
* (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
* (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

* (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
* (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

* Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

* (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
* (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
* (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations

Article 30.

* Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.



So, do any teachers anywhere in the world have this deceleration hanging up in their classroom?

Hands up, now.. Smile

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Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 05:03 am

The Declaration of Human Rights is precious, because these rights were forged from our response to great human suffering (WWII, The holocaust, Hiroshima) -
Not revenge, not hatred, but a reminder that we are all human and peace is necessary, however much we may fear its fragility. However little faith we have in ourselves to build such a reality.

This declaration is one universal good that came out of that terrible time and should be honoured and never forgotten.

Imagine how good it would be if we respected the 1948 Assembly's wishes and began to educate ourselves and our children in the ways of peace.
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Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 06:00 am
I don't have time to read it this morning, but I will do so this afternoon.
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Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 07:16 am
Nice words.

Too bad they are incapable of enforcement.
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Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 12:50 pm

…Develop a new political culture based on human rights.

-Nelson Mandela

2009-The International Year
of Human Rights Learning


Human Right Cities
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Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 09:23 am

Learning - Rather Than 'Teaching'

It isn't terribly unusual for me to make my first mistakes at the starting line, so i was not too fazed to find that what i had written as a title for this thread, is wrong - in as much as I used the word 'education' at all.

In defence of my own lack of education on this subject, i found out that PDHRE themselves had made exactly the same mistake as i, when they first formed. Here's what they have to say about it:

All quotes by Shulamith Koenig
Founding President of PDHRE
People's Movement for Human Rights Learning
Recipient of the 2003 United Nation Human Rights Award

The joy is about the excellent resolution we were able to bring through the third committee in 1994, after long deliberations led by Slovenia, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Senegal to declare a Decade for Human Rights Education. If one takes the time to read this resolution, it is clear that the resolution sought to end imposed ignorance, conceived as a human rights violation. It spoke to the fact that people, for whom human rights were created, did not know about them.
The resolution called on a multitude of groups and organizations to integrate in their work, and add to their agenda Human Rights Learning. Although at the time we mistakenly use the term “education,” our aim was and still is for people to participate in developing democracies as delivery systems of human rights.

The basic distinction between Human Rights Education and Human Rights Learning is between education and learning. The word "education" has been co-opted by those who determine what is to be taught, to whom and how it is to be taught, not just by the schools, but any authority who has control over information. The purpose of education is usually to get people to believe what and think as the "education authorities" want them to. Learning has not yet been so co-opted. Learning can still be what happens in those who are presented with ideas, issues, values, queries about problems, and through reflection, analysis, assessment and evaluation come to understand and hold independent ideas about their societies and as much of the world as they "learn" about. Education has become mainly input. If it has any authentic output it is learning, but mainly it is socialization to conformity and indoctrination in the dominant value system. Authentic learning happens in and at the will of the learner. Human Rights Learning is more consistent than Human Rights education with the fundamental purpose of human rights concepts and standards, making it possible for all persons to realize their full human dignity. It begins with assuming the rights of the learners to decide themselves what they will believe and develops means through which the learners can acquire information while forming their own opinions and determining their own course of action about the issues of concern to them. (There are still some places in which education is centered on learning, but few. Education at least provides basic information. For the reflective who can resist indoctrination, it can be the beginning of learning. And where people have none of the tools of acquiring information, it is better than nothing). However, in the absence of authentic Human Rights Learning people will not be able to achieve their full dignity. Education may provide information about human rights, but it will not necessary enable learners to develop the capacity and the motivation to fully realize them.

PDHRE certainly supports the inclusion of Human Rights Education. But more is needed. That need is the development of the kind of autonomous critical thinking essential to democratic governance in whicn communites need to participate and can so effectively if equipped with the knowledge about human rigths as a way of life.

So PDHRE, People’s Decade for Human Rights Education, changed its name to PDHRE, People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning, this for the purpose of making the clarion call again and again for all to know the holistic vision of human rights as relevant to people’s daily lives, and to make a very clear distinction between Human Rights Education and Human Rights Learning. This was done not to diminish Human Rights Education, but to understand that reaching possibly 1% to 2% of the communities in the world, mostly children and youth, will not bring about the holistic vision and practical mission of human rights to grass roots communities. I am sorry for repeating myself, but I feel very strongly that unless we understand human rights as powerful tool in the hands of people, everywhere, anywhere in the world, human rights will stay captive in the hands of experts, teachers, and professionals, mostly top down and informational, and will not find its way from the vertical to the horizontal to be meaningful to people’s daily lives those for whom they were created.

So, the word EDUCATION in the title of this thread then is wrong- and should, i see now, be the word LEARNING

It just goes to show doesn't it - that we are all new to this learning game. That is life i suppose.

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