Human Rights Education Research Literature

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2008 research report on Hampshire RRR programme

This report summarises the evaluation research conducted over the past three years by Canadian academics Brian Howe and Katherine Covell on the Hampshire Education Authority’s Rights, Respect and Responsibility (RRR) initiative. The RRR initiative was started in Hampshire in 2003 and is based on and consistent with the rights of children as articulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The RRR extended the Cape Breton Program through systematic and strategic implementation of the initiative, through the widespread provision of teacher training, and through a whole-school reform approach. Overall, the RRR initiative must be considered to be a major success.

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Empowering Children: Children's Rights Education as a Pathway to Citizenship

Approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that children in all countries have fundamental rights, including rights to education. To date, 192 states are signatories to or have in some form ratified the accord. Children are still imperilled in many countries, however, and are often not made aware of their guaranteed rights.

In Empowering Children, R. Brian Howe and Katherine Covell assert that educating children about their basic rights is a necessary means not only of fulfilling a country's legal obligations, but also of advancing education about democratic principles and the practice of citizenship. The authors contend that children's rights education empowers children as persons and as rights-respecting citizens in democratic societies. Such education has a 'contagion effect' that brings about a general social knowledge on human rights and social responsibility.

Although there remain obstacles to the implementation of children's rights in many countries, Howe and Covell argue that reforming schools and enhancing teacher education are absolutely essential to the creation of a new culture of respect toward children as citizens.

To buy this book go to the University of Toronto website

Evidence of impact, the Hampshire case study

One of the most comprehensive approaches to human rights-based education, rolled out by Hampshire County of the United Kingdom. Impressive results from Hampshire are linked in this resource to the NZ Curriculum's values and key competencies - and positive impacts on academic achievement, teachers and school management experienced by Hampshire. (Part of the HRiE School Resource Kit)

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Human rights-based education in practice: Hampshire primary schools talking about Rights Respect Responsibility

Two years after the idea of building New Zealand schools as human rights communities was first floated, the UK county of Hampshire launched a similar initiative called Rights, Respect, Responsibility (RRR). This paper gives a vivid picture – through the words of principals and their deputies – of what human rights-based education might mean in practice as they describe “their journey in developing RRR, capturing the passion and that RRR can engender.” (From the HRiE School Resource Kit)

Download as Word Doc. (74KB)
UNICEF UK: Rights Respecting School Award

This nationwide award scheme promotes the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as the basis for enhancing teaching, learning, ethos, attitudes and behaviour. Below is a link to the UNICEF website where you will find a summary of the Rights Respecting School Award, as well as a PDF version of the 2008 Briefing Paper on RRS in England.

Click here for a link to the UNICEF UK website.