Registered Users

Submit a Story

Human Rights in Education is an open collaborative Initiative. It depends on the contributions of educators prepared to share their ideas, resources and experiences.

Contribute stories or resources

News & Articles

Implementing human rights-based education

Last Updated (Tuesday, 30 November 1999 12:00)

‘A healthy school climate as a firm foundation upon which to build learning’
‘Good citizens, a school where everyone respects each other, a community that understands what rights and responsibilities mean’

These are two of the hopes principals have expressed for human rights-based education in a recent HRiE survey.

As part of their school journey as a human rights-based learning community principals have reported the development of human rights-linked class charters, school presentations and posters on human rights themes, establishment of special implementation teams and explicit reference to human rights in restorative approaches to managing behaviour.

Paul Potaka has noticed a number of changes over the three years Nelson Central School has been a partner in Human Rights in Education: ‘Warmer teacher-student relationships; appreciation by the community that we are dealing with important big picture issues; increased awareness of human rights issues amongst children.’

What will you do for Human Rights Day?

Last Updated (Tuesday, 30 November 1999 12:00)

10 December marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Visit the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for ideas on how to celebrate, and for downloadable resources.

Declaration on human rights education inches towards finalisation (Jan 2011)

Last Updated (Tuesday, 30 November 1999 12:00)

A United Nations declaration affirming everyone’s right to 'education about, through and for human rights' is one step closer.

The latest draft of the UN Declaration on human rights education and training declares that:

  • 'Everyone has the right to know, seek and receive information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms and should have access to human rights education and training' because this 'is essential for the promotion of universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all';
  • 'human rights education and training encompasses education

(a) about human rights, which includes providing knowledge and understanding of human rights norms and principles, the values that underpin them and the mechanisms for their protection;
(b) through human rights, which includes learning and teaching in a way that respects the rights of both educators and learners;
(c) for human rights, which includes empowering persons to enjoy and exercise their rights and to respect and uphold the rights of others;

  • States, and relevant governmental authorities, 'have the primary responsibility to promote and ensure human rights education and training, developed and implemented in a spirit of participation, inclusion and responsibility'.

The draft declaration is to be considered by the UN Human Rights Council in March.


NZ not using Convention on Rights of Child as a framework (20 Jan 2011)

Last Updated (Thursday, 20 January 2011 10:01)

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has commented that New Zealand is not using the Convention on the Right of the Child as a framework for policies and programmes affecting children.

Opening a Committee session reviewing how New Zealand is implementing the provisions of the Convention in Geneva on 19 January 2011, committee expert Maria Herzcog noted that, while 'the majority of children were living well and in a safe and protective environment where their rights were respected', improvements were needed and serious challenges remained regarding some of the most vulnerable children. She observed that the Convention on the Rights of the Child 'was not used as a framework when developing strategies', 'the collection of data, evaluation, child budgeting and outcome measurement was missing' and 'awareness about children's rights and the dissemination of the principles and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child did not seem to be a priority'.

She also noted that 'the participation of children in decision making and the widespread acknowledgement of the importance of their opinion were also lacking. Children themselves were expressing the need for greater awareness of the Convention and to be listened to, in their opinion sent to the Committee.'

See unofficial record.


Human rights teaching leads to better relationships, educational achievement & responsible citizens (Nov 2010)

Last Updated (Tuesday, 07 December 2010 11:10)

Teaching children about their rights can reduce exclusions and bullying, improve teacher-pupil relationships, raise attainment and make for more mature, responsible students according to new research undertaken by researchers at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton in the UK.

The evidence is highlighted in a three year qualitative study of UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) – one of Human Rights in Education’s international partners.

"After 16 years as head teacher at […] school, I cannot think of anything else we have introduced that has had such an impact.” (Head teacher, infant school)
"Relationships are fabulous, absolutely amazing.” (Governor/parent, secondary school)
“[Without Rights Respecting Schools] I don’t think you’d get a good education. It affects your learning.” (Year 7 pupil, secondary school)

The study found that participation in the RRSA contributed to:

  • greater understanding of human rights and responsibilities
  • improved relationships and behavior amongst students and staff
  • greater contribution on local and global issues as a result of increased awareness of human rights and the extent to which these are denied.
  • more positive attitudes towards inclusivity and diversity in society
  • more active student participation in decision-making in the school community
  • improved learning and standards
  • school leaders used the human rights framework to provide cohesion to existing initiatives
  • school leaders modelled rights and responsibilities in the way they treated other staff, pupils and parents.

Read the report or summary and media coverage.


Page 2 of 13