The Human Rights Educators
Starter Kit

The Purpose of This Kit.

The aim of this kit is to provide some key ideas to help individuals and community organisations to establish local human rights education activities. The materials have been produced by the National Committee on Human Rights Education, which has been designated as Australia's national focal point for human rights education.

What is Human Rights Education?

Many of us would like to contribute to a community that is more caring, more united, more just, more tolerant and more understanding. We are also looking for ways we can make a difference. The struggles we face today are the same ones that the world has faced since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Human rights education aims to make the Universal Declaration real and effective in our everyday lives.

Human Rights Education can include any activity which increases awareness of and understanding of human rights. "Education" is a broad term and includes activities in schools, community and the workplace. Individuals, community organizations, businesses and government bodies can all contribute to human rights education. Human Rights Education includes:
· "knowledge" - information about human rights;
· "values" - attitudes and beliefs which uphold human rights; and
· "action" - giving people the tools and encouragement to be effective defenders of human rights.

What are Human Rights and Who Has Them?

We sometimes think about human rights as applying to other people and other countries. In fact, we all have human rights and each one of us can play a role in upholding human rights. Human rights are the basic minimum standards of individual and community that make societies happy and caring places to live. Human rights include the ideas:
· That we are all equal members of one human family that should care for each other.
· We should all treat each other fairly and equally without regard to our race, colour, sex, language or religion or other status.
· We all have the right to safety, to life and to freedom.
· We should all have the same rights and to the protection of the law.
· We all have the right to family.
· We all have a right to work and to an adequate standard of living and to access to education and health.
· We all have responsibilities to the community.

The United Nations and Human Rights Education.

1995-2004 was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the UN Decade for Human Rights Education. The aim of the Decade is to promote human rights around the world by improvement of education about human rights. As part of the Decade the United Nations has adopted a "Plan of Action" which can be implemented at international, regional, national and local level.

Some things you can do at local level to advance human rights education include:
· Getting together a group of people or organizations committed to working on human rights education initiatives.
· Discussing human rights issues as they relate to the local community - defining the needs - look at what human rights education might already be happening.
· Make sure your community has a good celebration of Human Rights Day on 10 December every year.
· As a group, and in cooperation with others such as schools, business and local government, develop and implement human rights education programs.

Local Human Rights Education Starter
Flow Chart