Bilag 1


Norwegian Refugee Council

Human Rights Education is a never-ending process which must be part of life-long learning opportunities for all citizens in all countries, regardless of age and level of education. The ulitmate goal is to form attitudes and provide knowledge which lead to good practices of human rights for all.

The development of communities and nations where pcople are enabled and empowered to contribute to the joint efforts of creating a viable society for all its citizens, depend on an environnient which allow their skilis, experiences and opinions to be taken into account. This is true for so-called developed countries as well as for those ravaged by war and conflict and needing to be rebuilt.

The United Nations is placing great importance on the education, advancement and monitoring of Humain Rights, for instance through the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and through the Decade for Human Rights Education, 1995 to 2004.

Norwegian Refugee Council has also taken note of the strong emphasis which the new government and the Minister of Development and Human Rights places on education in general and on human rights education in particular.

The Norwegian Refugee Council started its active support to the human rights education efforts in the Caucasus in 1996. The process is ongoing in Armena and will be introduced in Georgia in November 1997. A similar programme, generic to the African context is in the process of being developed - at first adapted to Angolan cultue and needs. Although the basic thinking and methodology will rest on the same principles for Africa as for the Caucasus, the programmes will be materially different because of the different Backgrounds, structures and existence of education systems as well as the educational Ievels of teachers and students.

Although this document is based on experiences mainly in the Caucasus, the concept is thought to be appropriate also for Eastern and Central Europe as well as for other republics in the former Soviet Union.

The most viable partner in a country is the Ministry of Education, first of all because official recognition and a mandatory nature of the programme are important. Secondly an existing school system provides structures which can facilitate implementation of human rights education on a large scale. Within the Ministry structure, the teacher training and curriculum development sectors are key instruments in developing, integrating and implementing a Human Rights Education programme.

However, contacts with Human Rights institutions or interest groups and other relevant NGOs are of great interest, because they work with a variety of target groups and can help «spread the message».


importance is given to the subject. The ultimate target groups are pupils in the school-system, with a primary emphasis on levels 1 to 7/8. Parents are also regarded as a target group for information to secure their understanding and cooperation for the human rights programme.

Principles of Human Rights Education

  • Ideally, human rights should be taught at all levels from the preschool stage to the university, with methods appropriate to the age levels.

  • All teachers of related subject areas should be able to teach human rights, given some special training on the preferred methodology.
  • Human Rights education should be inherent in all subjects, but could be given a special focus as relevant in history and civic education. Aspects of human rights should be integrated into the text-books.
  • Special booklets fur human rights education can be produced as supplements, i.e. to the history text-books. Especially in establishliig a new subject, separate teacher manuals and pupils' books may serve to clarify which elements are included in the teaching of human rights.
  • The emphasis of the subject should be on practice rather than on theoretical knowledge.

The overall aim is to

  • provide knowledge of universal human rights instrurnents and international and national efforts to prornote their implementation in order to support the establishment of societies free of human rights violations
  • demonstrate how individuals can take part in the realisation of the human rights ideals, and how the attitude of a person can either achieve or prevent desired changes

1) lntroduce or strengthen human rights education in the school system as a subject in its own right, and as a component of civil education

2) Provide teachers, and through them the pupils, with a type of knowledge and awareness of human rights that will encourage and promote positive attitudes and good practices of tolerance and understanding

3) Develop the ability of children and young people to identify and analyse information pertaining to the subject, voice and argue an opinion, and through dialogue to suggest constructive solutions to prevent conflict or to improve unfortunate living conditions

4) Inspire, a sense of personal responsibility for oneself and the community, as well as an awareness of individual rights and the rights of groups of people

5) Promote the learning and practice of democracy within the schools, through the establishment of class and student councils

The methodology is based on active involvement and interaction between teacher and student, and school and community. Through dialogue, exercises, role play and reasearch, teachers and students learn and experience together.

Educational Material
The key tool is a Teacher's Handbook, which provides basic information to cover the central objectives of the programme, as well as ideas and exercises for the teacher to use in class. The handbook is of a generic nature, which means that it suggest a core curriculum which should be adapted to the culture and needs of the given country.

It is seen as important fur the pupils to have their own book, for self-study, interest and retention of facts and subject matter. Depending on funding, there could be separate books for each class level, or, as in the case of Armenia, two booklets, one for 1-3 and one for the 4-6 levels. The Pupil's Text-book should have culturally appropriate illustrations, and if possible, some colour added to the black and white.

A Parents Information Leaflet should be part of the material, to ensure their understanding and support. The human rights education may introduce activities which are not used in other classes, but which should still be taken seriously by children and parents alike.

Steps and Ways of Working
1. Development
1.1. Planning meeting of potential partners
1.2. Workshop with decision makers and teachers to exchange information, present generic material and methodology
1.3. Discussion and agreement on programme, process, target groups, target areas, materials developrnent, time- and budget frame.
1.4. Appointment of national resource group to cooperate with the Norwegian Refugee Council team in the country and at headquarters
2. Dialogue
2.1. Meetings with Ministry officials, Institutes of Pedagogy etc.
2.2. Round tables to involve and provide meeting points for authorities, NG0s and resource persons
2.3. Discussions on curriculum development for schools and teacher training institutions, introduction of new subject into the current framework and educational material
3. Training
3.1. Regional three-day seminars in capital and provinces; preferably a teacher and a headrnaster from each school in addition to representatives of regional education officials
3.2.Semiriars at teacher training institutions, for students and teachers
4. Educalion materials
4.1. Presentation of available and relevant core material
4.2. Discussions with Ministry and seminar participants on adaptation of material to the national culture and context
4.3. Discussions on requirements and procedures for acceptance of educational materials
4.4. Cooperation with authors, illustrators and publishing house
5. Testing
5.1. Plan for piloting of teacher handbook and text-books in selected regions and schools, monitoring and evalualion
5.2. Revision of material
6. Implementation
6.1. Printing of teacher handbooks and text-books, as many as funding will allow
6.2. Distribution to schools and agreed institutions and organisations

Time frame and results
The time frame for more or less direct input or cooperation by Norwegian Refugee Council in a given country will be subject to the country's needs and wishes, and to funding for proposed activities and programrnes. According to the revised plans, the Armenian project will have been developed over close to three years. As a pilot programme with an initial modest funding, it has reached sorne important goals in an atmosphere of positive cooperation with relevant actors.

Given the experience and more funding from the outset, the similar programme could reach wider with more emphasis given to training of trainers from each region within a country.