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The International Congress on Education for Human Rights and Democracy

Montreal, Canada, 8-11 March 1993

UNESCO

Requests to reproduce or translate materials published in Human Rights Teaching should be addressed to the Division of H u m a n Rights and Peace, U N E S C O , 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France. Readers are invited to make comments and suggestions on this issue of Human Rights Teaching. This issue of H u m a n Rights Teaching was prepared by Georges B . Kutukdjian and Janusz Symonides, assisted by Louise Haxthausen.

Correspondence concerning this periodical should be addressed to: H u m a n Rights Teaching Division of H u m a n Rights and Peace U N E S C O , 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France

Published in 1993 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France Computer typeset and printed by U N E S C O

U N E S C O 1993
Printed in France

Table of Contents

Introduction : General Presentation of the Montreal Congress World Plan of Action on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy Contributions to the Preparation of a Declaration on Academic Freedom

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Annex Opening Address Director-General

Introduction: Presentation of the Montreal Congress

The International Congress on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy was held in Montreal, Canada, from 8 to 11 March 1993. It was convened jointly by U N E S C O and the United Nations Centre for H u m a n Rights, in collaboration with the Canadian Commission for U N E S C O . T w o hundred andfiftyparticipants attended the Congress, coming from more than 60 countries from all regions of the world.

General framework

Pursuant to its mandate "...to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for human rights and fundamental freedoms... " (1) and considering the essential role of education for h u m a n rights within this framework, U N E S C O had already organized two congresses on this subject. Indeed, both the International Congress on the Teaching of H u m a n Rights held in 1978 (Vienna, Austria) and the International Congress on H u m a n Rights Teaching, Information and Documentation (Malta, 1987) aimed at defining guide lines for h u m a n rights education at international, national and regional levels. The Final Document of the Vienna Congress in 1978 and the Malta Recommendations, adopted in 1987, established and strengthened a coherent and concerted framework for teaching, information and documentation on h u m a n rights. The Montreal Congress is a new step corresponding to a new context: since 1987 m a n y essential changes have occured in the world. O n the one hand, the end of East-West confrontation and the "democratic wave" in different regions of the world create undoubtedly an impetus for further protection and promotion of h u m a n rights and democratic values; on the other hand, new threats of racism, 1 Article 1 of the Constitution of U N E S C O , London, 1945

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xenophobia and ethno-nationalism are emerging. This situation demonstrates the need for new approaches to human rights education. Within this framework, the objective of the Montreal Congress was to: highlight the achievements and identify the obstacles to overcome in the field of h u m a n rights education; introduce ducation for democracy as a complementary aspect; encourage the elaboration of tools and ideas, in particular educational methods, pedagogic approaches and didactic material, so as to give a n e w impetus to education for h u m a n rights and democracy. As a basis for the discussions, six regional studies on the state of education for h u m a n rights and democracy were prepared by specialized national and regional institutions (2). In addition, the working document prepared by the U N E S C O Secretariat presented an assessment of the action of the Organization in the field of h u m a n rights education since 1987 (3).

Structure of the Congress


A plenary discussed the articulation between human rights and democracy and their relations with development, cultural diversity and tolerance. At the opening session, the Director-General (see Annex I) and the following personalities took the floor: the Honourable M . Vezina, Canadian Minister for External Relations and Minister of State (Seniors), the "Education for Human Rights and Democracy in the African Region", rf. S H S 93/CONF.402/INF.6. "Evaluation Report 1987-1992: H u m a n Rights Education in Latin America", rf. SHS-93/CONF.402/INF.7. "Education for Human Rights in Western European Countries - progress achieved and difficulties encountered since 1987 (Malta Congress)", rf. S H S 93/CONF.402/INF.8. "Education on H u m a n Rights and Democracy in Canada and the United States, rf. SHS-93/CONF.402/INF.9. "Education on H u m a n Rights and Democracy in the Arab World", rf. S H S 93/CONF.402/INF.10. "Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy in Asia and the Pacific", ref. SHS-93/CONF.402/INF. 11. "Access to Information and Documentation on H u m a n Rights and Democracy", rf. SHS-93/CONF.402/INF. 12. "Achievements and Obstacles in Human Rights Education: from Malta to Montreal (1987-1993)", rf. SHS-93/CONF.402/3. -6-

Honourable G . Weiner, Canadian Minister of Multiculturalism and Citizenship, M r . G . Rivard, "Ministre dlgu aux affaires internationales et responsable de la francophonie au Canada" and M r s . V . Launay, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for U N E S C O . Three Commissions dealt with the different levels and forms of education for h u m a n rights and democracy: formal (Commission I) and non-formal education (Commission II) and education in specific contexts and difficult situations (Commission III). A Working Group was dedicated to issues concerning the access to information and documentation on human rights and democracy. Six Round Tables tackled the following specific questions related to education for h u m a n rights and democracy: gender equality and democracy; role of intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations in education for human rights and democracy in specific contexts and difficult situations; U N E S C O Clubs: a school for democracy; freedom of the press, h u m a nrightsand democracy; youth and the learning process of human rights and democracy; education for human rights and the pluricultural society.

M a i n lines of discussions

Articulation between human rights and democracy and their relations to development, cultural diversity and tolerance Discussions were based on the document entitled "Articulation on H u m a n Rights and Democracy" prepared, at U N E S C O ' s request, by A . Eide, Director of the Norwegian Institute for H u m a n Rights. As stressed in this paper, the interdependence of human rights and democracy and their close relation to development are based on Articles 1, 21, 28 and 29 of the Universal Declaration of H u m a n Rights. It also underlined that cultural diversity and tolerance are closely linked to the implementation of democracy and human rights and that they play an essential role today as alternative to ethno-centrism.

Formal Education Discussions in Commission I aimed at defining a strategy for the promotion of education for human rights and democracy at all levels of the

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formal system of education, including pre-primary and primary level, secondary and higher education levels and teacher training.

Non-Formal Education Commission II dealt in particular with the following issues: identification of target-groups for human rights education within a non-formal context, definition of specific objectives corresponding to these different kinds of education, and appropriate methods and tools concerning, especially, information and documentation.

Education in Specific Contexts and Difficult Situations Commission III aimed at identifying the specific needs for education for h u m a n rights and democracy in specific contexts and difficult situations. In addition, the action undertaken by intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations within this framework was underlined. It also stressed the specific needs of target-groups such as w o m e n , youth, minorities and indigenous people.

Access to Information and Documentation The Working Group aimed at defining principles guiding future work, taking into account the achievements and obstacles encountered since 1987. Within this framework, the fundamental role of media, with regard to education for h u m a n rights and democracy and, in particular, information and documentation, was underlined during the round table dedicated to the freedom of the press, human rights and democracy. O n the basis of these discussions, concrete proposals were m a d e for the revision, modification and clarification of the Draft World Plan of Action on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy, and the Draft Declaration on Academic Freedom. At its closing session, the Congress adopted the World Plan of Action on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy and took note of the Contributions to the Preparation of a Declaration on Academic Freedom.

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World plan of action on education for h u m a n rights and democracy

The International Congress on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy was called in Montreal (Canada) from 8 to 11 March 1993 by U N E S C O and the United Nations Centre for H u m a n Rights, in collaboration with the Canadian Commission for U N E S C O . 1. I reaffirms the responsibility incumbent on all peoples, states, individuals t and every organ of society to achieve, through education and teaching, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, the Constitution of U N E S C O , the Universal Declaration of H u m a n Rights as well as the universal international human rights and humanitarian law instruments. 2. I states that: t democratic values are required for the enjoyment of h u m a n rights and fundamental freedoms and hence education for human rights and democracy should receive special attention; education for human rights and democracy i itself a human right and i a s s pre-requisite to the f l realization of social justice, peace and ul development. The exercise of such a right would contribute to safeguarding democracy and to development in its comprehensive meaning; education for human rights and democracy would lay a solid basis for guaranteeing human rights and preventing their violations, the educational process should be itself a democratic and participatory process that empowers people and the civil society to improve the quality of life. 3. In spite of major progress achieved in thefieldof education and that of human rights, serious efforts s i l need to be made to overcome obstacles and tl prevent shortcomings and to meet new challenges. Therefore, the Congress emphasizes the responsibility of the international community, the United Nations and i s Specialized Agencies, in particular U N E S C O , to initiate and t support educational programmes and activities relevant to human rights and

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democracy.

T H U S , the Montreal International Congress on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy: Adopts the attached World Plan of Action on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy, Recommends to the Director-General of U N E S C O to bring the World Plan of Action on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy to the attention of the World Conference on H u m a n Rights (Vienna, Austria, June 1993), Urges the Director-General of U N E S C O to invite all States to guarantee f l ul protection of individuals and organizations working in thefieldof h u m a n rights education.

World plan of action on education for h u m a n rights and democracy


Adopted by the International Congress on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy (Montreal, Canada, 8-11 March 1993)

Introduction

Who? The World Plan of Action is addressed, among others, to: individuals, families, groups and communities, educators, teaching institutions and their boards, students, young people, the media, employers and unions, popular movements, political parties, parliamentarians, public officials, national and international non-governmental organizations, all multilateral and intergovernmental organizations, the United Nations Organization, in particular its Centre for H u m a n Rights, specialized institutions of the United Nations system, in particular U N E S C O , and States.

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The advocates of this Plan come from all sectors of society. It is addressed to victims of h u m a n rights violations and defenders of human rights and democracy as well as decision-makers. The Plan is not a comprehensive strategy for formal and informal education. It is more a framework of action which will be tailored and executed by various participants. These participants are better qualified to adjust the implementation of the Plan in accordance with their priorities, resources and particular circumstances. The Plan will therefore depend on all actors including grassroots education workers in villages, refugee camps, barrios, inner cities and war zones throughout the world. The Plan conceives of education in its broadest sense, among all age, gender, class, ethnic, national, religious and linguistic groups and in all sectors of society. It takes a global view of education, through strategies for learning in formal and non-formal settings and including popular and adult education, education in the family, out-of-school education of youth, education of specialized groups and education in difficult situations.

What?
The Plan of Action calls for a global mobilization of energies and resources, from the family to the United Nations, to educate individuals and groups about h u m a n rights so that conduct leading to a denial of rights will be changed, all rights will be respected and civil society will be transformed into a peaceful and participatory model. Learning is not an end in itself but rather the means of eliminating violations of human rights and building a culture of peace based on democracy, development, tolerance and mutual respect. The Plan is based on the body of international h u m a n rights and humanitarian law. H u m a n rights are seen in this Plan as universal and indivisible. As a forward-looking strategy this Plan builds on, inter alia, the 1974 "Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, C o operation and Peace and Education relating to H u m a n Rights and Fundamental Freedoms" and the recommendations which emerged from the U N E S C O International Congress on the Teaching of H u m a n Rights, in Vienna in 1978, the U N E S C O International Congress on H u m a n Rights Teaching, Information and Documentation in Malta in 1987 and the International Forum on Education for Democracy, in Tunis in December 1992. The Plan conceives of human rights in their broadest sense to include,

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inter alia, learning about tolerance and acceptance of others, solidarity, participatory citizenship and the importance of building mutual respect and understanding.

Why? The context of the Plan of Action must be seen as one of alarm and urgency. Certainly, the Cold W a r has come to a close, walls have come down and some dictators have been deposed. Yet the last decade of the Twentieth century is experiencing the recurrence of the most serious human rights violations, caused by the rise of nationalism, racism, xenophobia, sexism and religious intolerance. These recurrences have led to the most abhorrent forms of ethnic cleansing including the systematic rape of w o m e n , exploitation, neglect and abuse of children and concerted violence against foreigners, refugees, displaced persons, minorities, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. Notwithstanding the dissolution of authoritarian regimes and the formation of emerging democracies world-wide over the last years, new forms of autocracy have also emerged. A n alarming rise of racism, various forms of extremism and religious fanaticism and the dangerous instability of some postauthoritarian states are noted. N o less disturbing for the protection of human rights are the threats stemming from environmental degradation, from new biomedical technologies and from the scourge of H I V / A I D S . Education for human rights in a changing world is the thrust of this Plan of Action. It should be participatory and operational, creative, innovative and empowering at all levels of civil society. The rise of nationalism and intolerance mentioned above calls for special and anticipatory educational strategies aimed at preventing the outbreak of violent conflicts and the related human rights violations. Incremental changes can no longer be considered satisfactory. Education should aim to nurture democratic values, sustain impulses for democratization and promote societal transformation based upon human rights and democracy. The Plan of Action takes into consideration the development of human rights norms and the establishment of mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights at national, regional and international levels. A key challenge for the future is to enhance the universality of human rights by rooting these rights in different cultural traditions. The effective exercise of human rights is also contingent upon the degree of responsibility by individuals towards the community.

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When?
The World Plan of Action is intended to start immediately, working toward specific measurable objectives within a time-table laid d o w n by the participants in the Plan. The observation of the Fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Organization in 1995 and of the Universal Declaration of H u m a n Rights in 1998 can serve as the focus for activities, programmes and projects in h u m a n rights education and occasions for their assessment and dissemination. A series of events for sharing experiences and assessing results should be organized from the local community level up to and including the global level. Such sharing and assessment should be subject to a general overall review by the end of the decade for planning on-going activities and programmes in the Twenty-first century.

How?
In order for this Plan to succeed, the active participation of individual states is essential, wherever possible. The state should commit itself to defined targets for h u m a n rights education and awareness within governmental structures and institutions. The state should provide funding for initiatives which are generated nationally. The commitment of states to human rights education indicates the political will to build a sustainable democratic society. The quality of h u m a n rights education is in itself a manifestation of such a will n o w and for the future. The initiatives of states in thisfieldprovide a basis for assessment. In this context, it is important for states to accede to all human rights instruments. The United Nations system, in particular U N E S C O and the United Nations Centre for H u m a n Rights, and a number of governmental and international governmental and non-governmental organizations have already begun to work in the area of education for human rights and democracy. This work should be considered an important part for the implementation of the Plan, both as a point of departure and also a source of ideas, materials, experience and insight and it should be intensified. In particular, more emphasis should be given to projects for education for h u m a n rights and democracy under the United Nations Programme of Advisory Services and Technical Assistance in the Field of H u m a n Rights. In this context the Plan could provide a frame for improved co-ordination of programmes of h u m a n rights education and democracy. The following seven major strategies are proposed: 1. Development and distribution by U N E S C O of a standard form for This will assist

planning, implementation and assessment of the Plan.

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governmental and non-governmental organizations in the projection, coordination and review of various programmes, projects and activities to achieve the objectives of the World Plan of Action. U N E S C O would keep a register of all initiatives undertaken in this framework communicated by the participants; 2. Development of active national, regional and international networks to produce material, curricula and programmes as well as to exchange methods and materials and develop "best practice" approaches; Access to up-to-date information and documentation and the availability of practical and inexpensive teaching materials; Convening of regional and global momentum-building conferences; Strengthening of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Advisory Services and Technical Assistance in the Field of H u m a n Rights and of the U N E S C O Voluntary Fund for the Development of the Knowledge of H u m a n Rights through Education and Information so that they can better support h u m a n rights education, information and documentation projects on a world-wide basis, including those of non-governmental organizations, as well as encouraging funding of such projects by other public and private funding institutions and sources; Emphasis to be given to the right to education and in particular human rights education by the United Nations Commission on H u m a n Rights and its monitoring mechanisms, the regional h u m a n rights commissions, as well as by the expert organs supervising the international h u m a n rights treaties and in particular the Committee on the Rights of the Child; A follow-up committee to be established by U N E S C O , in consultation with the United Nations Centre for H u m a n Rights, will disseminate the Plan, receive relevant communications and follow-up and monitor the implementation of the Plan.

3.

4. 5.

6.

7.

The Plan emphasizes that learning is intended to encompass the concepts that knowledge must lead to action, that access to knowledge should be empowering, that learning is a participatory process and that the learner is also the teacher and vice versa. The methodology of education for h u m a n rights and democracy should be respectful of the rights of the learner and democratic in its organization and functioning. This Plan calls for methods which will reach the widest number of individuals most effectively, such as the use of the mass media, the training of trainers, the mobilization of popular movements and the possibility of

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establishing a world-wide television and radio network under the auspices of the United Nations.

Objectives The Plan strives to: 1. m a k e information available about h u m a n rights norms and instruments as well as recourse procedures and mechanisms against violations at the national, regional and international levels. Special efforts should be m a d e to ensure that this information reaches young people; assist learners to understand the connections between economic conditions and access to rights and encourage educators to support strategies for change that are non-violent and democratic; increase the awareness of educators in all sectors and at all levels of the benefits of co-operation and co-ordination through networking and to assist them in building human rights education networks; encourage governments and the international community to provide and foster a culture of peace based on human rights; to make h u m a n rights and the national, regional and international instruments that guarantee such rights more widely known.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Main lines of action The ultimate purpose of the Plan is to create a culture of h u m a n rights and to develop democratic societies that enable individuals and groups to solve their disagreements and conflicts by the use of non-violent methods. The challenge of making education for h u m a n rights and democracy effective and comprehensive world-wide will require: 1. The identification of the most appropriate target groups so as to ensure rapid and effective implementation; A focus on educational support where i is most needed and most t empowering and ensuring that projects are suitable for potential users; The encouragement and development of initiatives which mobilize people

2.

3.

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and which utilize innovative methodology; 4. The process of human rights education and training with the participation of target groups, must be viewed as an exercise in democracy. This can be done by practising the principle of equality and by developing participatory and inclusive learning contexts and curricula in response to the real needs of people. Educational processes and methodologies must be models for what the plan wishes to achieve in society as a whole. It is also imperative that learning programmes include approaches which assist people to understand and analyse their relations with power as well as with leadership styles and abuses; The development of pedagogic research into the various aspects of education for human rights and democracy, taking account especially of present changes; The systematic revision of school textbooks with a view to eliminating xenophobic, racist, sexist and other stereotypes; 7. The building of practical relationships or networks a m o n g individuals, educators, groups and institutions in particular through meetings and bilateral and multilateral collaboration; The strengthening of the commitment to identify and increase resources for education for human rights and democracy at national, regional and international levels. It is essential that the action of N G O s is not impeded; Special attention should be given to the design sustainable educational programmes; of cost-effective and

5.

6.

8.

9.

10.

A global commitment to increase resources for education for h u m a n rights and democracy as well as earmarking funds in development projects for this purpose.

Levels of action The following levels of action should be emphasized:

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Teaching H u m a n Rights a n d D e m o c r a c y in the Curricula at All Levels of the School System A i m : T o build a n integral a n d broad-based curriculum that is both pervasive across subject disciplines a n d taught as a separate subject so that h u m a n rights a n d d e m o c r a c y education is dealt with repeatedly throughout a person's basic education. T h e t h e m e of rights, responsibilities a n d democratic processes should also b e w o v e n into all or m o s t topics of study a n d included in the values a i m e d at in school life a n d in the process of socialization. T h e focus should b e o n :

(i) (ii) (iii) (iv)


(v)

pre-primary primary secondary a n d vocational training post-secondary - colleges a n d universities


teacher training/education

(vi) (vii) (viii)

teachers' organizations a n d unions school b o a r d s a n d other levels of education administration parents' organizations.

Education for H u m a n Rights and D e m o c r a c y in a Non-formal Setting A i m s : T o involve groups of adults and y o u n g people, including those not attending school, in out-of-school education, through their families, their professional associations, work places, institutions, groupings, etc.. P r o g r a m m e s will a i m at increasing the awareness of individuals in both formal a n d informal groups to their rights a n d to their responsibilities a n d to their full participation throughout society. Special attention will b e given to reach all w o m e n whatever their current level of participation in public life. T o achieve this a i m , education for h u m a n rights a n d d e m o c r a c y will take place in specific settings a n d focus o n certain groups including: (i) (ii) (iii) iv) (v) (vi) (vii) w o r k place (unions, employers) professional associations religious a n d cultural organizations youth, including through leisure a n d sports clubs U N E S C O Clubs, Centres a n d Associations groups which are less exposed to public life (for example, people living in rural or remote areas) groups working specifically o n literacy, advocacy a n d assisting those living in extreme poverty

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(viii) (ix) (x) (xi) (xii)

security, army, police and prison personnel, etc. public officials and decision-makers judges and lawyers and others working in the administration of justice media personnel medical doctors, health professionals and scientists including those engaged in biological research.

Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy in Specific Contexts and Difficult Situations Aim: T o direct efforts to provide appropriate information and education to people in difficult situations where their rights are endangered. In addition to the proposed Objectives (1) and (2) above, attention should be paid to vulnerable groups as well as to potential and actual violators with a view to preventing abuse and to protecting the victims. The level of intervention for this education and protection will depend on: A. The type of situation, such as 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. B. Armed conflicts of either an international or non-international character Internal tension, unrest, uprisings and state of emergency Periods of transition from dictatorship to democracy or of threats to democracy Foreign occupation Natural disasters.

The needs of specific groups, such as

1.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Women
Children Indigenous peoples Refugees and internally displaced persons Political prisoners Minorities Migrant workers Disabled persons Persons with H I V / A I D S .

It is to be noted that the early adoption of the United Nations Draft declaration relating to the rights and responsibilities of individuals and organs of society to

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promote and protect human rights would be a major contribution to the implementation of this aspect of the Plan.

Research, information and documentation Given the essential role of research, information and documentation for the implementation of the Plan of Action and the United Nations Public Information Campaign for H u m a n Rights, a major effort should be directed towards diversifying information resources, documentation and teaching and learning materials directed to meet the practical needs of teaching and training at different levels and for different audiences. It is equally important to strengthen existing national, regional and international information networks, to help build n e w ones where necessary and also to encourage the creation of local information and documentation centres so that suitable materials are collected and skills developed in gathering information and documentation through: (i) (ii) (iii) inexpensive and easy access to up-to-date information, simple computerization and search systems, identification, creation and strengthening of national, regional and international research centres and clearing houses on h u m a n rights information, encouragement to share information - south/south, east/west and north/south - serving both educators and documentalists of h u m a n rights and co-ordinated by a non-governmental organization active in thefieldof information; protection and security of information gathered by fact-finding missions, h u m a n rights education projects, etc.; development of human rights media other than printed material that would include audio-visuals, transparencies, music, games, toys and other forms appropriate for reaching non-literate people and children. M e a n s would have to be found to ensure the availability of such (vii) material in local languages; support for research based on a global view of human rights, taking into account the close interdependence between human rights, development, democracy and environment.

(iv)

(v) (vi)

The role of U N E S C O is of particular importance in enhancing the quality of publications in the area of human rights education and for the best use and distribution of information, documentation and materials. Such activities would require inter alia the strengthening of the infrastructure of U N E S C O and close co-operation with other documentation and information centres, including those of the United Nations system.

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Obstacles to overcome It is to be noted, in particular, that the success of the Plan depends on the understanding that planning at all levels must be appropriate when confronting problems such as:

(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix)

the absence of political will of certain partners, the dangers of marginalization of the process internationally as well as intranationally, the absence of target group involvement in the development and use of material, processes and policies, the potential use of unsuitable methodologies, the lack of training of many participants, the insufficiency of co-ordination and co-operation between the national, regional and international levels, the occasional tendency to confine h u m a n rights education to the legal profession, the lack of a multidisciplinary approach, the resistance to change provoked by new relationships based on h u m a n rights.

Conclusion The challenge the World Plan of Action for Education on H u m a n Rights and Democracy will have to meet is that of translating human rights, democracy and concepts of peace, of sustainable development and of international solidarity into social norms and behaviour. This is a challenge for humanity: to build a peaceful, democratic, prosperous and just world. Constant active education and learning is needed to meet such a challenge. It is hoped that this Plan of Action will be implemented by committed nations, individuals, groups, every organ of society, and the international community at large, to ensure its f l success for the benefit of present and future ul generations.

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Contributions to the preparation of a declaration on academic freedom

The International Congress on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy was called in Montreal (Canada) from 8 to 11 March 1993 by U N E S C O and the United Nations Centre for H u m a n Rights, in collaboration with the Canadian Commission for U N E S C O . The Congress confirmed the importance of adopting an international instrument on academic freedom. Thus, the Montreal International Congress on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy: Notes the annexed contributions to a Declaration on Academic Freedom, Decides to bring to the attention of the Director-General of U N E S C O the said contributions.

Contributions to the preparation of a declaration on academic freedom


Noted by the International Congress on Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy (Montreal, Canada, 8-11 March 1993)

Considering the international standards in thefieldof h u m a n rights established by the United Nations, in particular in the Universal Declaration of H u m a n Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966); Considering also the U N E S C O instruments in the field of h u m a n rights and education, in particular the Convention against Discrimination in Education

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(1960), the Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966), the Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Co-operation (1966) and the Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Research (1974), the Recommendation on Education concerning International Understanding, C o operation and Peace and Education relating to H u m a n Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1974); Stressing that certain rights recognized therein are of particular importance to academic freedom, such as the freedoms of thought, conscience, religion, expression, assembly, association and movement; Recognizing that academic freedom is an essential precondition for those educational, research, administrative and service functions with which universities and other institutions of higher education are entrusted; Bearing in mind that, by pursuing truth, developing scientific knowledge and teaching, members of the academic community carry a special responsibility towards society in conformity with human rights; Emphasizing that autonomy of institutions of higher education is essential for the f l enjoyment of academic freedom; ul Convinced that every state is obliged to guarantee academic freedom without discrimination on any ground, such as race, colour, gender, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, birth or other status; Paying tribute to the contributions m a d e by the Lima Declaration on Academic Freedom and Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education (1988), the M a g n a Carta of European Universities (Bologna 1988), the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Academic Freedom and Social Responsibility of Academics (1990), the Kampala Declaration on Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility (1990) and the Poznan Declaration on Academic Freedom (1993); Recognizing that the academic community consists of all persons working or studying at an institution of higher education; Participants agreed upon that members of the academic community shall enjoy, individually or collectively, the following rights:

Article 1 1. Every person has the right, on the basis of ability and competence and without discrimination of any kind, to become a member of the academic

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community, to be promoted, and to be protected against arbitrary measures, including dismissal, from any institution of higher education. 2. Temporary measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality for those disadvantages in the access to or in the lf of the academic community ie shall not be considered as discriminatory.

Article 2 1. M e m b e r s of the academic community while carrying out research functions have the right to freely determine the subject and methods of their research in accordance with the acknowledged principles of scientific inquiry. They have the right to communicate the findings of their research freely and to publish them without censorship.

2.

Article 3 1. M e m b e r s of the academic community while carrying out teaching functions have the right to freely determine, within the framework established by the institution of higher education, the content and methods of instruction. They shall not be forced to instruct against their own best knowledge and conscience or to use curricula and methods of instructions contrary to h u m a n rights.

2.

Article 4 1. Students of institutions of higher education have the right to study, to choose field of study from available courses and to receive official recognition of the knowledge and experience acquired. They have the right to participate in the organization of educational process. States shall provide adequate resources for students in need to enable them to pursue their studies.

2.

3.

Article 5

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1.

All members of the academic community have the freedom, regardless of frontiers, to seek, receive, obtain and impart information and ideas of all kinds and in all forms, including by electronic means. However, in case of restrictions special facilities and protections shall be granted to all members of the academic community carrying out research in order to enable them to accomplish their tasks. States and intergovernmental organizations shall actively support the mutual exchange of information and documentation for the advancement of research and education.

2.

3.

Article 6 1. All members of the academic community have the right to co-operate freely with their counterparts in any part of the world. T o this end they shall enjoy freedom of movement within the country and to travel outside and re-enter their country. These freedoms shall not be restricted unless it is absolutely necessary in a democratic society on grounds of national security and in accordance with the international human rights law. States and intergovernmental organizations shall actively support cooperation between members of the academic community.

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3.

Article 7 1. T h e exercise of the rights provided above implies special responsibilities towards society. Nothing in the present Declaration m a y be interpreted as implying for any m e m b e r of the academic community to engage in any activities or perform any act aimed at the destruction of h u m a n rights of others. Research, teaching, collection and exchange of information shall be conducted in accordance with ethical and professional standards consistent with international human rights norms.

2.

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Article 8 1. The f l enjoyment of academic freedom and the compliance with the ul respective responsibilities demand autonomy of institutions of higher education. Such autonomy shall be exercised with the participation of all members of the academic community, including students.

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Article 9 All members of the academic community have the right to an effective remedy by a competent organ both within and outside institutions of higher education for acts violating their academic freedom.

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Annex

Opening address
Director-General

UNESCO

A month ago a man passed away in N e w Jersey. A m a n whose thoughts on religion, on l f and ethics, and on the consequences of scientific progress ie and technological development have had much to teach us, and will for a long time to come. That man was the philosopher Hans Jonas, whose lucid and visionary mind has few equals in this century. While endeavouring to establish the bases of a system of ethics for our time in his book The Imperative of Responsibility, Hans Jonas came across the idea of our responsibility for the future of humanity. H e f l i his duty to open our eyes to the obligations that the et t fruits of our ingenuity, and of our aberrations, create for us vis--vis future generations. 'Respect alone, inasmuch as i shows us an aspect of "the sacred", t will protect us from the temptation to violate the present for the benefit of the future (...). Fear should not, any more than hope, make us postpone the achievement of our true purpose -prosperity with no diminution of humanity'. If we want to preserve this humanity, in both senses of the word, w e have no choice: we must give every chance to peace, freedom and conviviality. For our children to be able to exercise all their rights and live in a democracy, w e the adults of today - are duty bound to provide them with the appropriate education. To be sure, this education i an on-going process and i for s s everybody, regardless of age. But our adult memories are cluttered, our attitudes biased, and our imaginations conditioned by an already long experience. Conversely, children are fresh wax on which anything can be engraved, docile saplings whose growth can be guided, a potential as yet untouched by any form of reality. This then i where our duty lies: w e must s inculcate in these bearers of hope for the future the values and behaviour patterns of responsible individuals and citizens. And this duty begins today. M a d a m Chairperson, Distinguished Ministers, M r Mayor,

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Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I should like to thank you for having come in such numbers, from different horizons, representing different cultures, in response to the joint invitation of U N E S C O and the United Nations Centre for H u m a n Rights. You have decided to share and exchange your knowledge of education for human rights and democracy. U N E S C O truly appreciates your exemplary commitment, and the courage and perseverance which you have so often shown in promoting human rights training. I should also like to say how grateful I a m to the Canadian authorities for their invitation. Canada has been actively promoting education for h u m a n rights and democracy within its own borders for a long time, and it has always supported U N E S C O ' s action in this area. I should also like to seize this opportunity to draw attention to Canada's remarkable judgement in the analysis of world priorities - demonstrated by the attention that i devotes to t environmental and development issues and to those which have brought us together today - and to its commitment to international co-operation, one to which I a m happy to pay tribute. I know what a great contribution large numbers of Canadian institutions have made, thanks to the efficiency of the Canadian National Commission for U N E S C O - and, in particular, the boundless energy of its Secretary-General - to our meeting. I should, therefore, like to thank the Canadian International Development Agency, the International Centre for H u m a n Rights and Democratic Development, the Ministry of International Affairs of Quebec, the Ministry of Education of Quebec, the Ministry of Multiculturalism and Citizenship of Canada, the Ministry of Justice of Canada, the Ministry of Justice of Quebec, the Ministry of External Affairs and International Trade of Canada, the Ministry of Cultural Communities and Immigration of Quebec, the State Secretariat of Canada, 'la Socit du Centre de confrences internationales de Montral', the Canadian Red Cross Society and the City of Montreal. I should like also to express gratitude for the financial and technical assistance provided by the Agency for Cultural and Technical Co-operation and the Commonwealth Secretariat, a very heartening example of true international co-operation between associates devoted to the same cause. Ladies and Gentlemen, I shall not dwell on the obvious reasons why education for h u m a n rights, democracy and peace, based on the United Nations Charter, the Constitution of U N E S C O and the Universal Declaration of H u m a n Rights, is more relevant n o w

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than ever. I shall simply outline the essentials of its content and the people and places involved. W e must,firstof all, remember that this education for the future is in every respect the opposite of the teaching of a dogma. I aims neither to teach a body t of texts nor to hold up democratic 'models' whose structures and mechanisms should be copied. It seeks more to imbue young people with the values associated with h u m a n rights, and democratic societies. Those w h o have 'inwardly digested' these principles will have no trouble in reconciling individual development and happiness with social peace, dialogue and conviviality. Depending on the context, or even on the nature of the individual child, emphasis will be put on a particular quality or attitude which is more relevant than others. But care will be taken, today more than ever before, systematically to cultivate acceptance and understanding and attentiveness to the needs of other people - all of which are expressions of the duty of every one of us to respect the rights of others. Here a delicate balance needs to be found between the active exercise of citizenship - participating, making one's wishes known, making one's voice heard - and the obligation of restraint, respect and nonviolence which are implicit in the maintenance of collective harmony. I shall return to this point later. W e should also remember that human rights are respected inasmuch as they are known, and that they are known inasmuch as they are taught. The idea that there are equal rights for everybody, and freedoms that apply to everybody, is an idea of modern times. Itfirstemerged with the M a g n a Carta of 1215 and the Bill of Rights in 1689 in England and spread with the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776 and the Declaration of the Rights of M a n and the Citizen in France in 1789, but the idea of h u m a n rights only really took on a universal dimension with the adoption, by the United Nations General Assembly, of the Universal Declaration of H u m a n Rights in 1948. As they have become more widely known the definition of h u m a n rights has been extended and added to. O n the one hand, the fundamental freedoms have been reaffirmed: freedom of thought including freedom of worship, freedom of expression, freedom of association and, more generally, the freedom to do anything which is not harmful to other people, the freedom of each individual being restricted only by the freedom of others. At the same time, the right to security, the protection of individuals and their property, and the right of each individual to take part in determining the c o m m o n will have also been reaffirmed. W e have also realized that the exercise of these rights and freedoms is only possible in practice in certain material, economic and social conditions. There

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are freedoms which are virtually meaningless below a certain threshold of poverty and destitution. Civic liberties can only be fully enjoyed by people who already have the wherewithal to obtain food, clothing, shelter and access to the knowledge and culture required for the exercise of their civic rights. The right to development and to the environment are now inseparable from the fundamental freedoms of the individual. I should also dearly like to add the right to the future, which is now being called into question by m a n himself. Lastly, having progressed from national declarations, including those of universal significance, to a declaration which has the support of the community of the United Nations, human rights now cover a broaderfield,encompassing international relations, the right of peoples to self-determination, prohibition of the use of force to invade, conquer and dominate another nation, and the rights of refugees. H u m a n rights are thus today part of mankind's c o m m o n heritage, and since 1989 democracy has been progressing worldwide. Is respect for human rights all that is needed to establish democracy? Certainly not. Democracy, is however, closely linked to human rights. Whatever the form of institutional organization, an authoritarian or totalitarian political regime is not compatible with fundamental freedoms that respect human dignity. For these freedoms to be effective, a democratic spirit must reign in the institutions themselves, enabling each individual to be a real citizen. But with the recognition of everyone's civic rights, which means that they can participate in laws and supervising their execution, there c o m e duties: a duty to acquire training and information and a duty to participate. In fact, there can be no solidly-based, thriving democracy without enlightened citizens who have been educated to be aware of their responsibilities but who also make the effort to acquire the knowledge required to exercise them. Democracy cannot be constructed if citizens are content merely to react to situations; it requires them to be active. Of course democracy does not only involve participation in the workings of the institutions of State. I needs to be backed up by non-governmental t associations and organizations at both the national and international levels. Being an active citizen does not only mean voting to elect a political representative, but active involvement in the work of a cultural or professional association, a trade union, a humanitarian organization, or a group formed to promote women's rights or defend fundamental freedoms. Civil society is a vast complex in which the democratic spirit can rangefreely,and where rights and duties can be brought into play by the steadfast, non-violent efforts of m e n and

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w o m e n putting their spirits and minds to work in a context from which arrogance and the use offeree, but also docility, are excluded. Democracy, which is associated with human rights, requires, like h u m a n rights, certain minimum material conditions. O n e cannot expect or require peoples who are living in abject poverty to demand observance of the highest democratic standards. To take an interest in public affairs, to discuss them and make decisions regarding them, especially at the local level, requires a minimum level of well-being and resources, and specifically access to the knowledge and culture required to be able to exercise one's civic rights in this way. U N E S C O ' s job is precisely to assist nations to disseminate within their borders a basic knowledge of philosophy, politics and the law; to provide education for democracy, encouraging support for the values associated with it; to promote the practical apprenticeship of democracy, inter alia, in schools, associations and local communities. With the assistance of all its partners, whether governmental bodies or not, U N E S C O is determined to consolidate and invigorate democracy where i exists, and to support and develop it where it t does not exist or only exists in embryonic form. Our institutions were chiefly equipped to face war. W e must now urgently prepare ourselves for peace, before setbacks in the principal processes which consolidate democracy force us to the conclusion that a system centred on material wealth is incapable of applying the principles of equity and liberty to enable peoples who have shaken off the yoke of oppression and arbitrary rule to start a new l f . ie Ladies and Gentlemen, Societies composed of individuals - like the society of nations - do not function on the basis of a pre-established harmony. In both there are different ways of thinking and of perceiving reality, and these differences give rise to conflicts. None the less, the use of violence to settle such conflicts is not unavoidable. It is a social and historical factor which can be contained, or might even disappear. After 40 years of nuclear terror, the disappearance of the division of the world into two opposing blocs has m a d e possible unprecedented progress not only in the limitation of weapons of mass destruction, but also in their reduction. This is a remarkable turning-point in the international situation which brings in radically new prospects for world peace. Indeed, the desire for peace played a part in the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Still, neither the risk nor the reality of war has disappeared. There are local and regional armed conflicts that continue to cost lives, and others are looming menacingly. In other words, war is s i l continuing to take lives and tl

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tarnish h u m a n dignity. N o effort must be spared to create throughout the world a culture of peace, a culture in which the Tightness of might i replaced by the s might of right. These efforts to establish peace and reject violence are logical extensions of respect for h u m a n rights, for nothing negates these rights - including the most basic one, which i the right to live - more than war. The idea of non-violence i s s not merely Utopian; i is an idea which generates peace. t Here again, one must recognize the weight of economic and material factors. The seeds of war can be sown by underdevelopment and the insidious oppression of the world market in which the rich lay down their law for the poor. There are times in the lf of a nation, as in that of an individual, when the level ie of despair i such, when the feeling of helplessness in an intolerable situation i s s so great, and when the arguments of reason seem so feeble that the use of force can seem to be the logical solution. Yet again, w e must remember that peace can only come from a mental attitude based on the recognition of other people, the will to co-operate with them and the conviction that c o m m o n ground can be found with those w h o m history or conflicting interests have led one to consider as adversaries. M e n and w o m e n can be led to understand, i i i explained to them, that the f t s establishment of the law in a State, i s scrupulous observance by each and every t citizen, and the habit of settling conflicts i a court of law are signs of the n advance of civilization compared to older forms of social organization in which such conflicts were settled by the sword. This i equally true of international s relations. Ladies and Gentlemen, Education for human rights and democracy in the last analysis means the empowerment of each and every individual to participate with an active sense of responsibility i all aspects of political and social l f . I i the continuing n ie t s process of fostering attitudes and behaviour conducive to that 'art of thinking independently together' which i at the heart of the democratic ethos and which s is antagonistic to discrimination and injustice. Such an education ideally starts at home. The family provides the surest foundation for fostering respect for human rights and democracy, for acquiring habits of tolerance, partnership and sharing, and for developing reflexes of gender equality and a spirit of dialogue. Later, but alongside the family, comes school for those lucky enough to enrol in the educational system, which is sadly not the case for about a quarter of

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the young people of primary and secondary school age in the developing countries. Formal instruction apart, the entire school system should constitute an initiation to democratic living - to the assumption of responsibilities, to the challenges of participation, to learning about the linkage between rights and duties, knowing and caring. The school today has a powerful rival when it comes to shaping the values and behaviour of children and adolescents. The mass media in general, and television in particular, weigh heavy in the balance of young people's choices in the contemporary world, and the need for partnership between education and the media has never been greater. Education for democracy and human rights is ultimately viable only when firmly rooted in the social process. For this reason it should involve a strong element of participation at the local, municipal level, where the citizen 'counts' and is not merely 'counted'. At the same time, it requires examples and support at the national level - from a wide range of associations and N G O s , from government of course, and also from parliamentarians who must be active and vigilant in the fostering of democracy and respect for human rights. Ladies and Gentlemen, W e are meeting on a day that has a special significance where education for h u m a n rights and democracy is concerned. In 1910, the 8th of March was proclaimed International W o m e n ' s Day, and I take this opportunity to salute w o m e n in general and, more particularly, those who are present here today. I hope that these four days of intensive work will give rise to two documents to guide our future action, the action of all of us. I refer f r t y to a i sl World Plan of Action for Education for H u m a n Rights and Democracy, and secondly to a Declaration on Academic Freedom. In examining and improving the drafts prepared for the Congress it will be important to proceed as realistically as possible. The more ambitious the goal, the greater the need for a practical approach. Ladies and Gentlemen, Twin perils lie in wait: that of optimism and that of apathy. Let us not misinterpret the apparent ease with which the totalitarian systems are unravelling. There is no such thing as contagious democracy: if rights and freedoms seem set to triumph everywhere now, it is because the stubborn efforts of thousands of individuals are finally bearing fruit. But the struggle must go on, perhaps in ways that are better suited to new situations. O n the one hand the ideal of the rule of law, peace and freedom must continue to be publicized, and

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on the other, the post-totalitarian State needs to be organized and established rights continually nurtured. T h e second peril is n o less great. It is what is being called 'democratic melancholy' - an apathy which threatens all the vital organs of our old democracies. It is true that the world is not as simple as it used to be: w e have lost our polarized landmarks; our intellectual tools have b e c o m e obsolete; everything is n o w opaque and uncertain. H e n c e the temptation to do nothing, a mortal danger! It is by our reaction to this trap that w e will be judged by future generations; will w e wait until the situation becomes clearer - like the fainthearted doctor w h o would risk the life of a patient by preferring to wait, before giving treatment, in order to be able to m a k e an absolutely sure diagnosis - or will w e be able to shoulder our responsibilities by taking action in time? There is an urgent need to m a k e caring for others override the selfish concern for our o w n well-being, to demonstrate the universal nature of h u m a n rights and the democratic spirit, and to bear witness that individual participation is indispensable to the survival of the collective project. N o n e of us can ensure our survival by our o w n efforts alone. It is for us to decide whether w e shall be history's slaves or its masters.

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