Friday, 25 June 2010

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture - 26 June 2010


Joint Statement on the Occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture - 26 June 2010

Four United Nations mechanisms involved in preventing torture and helping its victims have stated that despite a well-built international legal framework, torture prevails in many regions of the world and is often accompanied by an alarming degree of impunity.

The United Nations Committee against Torture; the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture; the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture with the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned that torture continues to be widespread and that certain practices amounting to torture as well as to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment were reinvigorated, in particular in the context of the so-called global war on terror after 11 September 2001. The prohibition against torture and other forms of inhumane treatment is absolute and cannot be derogated even under emergency situations."

“States must take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction. In addition they should ensure that no reason based on discrimination of any kind be used as justification for torture or inhumane treatment The lack of criminalization of torture and inadequate sanctions are main factors contributing to impunity. We often see that in the few instances where perpetrators are held accountable they often receive sentences far below what is required by international law. In order to live up to their obligation to protect everyone subject to their jurisdiction from torture, States must ensure that all acts of torture are criminalized as offences in their domestic penal law and punishable with appropriate penalties that take into account their gravity.”

“Recent studies have shown that some States, invoking different types of emergencies, have been directly or indirectly involved in practices such as secret detention, disappearances, expulsion or extradition of individuals to countries where they were in danger of torture, and other unlawful treatment or punishment in violation of the Convention against Torture and other international human rights instruments and humanitarian law. We are dismayed to see that in almost no recent cases have there been judicial investigations into such allegations; almost no one has been brought to justice; and most victims have never received any form of reparation, including rehabilitation or compensation.”

“Torture leaves indelible traces on the body and minds of the victims and reparation can almost never be complete. Often, the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of torture is non-existent or severely limited. Adequate reparation, tailored to the needs of the victim including compensation and rehabilitation, is rarely provided or entirely dependent on the limited resources of private entities and civil society organizations. In light of these concerns, we call upon all States to ensure that victims of torture and other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment obtain full redress and urge them to adopt general guarantees of non-repetition including taking determined steps to fight impunity.”

“In this troublesome context, more than twenty years after its entry into force, the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is still far from universal ratification. As of today, it has 147 States parties, of which only 64 States have made the declaration under article 22 recognizing the competence of the Committee against Torture to receive individual communications. We urge all States to become party to the Convention against Torture and make the declarations provided under article 22 of the Convention, on individual complaints, in order to maximize transparency and accountability in their fight against torture and its related impunity.

“Four years after its entry into force, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture has 51 State Parties. The Optional Protocol is a key instrument to prevent torture and ill-treatment by ensuring the establishment of independent and effective national preventive mechanisms empowered to visit places of detention. We therefore urge all States to ratify the Optional Protocol and thus to engage with the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. We further call upon those States Parties to the Optional Protocol that have not yet done so to establish the National Preventive Mechanisms to thus live up to their obligations related to the prevention of torture and ill-treatment.”

“On this International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we pay tribute to the Governments, civil society organizations and individuals engaged in activities aimed at preventing torture, punishing it and ensuring that all victims obtain redress and adequate compensation, including the means for as full a rehabilitation as possible. We express our gratitude to all donors to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, which currently supports the work of over 200 organizations in more than 60 countries, and hope that contributions to the Fund will continue to increase to make it possible for victims of torture and members of their families to receive the assistance they need. We call on all States, in particular those which have been found to be responsible for widespread or systematic practices of torture, to contribute to the Voluntary Fund as part of a universal commitment for the rehabilitation of torture victims and their families.”

UNITED NATIONS Press release

Thursday, 24 June 2010

PACE unanimously opposed to a general ban on wearing of the burqa

Strasbourg, 23.06.2010 -– There should be no general prohibition on wearing the burqa and the niqab or other religious clothing, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has said – though it added that legal restrictions may be justified “for security purposes, or where the public or professional functions of individuals require their religious neutrality, or that their face can be seen”.

In a resolution unanimously adopted today, the Assembly – which brings together parliamentarians from the 47 Council of Europe member states – said the veiling of women is often perceived as “a symbol of the subjugation of women to men” but a general ban would deny women “who genuinely and freely desire to do so” their right to cover their face.

However, the parliamentarians added: “No woman should be compelled to wear religious apparel by her community or family. Any act of oppression, sequestration or violence constitutes a crime that must be punished by law.” European governments should also seek to educate Muslim women on their rights, as well as their families and communities, and encourage them to take part in public and professional life.

The Assembly, approving a report on Islam, Islamism and Islamophobia prepared by Mogens Jensen (Denmark, SOC), also called on Switzerland to repeal as soon as possible its general ban on the construction of minarets, which it described as discriminatory.

Parliamentary Assembly Communication Unit
Tel: +33 3 88 41 31 93
Fax : +33 3 90 21 41 34

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

20th anniversary of the UN Migrant Workers Convention

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary year of the UN Migrant Workers Convention, December18, the International Resource Centre on the Human Rights of Migrants, together with the European Platform for Migrant Workers Rights, launches the campaign: “Europe it’s Time to Ratify the Migrant Workers Convention,” demanding the European Union to live up to its core values. All 27 Member States of the EU are asked to ratify this core international human rights instrument.

Sign the petition by clicking here: www.migrantsconvention.eu

A l’occasion du 20e Anniversaire de la Convention des Nations Unies sur les Travailleurs Migrants, Décembre 18, le centre international de ressources sur les droits des migrants et la Plateforme Européenne pour les droits des travailleurs migrants, lancent la campagne : « Europe, il est temps de ratifier la Convention sur les travailleurs migrants ». Nous exigeons ensemble que l’Union Européenne adopte une politique à la hauteur de ses valeurs fondamentales. Tous les Etats membres de l’UE doivent ratifier ce principal instrument international relatif aux droits de l’homme.

Signez la pétition en cliquant ici: http://www.december18.net/fr/signez-la-petition

En ocasión del 20 aniversario de la Convención de Naciones Unidas por los Derechos de los Trabajadores Migratorios y sus Familias, Diciembre 18 Centro Internacional de Recursos sobre los Derechos Humanos de los Migrantes junto con la Plataforma Europea por los Derechos de los Trabajadores Migrantes lanza la campaña: Es tiempo que Europa ratifique la Convención de Trabajadores Migrantes, pidiendo a la Unión Europea que esté a la altura de sus valores fundamentales. Se les pide a los 27 Estados Miembros de la UE que ratifiquen este instrumento básico del sistema de Derechos Humanos Universal.

Firma la petición clicando aquí: http://www.december18.net/es/Ratifica_la_Convención

FRA stakeholder consultation mapping and institutional needs assessment in HRE in the European Union

The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has conducted a Human Rights Education stakeholder consultation, in order to identify specific areas for the FRA to engage. This has resulted in a mapping, which is giving an overview of existing activity and an institutional needs assessment with key recommendations for the FRA.

The FRA is currently in the process of developing its strategy and work programme to promote the wider delivery of Human Rights Education (HRE) across the European Union. Given that there are many agencies and institutions across Europe that are already undertaking substantive work in this field, it is important for the FRA to develop an overview of existing human rights education provision and consider ways in which it can best coordinate with and add value to existing HRE activity and respond to current gaps.

Stakeholders consulted for this research provided a wide range of views on the role that the FRA should play in advancing human rights education in Europe. The Agency is viewed as an important entrant into the field. Due to the short time it has been in existence, levels of knowledge about the mandate and activities of the FRA remain variable. Key FRA qualities identified by stakeholders included authority accruing from it being an agency of the European Union and its breadth of relationships with other European Union institutions and agencies, Member States, as well as other organisations such as national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and NGOs. Its capacity and competency to generate evidence based guidance on human rights and human rights education around Europe is seen as a key added value that the FRA can bring to the HRE agenda.

The challenge of promoting HRE as part of a mandate to promote human rights within Europe is a complex one. There are already a range of actors at local, national and European levels working in contexts that vary widely across Member States. Within this field, and within its mandate, the FRA needs to find its own unique space to add value to the existing work that is taking place and to support improvements in the quality of design, delivery and implementation of human rights education resources and training programmes.

The following eight key strategic objectives for the FRA in the development of its HRE strategy and programme were recommended:

1. Promote effective HRE policy, prioritisation and capacity building at a European level.

2. Promote integration of human rights education into European Commission funding programmes to support HRE initiatives and training for professional groups.

3. Support further development of HRE among professional groups.

4. Develop the capacity of NHRIs and NGOs as strategic partners for promotion of HRE policy and practice at national levels.

5. Improve knowledge of current human rights education practice in Europe through research and dissemination.

6. Develop educational programmes and materials and an online human rights reference and education resource targeted at educators and policy makers.

7. Develop a small group of human rights education specialists to act as a consultative body for the ongoing development and targeting of FRAís HRE activities.

8. Mainstream HRE considerations through FRA operations for the development of education tools and good practice based on selected FRA research outputs.

The full text of the mapping and the institutional needs assessment can be found at:
http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/news_and_events/infocus10_1905_en.htm.


Aydan Iyiguengoer
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
E-mail: aydan.iyiguengoer@fra.europa.eu

Monday, 21 June 2010

TRIALOG - Trilateral Dialogue of Human Rights Educators in German-speaking Countries

The idea of TRIALOG - building an informal network of human rights educators - was born during a coffee break at the VDPA+15 conference in August 2008. Half a year later, in February 2009, human rights educators from Austria, Germany and Switzerland met for a constitutive meeting at the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC) in Graz/Austria. The second TRIALOG meeting took place at the Centre for Human Rights Education of the University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland (PHZ) in Lucerne in May 2010.
The idea focused on offering a forum for informal exchange of ideas and loose cooperation of actors from the three German-speaking countries, to use synergies created by the common language, with annual meetings hosted by participating HRE institutions. Topics of the Graz workshop were (a) policy strategies for (further) implementation of HRE in educational fields from early-childhood education to the tertiary sector, and (b) common focuses for the International Year of Human Rights Learning. Ample space was given, in Graz as well as at the second meeting in Lucerne, to exchange and reflection on practical experiences in HRE in the German-speaking countries and to possible common strategies and cooperation projects. The first meeting resulted in bilateral cooperation, e.g. in launching the campaign THAT’S RIGHT! in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the ECHR (A).
In Lucerne, participants from ten institutions identified topics of common interest and fields for research, shared materials and campaigns, and discussed further cooperation between their institutions. The main points were participation and civil courage (A), skills-orientation in the reform of school curricula (A, CH), reprint of the German edition of „Kompass“ (D, A, CH), cooperation of publishing houses A – D – CH (CH), being different – being equal: Learning (in) diversity and HRE in health care institutions (CH, A).
Initialised by the successful Swiss referendum on the ban of minarets, the question of the relation of democracy and human rights and its implications on education was raised. DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS - HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY will be the main topic of the 3rd TRIALOG meeting. TRIALOG 2011 will be held in Germany, probably hosted by the German Institute for Human Rights in Berlin.

Barbara Schmiedl, European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (Austria)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The right to education of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

Please, find my report on the right to education of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

This report was presented at the beginning of June 2010 at the Human Rights Council, together with my reports of the official visits to Mongolia, Paraguay and Mexico.

All reports produced by my mandate can be found at: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?m=99


Thank you again for your support. Warm regards,

Vernor Munoz, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Human Rights Council, United Nations

Call for applications: MA in Human Rights & Conflict Management 2010-2011 (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa)

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa, Italy, calls for applications for the IX Edition Master of Arts in "Human Rights and Conflict Management" (a. y. 2010-2011).

Applications shall be submitted online at www.humanrights.sssup.it.

Applications for admission by EU citizens shall be sent no later than 15th October 2010.

The selection process of Non-EU citizens will instead be held in two rounds. The application deadline for the first round of selection of non-EU
candidates is set on 2nd July 2010,while the application deadline for the second round is set on 15th September 2010.

We encourage applicants to apply in the first round, as space in the class may be limited by the second round. In addition, applying in the first round leaves more time for visa procedures.

KEY FACTS
1 year post-graduate professionalizing programme
Language of instruction is English
Running from 10th Jan 2011 till Feb-March 2012
440 hours of classroom lectures (+ individual studying)
550 hours internship and final project work

The curriculum is strongly multidisciplinary and field oriented and includes courses in: International Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, Geopolitics and regional issues in historical perspective, Philosophy of HR, Economic Development, Theories and Techniques of Conflict Management, International PK and PB operations, International HR Field operations, International Election Observation missions, International Humanitarian operations, International Project Development, Personal security, Preventive Medicine & First Aid, Career coaching...

The internship is meant to supplement the in-class training with a relevant hand-on experience, to be carried out with a renowned organization working in the areas of human rights protection/promotion, conflict prevention/resolution, humanitarian assistance or development, either in the field or at headquarters.

The tuition fee is 7.000 (seven thousand) EUR and includes: attendance of all lectures, didactic material, participation in seminars and field trips, tutorship & career counselling, access to the school's library and computers, lunch on lesson/exam days. Travel, accommodation in Pisa and during the internship and any other expense are the responsibility of each participant.

The Master offers one scholarship, covering the full tuition fee, to be awarded to the most deserveful EU citizen.

Depending on financial availability a limited number of additional scholarships will be made available to citizens from non-OECD countries who are eligible for release of a visa for Italy. They will be awarded on the basis of merit, and might cover part of the 7.000 EUR tuition fee, or the entire fee, or the fee plus some living expenses.

Depending on resources availability the Scuola might offer financial assistance towards internship expenses to participants who are citizens of EU countries.

For further details, please visit www.humanrights.sssup.it, or contact:
Master of Arts in "Human Rights and Conflict Management", Ms Alessia Lenci (MA Programme Officer)

Conference 'Education and Citizenship in a Globalising World' (London, 19-20 November 2010)

Dear Colleagues,

Human rights educators will be very welcome to present at this conference.

Hugh Starkey

-------------

Education and Citizenship in a Globalising World (19-20 November 2010, Institute of Education University of London)
http://www.ioe.ac.uk/about/37498.html

An international conference
The third international education conference convened jointly by the Institute of Education (IOE), London and Beijing Normal University (BNU). The languages of the conference will be English and Mandarin Chinese.

The conference sub-themes are listed below. We welcome contributions in the form of academic papers based on research or scholarship; case studies of practice in schools, communities and formal and informal education settings; reports of projects and initiatives at local, regional, national or international levels.

Contributions are welcome from academics and researchers from education, sociology, politics and other relevant disciplines, as well as teachers, political or community activists, and those working for NGOs, national or local government agencies.

1. Moral Education, Values and Citizenship
Within this strand will fall issues around moral authority, rights and responsibilities, and democracy in education. Also contained in strand 1 will be school approaches to moral and citizenship education, the promotion of children's rights through education, the tensions between local struggles and universal human rights, and the concepts and practice of active citizenship and service.

2. Sustainability, Development and Global Citizenship
This strand will encompass issues in education and sustainable development alongside an examination of the role of school partnerships and linkages in global citizenship education. Also relevant to strand 2 will be discussions on linking local, national and global agendas, as well as education and its role in the struggle for human dignity and the impact of citizenship education on peace, development and climate change.

3. Multicultural Education, Diversity and Social Cohesion
Within this strand will be discussion of the role of urban schools and issues of diversity in the context of citizenship education. Equally, the multicultural curriculum will be discussed, as will the impact of prejudice and discrimination on citizenship and society. Finally, issues around multilingualism and pluralingualism will be examined.

4. Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism and Education
The focus of this strand will be examination of issues around unity and diversity. This will include global interconnectedness and solidarity, textbooks and national narratives and the impact of patriotism. Also under discussion will be citizenship and history education and the role of education in developing cosmopolitan citizenship.

For further details see website. Abstracts of around 1000 words in length should be should be submitted by 11 June 2010 to internationaloffice@ioe.ac.uk

Hugh Starkey, Institute of Education, University of London (UK)

New EMHRN publication with methodologies for using games, films and role-playing in HRE

EMHRN publishes "Resources for Human Rights Education 2: Using Games, Films and Role-Playing"

This resource book is based on the experiences of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) Summer School in Turkey 2008. The book looks at different methodologies which can all be incorporated in Human Rights Education (HRE). It includes descriptions of methodologies used at the Summer School, its objectives, as well as giving examples of the different types of methodologies. They are naturally focused on human rights; the games help improve participants’ knowledge of human rights, they show how conflict resolution have to be based on communication and cooperation, and they show how vital an understanding of human rights in everyday life is.

More information and download Resources for Human Rights Education 2: Using Games, Films and Role-Playing

Teachers and Human Rights Education new book now available

The new book Teachers and Human Rights Education (Audrey Osler and Hugh Starkey) is now published and is available now from Trentham Books or from the US distributor Stylus.

Why do teachers need to be familiar with human rights? In multicultural societies, whose values take precedence? How do schools resolve tensions between children's rights and teachers' rights? Campaigners, politicians and the media cite human rights to justify or challenge anything from peaceful protest to military action. The phrase 'human rights' appears to be a slogan in need of a definition. Human rights education is more urgent than ever.

Teachers and Human Rights Education clarifies the relevance of human rights to teachers' everyday work. The authors draw on international examples to discuss how schools can work with young people to promote the ideals of justice and peace. Human rights principles are applied to the challenges of living together democratically.

The book is a contribution to the UN World Programme on Human Rights Education and is a key text for postgraduate studies.

'Osler and Starkey are two of the most influential scholars and practitioners of human rights education worldwide. This new volume is timely and highly significant.' Dr Colm Ó Cuanacháin, Amnesty International

Dr Audrey Osler is Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London and the University of Leeds, where she was founding director of the Centre for Citizenship and Human Rights Education.

Dr Hugh Starkey is Reader at the Institute of Education, University of London and co-director of the International Centre for Education for Democratic Citizenship.

Trentham books: http://www.trentham-books.co.uk/

Stylus: http://trentham.styluspub.com/

Launch of Human Rights Education on amnesty.org

Amnesty International's work in human rights education spans formal, non-formal and informal sectors across all continents. Information about international human rights education is online now.

Amnesty International believes that human rights education is fundamental for addressing the underlying causes of human rights violations, preventing human rights abuses, combating discrimination, promoting equality, and enhancing people's participation in democratic decision-making processes.

Many people worldwide have recognized the contribution of human rights education to make human rights a reality worldwide. Find out what Amnesty International is doing at the international and regional level with a range of organisations, partners, networks and supporters to contribute towards this goal.

At the national level across all continents, Amnesty International offices are actively involved in advocating for mainstreaming human rights education in the formal sector, including working with governments on policy and legislative measures, developing learning processes and tools and resources, creating enabling learning environments, and facilitating the training of teachers and educators.

As well as in formal education, we also work with other sectors of the global community linking human rights education to active participation and empowerment, working with young people, indigenous and marginalized groups, professional associations and groups, traditional/ religious leaders, and community based organizations.

Read about our work with the AI International HRE Network; in Africa with the Africa HRE Project and in Middle East North Africa; the Human Rights Friendly Schools Project; the Rights Education Action Programme; and advocacy for human rights education at the international level.

You can access Amnesty International human rights education methodologies and resources online or by contacting the relevant human rights education teams.

These pages will be updated regularly and are available in English, French and Spanish.

Citizenship through Religious Education

By Ted Huddleston

Citizenship through Religious Education is a new educational resource that provides teachers with ideas and activities for teaching Citizenship, within the context of Religious Education, at Key Stages 3 and 4.

It contains detailed lesson plans and resources, aimed at enabling teachers of Religious Education to build on their subject knowledge and expertise to teach elements of the Citizenship curriculum, during timetabled RE time, without blurring the boundaries between the two subjects.

The resource contains five themes based around a key question, such as: What happens when religious beliefs conflict with other social norms? How does religious identity impact on life in the UK today? What place is there for religion in public life? This enables student discussion around important topical issues, relating to the place of religion in contemporary society, which are rarely encountered in other educational resources. For example, the age of religious consent, religion and the law, religion and national identity, the morality of proselytism, the religious rights of atheists and agnostics, and the role of religion in the delivery of public services.

Citizenship through RE is part of series of teachers' books which deal with the teaching of Citizenship within the context of other school subjects and
activities. Each one is accompanied by an easily editable CD-ROM and is available from Folens (for an order, click on "view all titles").

Folens Publishers (UK), 'How to order...', e-mail.

Ted Huddleston (author of the publication), Associate of the Citizenship Foundation (UK)

Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education adopted

On 11 May 2010, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and representatives of the 47 Council of Europe member states adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7 on the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education at the 120th Session of the Committee of Ministers.
The Charter – which was developed over a period of several years with wide consultations and is non-binding - will be an important reference point for all of Europe and will be used as a basis for the Council of Europe’s future work in this field in the coming years.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Letter from the Chair

Dear DARE Network members, friends and colleagues,

This Spring has brought some interesting political and policy initiatives to promote EDC and HRE.

The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) of the European Union recently conducted a human rights education "stakeholder consultation" in order to determine in what specific areas FRA should became active. The consultation resulted in eight key strategic objectives for the FRA to consider. (You can read more about the FRA stakeholder consultation in a separate article in this issue of e-DARE.) Three of the recommended areas that were identified as needing attention confirm the importance of the advocacy, policy and research that our network is involved in: the promotion of effective HRE policy, prioritisation and capacity building at a European level; the promotion of integration of human rights education into European Commission funding programmes to support HRE initiatives and training for professional groups; and the improvement of knowledge of current HRE practice in Europe through research and dissemination. FRA intends to establish a consultative body of HRE experts in the development and targeting of FRA’s HRE activities, a fourth recommendation, that DARE is expected to be a member of.

Last month, the Council of Europe member states adopted the Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education. The Charter provides an important policy framework for the future of EDC and HRE in Europe. DARE members gave significant input to the development of the Charter and we have promoted it at several European fora over the past years, including the European Parliament. The Charter underlines, among other things, the importance of monitoring & evaluation mechanisms at the national level to measure impact, and calls on governments to make more resources available for EDC and HRE. It also acknowledges the important role the NGO sector and civil society play in EDC and HRE, both in the formal and non-formal education systems.

Finally, this Spring the draft UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training was moved to a next stage by the Human Rights Council. The Declaration is expected to enhance commitment to human rights education by UN member states and send a message that human rights education is a crucial tool to prevent human rights violations and to realise a global culture of human rights. At the same time the Declaration would codify human rights education as a human right. Again, DARE provided substantial input into the last version of the draft, which is expected to be finalised later this year.

I hope many of you will be able to attend the General Assembly in Vilnius (3 July) during which some of these trends in EDC and HRE policies will be taken up when we discuss DARE's strategic plan for the years to come.

Wishing you a wonderful summer,

Frank Elbers

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Neda Soltan and the Power of Human Rights Video

Do you remember the horrible video of Neda's death one year ago? YouTube and WITNESS, a Human Rights NGO, have just started a series of human rights videos. The first one deals with "Neda Soltan and the power of human rights video"...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

FRA: Europe must further strengthen fundamental rights protection

Protection mechanisms on paper do not yet fully function in practice

FRA Press Release
Vienna/Brussels, 10 June 2010

The 2010 Annual Report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) identifies challenges in the areas of data protection, extreme exploitation in the workplace, rights of the child, racism and discrimination, and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) issues.

“Every second EU citizen ranks the protection of fundamental rights as the most important value to be defended” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum to the European Parliament today. “The Treaty of Lisbon paves the way for a more fundamental rights-oriented process of law making. Positive initiatives have been developed in many Member States in 2009 to ensure that fundamental rights are protected. However, in these difficult economic times, the EU must guarantee more than ever that there is no rollback on fundamental rights protection. In particular, EU Member States need to ensure that bodies set up to protect and promote fundamental rights are really able to do so in practice, thereby making fundamental rights a reality for everyone in the EU.”

The FRA 2010 Annual Report provides concrete and comparative data on the situation on the ground in the 27 EU Member States. It also provides advice to the EU institutions and Member States, based on the evidence found.

The Agency’s surveys and studies undertaken in 2009 in particular show that many equality bodies, national human rights institutions and data protection authorities lack resources, are not independent enough, and often have very weak mandates. Many separated asylum-seeking children disappear whilst their case is being processed. LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) persons suffer discrimination in areas of everyday life, such as at work or in bars. Racism continues to be a part of everyday life for many immigrants and minorities living in the EU, and the majority of EU Member States do not keep official records of racist crime.

The Report also collects examples of good practices that Member States can build on to improve fundamental rights protection in their respective country. For example, the law was changed in Scotland (UK) so that if an offence is committed because of a prejudice based on a person’s sexual orientation or transgender identity, this must now be taken into account in sentencing. This is the first European provision specifically tackling transgender hate crimes. Another example is the case of Hungary, where the Prime Minister announced a government plan to offer 200 positions to experts of Roma origin in public administration from January 2010.

The FRA Annual Report 2010 is available at: http://fra.europa.eu

Thursday, 3 June 2010

SYNCHRONISED ACTION DAYS 2010: Invest 15 minutes and gain visibility all over Europe!

Share and showcase your activities leading up to Human Rights Day 2010 and gain visibility all over Europe!

SYNCHRONIZED ACTION DAYS are a powerful PR tool. They showcase the many different activities in the field of Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (HRE/RDC) in Europe. Be it a a workshop, a campaign, an art project, a local, regional or international initiative – DARE collects and disseminates your activities to stakeholders on the local, regional, national and European level.

Your activities will be published on Human Rights Day (Dec. 10, 2010) on DARE´s website on an interactive European activity map. Check the 2008 and 2009 maps of SYNCHRONIZED ACTION DAYS - your activity can be a part of the 2010 map!

What you have to do to do?
1) Fill out the short “activity report form” for download at the DARE website. Every HRE/EDC activity between Oct 10 and Dec 10, 2010 is important!
2) For every additional activity just copy the table.
3) Send the form(s) in word-format until Sept 30, 2010 via email to: Anne Stalfort (stalfort@adb.de).
4)You are very welcome to download and use the logo of the Synchronised Action Days.
http://www.dare-network.eu/synact_2010.htm

Pre-register now! - NECE Conference: “Chances of Cultural and Citizenship Education within the Development of Cities and Urban Spaces”

29.09.-01.10.2010, The Stazione Marittima Congress Centre, Molo Bersaglieri 3, I-34124 Trieste/IT
This year's NECE Networking Conference focuses on the chances of cultural and citizenship education within the development of cities and urban spaces. The conference thereby refers to dramatic changes in European cities: Migration and mobility reduce the cohesion within many urban societies. Cities have become complex entities in which ethnic, social and cultural segregated communities have developed. Big scopes for individual life designs and collective ways of living are often linked with a growing disparity and conflicts of identity and self-assertion.
At the same time cities develop the breeding ground for new, mostly cultural expressions of civic participation in order to create new forms of public spheres or civic involvement.
The city mirrors social challenges and becomes a lab of cultural and social developments in which questions of economy and work, of social belonging and recognition, of cultural self-perception and external perception, of political participation and justice are renegotiated.
Cultural and citizenship education has to reposition itself, since forms of participation and development opportunities become existential issues in cities – not least for the cities themselves. The conference will discuss challenges of current urban developments from an interdisciplinary perspective and determine opportunities of cultural and citizenship education in the context of urban development. Bringing experts, architects, sociologists, multipliers and practitioners in cultural and citizenship education together, this European conference discusses the complex challenges cities and urban spaces are confronted with and will search for and deploy creative impulses for an urban cultural and citizenship education.
In short, a call for projects will be launched looking for your outstanding and innovative examples of working models, concepts and projects as well as new didactic materials for teaching cultural and citizenship education. The best projects will be invited to present at the conference in Trieste. More information about the NECE initiative, promoted by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Germany) at: www.nece.eu
The programme will be published soon. There is no participation fee! For further information and application, please pre-register now at: nece-trieste@lab-concepts.de
The conference language is English without a simultaneous translation.
You need to pay for the accommodation in Trieste. The conference management supports you with the hotel booking. A list of hotel recommendations and a contact for your hotel booking will be published soon. If you have any questions, please, do not hesitate to contact the conference management:

lab concepts GmbH
Sandra Mayer
Phone: +49 (0)228 2498 116
Fax: +49 (0)228 2498 111

“Children's Rights for Adult Learners” - DARE textbook available online!

The DARE focus meeting “Children's Rights for Adult Learners” in Brussels (January 2010) explored the strategies of children’s rights education for adults, bearing in mind that it is mainly adults who in many cases protect and enforce children’s rights. Fourteen experts representing ten European organisations gathered for a two-day exchange of best practices and discussion of policy approaches in the field.

The results are available online in the DARE textbook “Children's Rights for Adult Learners”.

The textbook includes country reports, case studies, a toolbox for children`s rights practitioners, and an analysis of recent policy papers like the draft “COE Framework for the Development of Teacher’s Competences on Citizenship and Human Rights Education” and the draft “UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training”. Comments on the latter were subsequently submitted and partly integrated into the most recent draft of the UN Declaration – a result the DARE network is particularly proud of.

The DARE focus meeting was jointly organised by DARE – Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe and VORMEN, the Flemish Organisation for Human Rights Education.