Friday, 18 April 2008

OSCE publishes guide on teaching about religions and beliefs

OSCE Press release

WARSAW, 18 April 2008 - The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, ODIHR, has launched a new guide in Madrid on preparing curricula for teaching about religions and beliefs in a manner sensitive to human rights concerns.

The publication, Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools, is designed to assist educators, legislators, teachers and officials in education ministries and in private or religious schools to ensure that teaching about different religions and beliefs is carried out in a fair and balanced manner.

"It is important for young people to acquire a better understanding of the role that religions play in today's pluralistic world," the ODIHR Director, Ambassador Christian Strohal, said in his foreword to the book. "The need for such education will continue to grow as different cultures and identities interact with each other through travel, commerce, media or migration."

The Guiding Principles were developed by the ODIHR Advisory Council on Freedom of Religion or Belief, together with other leading experts. They list procedures for assuring fairness in the development of curricula, as well as treatment of pupils from many different faith backgrounds. The Spanish OSCE Chairmanship paid for the publication of the book.

The publication is available (in English and Spanish) on this link: http://www.osce.org/item/28314.html