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)