Thursday, 27 January 2011

Russian version of Compendium of Good Practice in HRE now available

The Russian language version of the publication Human Rights Education in the School Systems of Europe, Central Asia and North America: A Compendium of Good Practice (Образование в области прав человека в школьной системе Европы, Центральной Азии и Северной Америки: сборник примеров успешных практик) has just been released by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR). The original, English language publication was jointly published the Council of Europe, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2009. HREA was retained to develop the Compendium under the guidance of these partners.

The Russian language version - along with full annexes - can be found on the OSCE website. Links to the Russian (and English) language version can also be found on HREA's website at:

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

OSCE Chairperson marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day, emphasizes importance of tolerance education

VILNIUS, 27 January 2011 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day today with a call for OSCE participating States to further intensify efforts to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance and promote remembrance and education.

“This Day of Holocaust Remembrance for millions of Jewish and other victims, including Roma and Sinti, serves as a lasting reminder that we must be vigilant and vigorous in our efforts to combat intolerance and hatred,” said Ažubalis.

“We must commemorate the victims by teaching people about the Holocaust, and ensuring that the dignity and human rights of all people are respected.”

OSCE participating States have committed themselves to “promote remembrance of and, as appropriate, education about the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the importance of respect for all ethnic and religious groups”. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, in co-operation with the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies in Israel, has published practical guidelines for teachers, available in 13 languages, entitled Preparing Holocaust Memorial Days: Suggestions for Educators.

In September 2010, Lithuania’s Parliament (Seimas) declared 2011 as Year of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania. Tolerance education is also a priority of Lithuania’s 2011 OSCE Chairmanship.

OSCE Press release

Friday, 14 January 2011

COE/UNHCR: Protecting Refugees information pack

The 'Protecting Refugees' information pack is a joint initiative by the Council of Europe ( and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, (

Both institutions are very much concerned by migration issues and work together to find solutions to the problems of forcibly displaced persons whose number amounted to more than 1.6 million in Europe at the end of 2009.

The information pack covers a range of important topics, such as asylum-seekers and detention, refugees and social and economic inclusion, refugees and violence, internal displacement, forced returns and stateless persons.

Feel free to download the publication available under Reproduction of the text free of charge in a newsletter, blog, website or any other media is allowed on the condition that you mention the following statement 'All rights reserved. © Council of Europe'.

To receive printed copies, please contact

Barbara Orkwiszewska
Public Relations & Branding
Directorate of Communication
Council of Europe
Tel.: 00 33 (0)3 88 41 38 36

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

EWC Summer Academy on Democracy at School, Warsaw/PL, 9-16 July 2011

EWC calls for participants for it's Summer Academy on Democracy at School - Rest places for teams from especially from Germany and the Nordic countries are available

The EWC is calling for participants for the Summer Academy 2011 Democracy at School, which will take place in Warsaw, Poland, 9-16 July 2011. The Summer Academy (SA) offers training for head teachers, teachers and NGO/parents’ representatives in the field of education for human rights and democratic citizenship. The SA is organized in cooperation between the Polish Ministry of National Education, Polish Centre for Education Development, Council of Europe and the EWC.

The SA was successfully held for the first time in July 2010, and we are now calling for participants for the 2011 event! The participants will learn to implement whole school strategies for integrating education for democratic citizenship and human rights (EDC/HRE) in their practice and culture in the classroom, school and community. The SA also offers an opportunity to share and exchange experiences and good practices with participants from other countries.

The SA is open for teams from the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Finland, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine.

The training will be in Russian and English with simultaneous translation. Please read the description of the SA and send in your team application! Application deadline is 25 February 2011.

Visit to read more about the Summer Academy.
click here to download the application form
click here for the description
Caroline Gebara
Adviser, The European Wergeland Centre
Stensberggt 25, NO-0170 Oslo, Norway
Phone: +47 21 01 45 11
Mobile: +47 450 68 608
Skype: caroline.gebara

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New Online Textbook about the EU

Pharos e.V. published a new online textbook dealing with the EU. By now, it's available in German, Romanian and Albanian language. Soon there will be a Bulgarian and a Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian version. The materials on Dadalos - the International UNESCO Education Server for Democracy, Peace and Human Rights Education - can be used free of charge and can be found here:

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

EU ratifies disability rights treaty

(New York) December 30, 2010 -- The European Union's ratification of the major international treaty on disability rights is a significant milestone in the global effort to promote the rights of people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU officially joined the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on December 23, 2010, becoming the first intergovernmental organization to sign on to any human rights treaty and take on its binding obligations.

"The EU ratification of the Disability Rights Convention sends a clear message that disability rights are a priority in the region and worldwide," said Shantha Rau Barriga, disability rights researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch. "All EU members and future members should now ratify the treaty and align their laws and practices with its standards."

The Disability Rights Convention, which entered into force in May 2008, is the first international human rights treaty specifically related to the rights of people with disabilities. By ratifying the treaty, countries pledge to uphold non-discrimination and other protections and to provide people with disabilities services they need to participate fully in society. The convention has been ratified by 96 countries as well as the European Union.

In addition to joining the Disability Rights Convention, the EU is in the process of joining the European Convention on Human Rights, administered by a separate intergovernmental organization, the Council of Europe.

Joining the Disability Rights Convention obliges EU institutions, including the European Commission, Parliament, Council, and Court of Justice, to uphold disability rights. But it does not automatically make the convention binding in individual EU member states. That requires separate ratification by each country.

Eleven of the 27 EU members have yet to ratify the convention, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania, although all have signed. Among European countries seeking EU membership, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey have ratified the convention, while Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, and Kosovo have not.

Joining the convention is only one step towards securing the rights of persons with disabilities. Research by Human Rights Watch and European disability rights organizations has shown that people with disabilities throughout Europe, including those in countries that have joined the treaty, face a number of barriers to full realization of their rights.

"The EU should ensure that all member states join and implement the convention and set an example by fully respecting the rights of people with disabilities," Barriga said. "In its discussions with other countries, the EU needs to push for stronger legislation, better policies, and more inclusive programs."

The EU first committed to join the Disability Rights Convention by signing the treaty in March 2007. On December 2, 2010, the Council of the European Union, a body composed of representatives from each member state, removed the last legal barrier to joining the treaty by agreeing on a code of conduct that will regulate member state interaction with the European Commission concerning the Disability Rights Convention.

Human Rights Watch Press release