What is Human Rights Education ?
Amnesty International believes that Human Rights Education (HRE) is a deliberate, participatory practice aimed at empowering individuals, groups and communities through fostering knowledge, skills and attitudes consistent with internationally recognized human rights principles.
AI Nepal and Human Rights Education
AI Nepal became a Section of AI in late 1993 and from the very beginning human rights education (HRE) has been a high priority for the organization. There is a two-pronged strategy in HRE work. The first is to lobby the government for the inclusion of human rights into school curricula. The second is to undertake non-formal education.
As an effort to undertake its HRE work systematically, AI Nepal held its first Human Rights Education National Conference in 1995 and produced a 10-point declaration which serves to regulate the HRE work of the AI Nepal. Additionally, as a part of its commitment to non-formal education programs, in 1995 the AI Nepal established a training unit in the office.
AI Nepal's efforts bore fruit after it was supported by Teaching For Freedom (TFF) project of AI Norway in 1996. With the support from the TFF, AI Nepal built its capacity significantly and held several HRE activities in between 1996 to 1999.
Training on Human Rights
Basically, AI Nepal had started human rights training for different target group as soon as the organizational was established in Nepal. However, such trainings were continued in more systematic way after establishment of TFF project in 1996. The three-year project was ended in 1999. But in those three years, the project substantially helped to develop the training capacity of the organization. Particularly, human rights trainings that AI Nepal conducted under the TFF project for police, women, teachers, elected representative, youth and students were totally productive and useful.
Now AI Nepal has developed following capacity strongly to undertake training on different human rights issues.
A pool of skilled trainers:
AI Nepal had developed a pool of skilled trainers. All of the trainers are from AI's membership who contribute in the training voluntarily.
A pool of experts on training preparation
The organization has also developed its own human resources on holding Training Needs Assessment workshops, training package development and pilot testing of the packages. AI Nepal has now a wealth of core group members who are skilled in most of those aspects.
Developed a stock of training materials
AI Nepal has developed separate trainers' manuals and participants' handbooks for training of each of the five target groups outlined above. A separate trainers' manual and participants' handbook has been prepared for teachers' training on children's rights. The organization also has developed a Manual of Training of Trainers (ToT), which is used to develop trainers.
Since its establishment, AI Nepal has lobbied energetically for the inclusion of HRE into school curriculum. Thanks to the persistent efforts of AI Nepal along with other NGOs because inclusion of HRE into curriculum has become an issue of debate in the country, which is a positive sign. Now, some topics of human rights have been included in the some of the course-book of the school education. However, there are so many things to achieve to get HRE included in curriculum.
Publications and other materials
AI Nepal has continued to publish different publications materials on human rights. It has been publishing short briefing paper to manual and leaflets to booklets on different issues of human rights. Besides, it has been translating a number of resources into Nepali language.
Human Rights Awareness (HRA)
From the very beginning, AI Nepal used street theatre to raise human rights awareness. It has been taking such drama in different part of the country. The main target group of street theatre is the people of the countryside. Street drama has been very useful tool to communicate message among the illiterate mass. Now AI Nepal has several scripts and materials for street dramas that were performed in previous years. Through these dramas, AI Nepal has reached most parts of the country.
AI Nepal has also been holding various interactions, public events, rallies, seminars, extra curricular activities for school children and other programs to raise human rights awareness. Besides, it has started to install bill-board in public places with effective message on different human rights issues.
AI Nepal's regular efforts have produced many results. It has gradually developed some capacity in many aspects of training, including resource mobilization which has contributed bringing human rights to the Nepalese people.
Human Rights Education (HRE) helps prevent violations, strengthens actions and campaigns, creates a space for dialogue and change, encourages respect and tolerance, integrating the principles of human rights into everyday life.
For further information and to know more about worldwide campaign of Amnesty International on HRE, please visit Human Rights Education Webpage of AI http://web.amnesty.org/pages/hre-index-eng