6: Resolution on Human Rights Education

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights meeting at its Fourteenth Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, 1 - 10 December, 1993:

Acknowledging that education in human and peoples’ rights is a prerequisite for the effective implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other international human rights instruments,

Bearing in mind that the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights provides in Article 17(1) for the right to education and that Article 25 of the African Charter calls upon States parties to the Charter to promote human and peoples’ rights through teaching, education and publication,

Recalling the Resolution on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, AHG/Res. 227 (XXIX), published in the Commission’s 6th Annual Activity Report, 1992 - 1993, which all States parties are requested to “ensure among other things (a) that human rights are included in the curriculum at all levels of public and private education and in the training of all law enforcement officials, and (b) that education for human rights and democracy should involve every organ of the society as well as the media”,

Taking note of the UNESCO Plan of Action adopted at the International Congress on Education for Human Rights and Democracy in Montreal during March 1993, which laid the foundation for the recommendation adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna for a Decade of Human Rights Education to be declared,

Noting also the Declaration at the World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna 1993, encouraging all governments to include in the formal sector, curricula on the study of human rights in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions as well as those in the administration of justice, and for governments to be encouraged to undertake the promotion of human rights in the informal sector,

Taking into consideration the Programme of Activities of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1992 - 1996, adopted at the 11th Session , March 1992,

Recognising the importance of education as an active vehicle of inculcating the values and corresponding behaviours in a civil society based on full respect for human and peoples’ rights, democracy, tolerance and justice,

Emphasising the importance of propagating the principle of human rights law as well as international humanitarian law,

Taking into consideration further the great efforts made by the African Non-Governmental Organisations to promote and implement human and peoples’ rights through education on both formal and informal levels, using popular participatory methods and through the media,

Having considered the item on human rights education upon the request of a number of Non-Governmental Organisations:

1. Reiterate its request for States parties to include the study of human and peoples’ rights in the curriculum at all levels of public and private education, including law schools to ensure, inter alia, that education and information regarding human and peoples’ rights are included in the training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, as well as medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment;

2. Decides to intensify the co-operation between the African Commission and the African Non-Governmental Organisations on human and peoples’ rights education, bearing in mind in particular the activities contained in the Commission’s Programme of Activities, 1992 - 1996;

3. Underlines the importance of education, through appropriate means and techniques, being geared among other things to the need of specific groups such as women, children, refugees and internally displaced persons, victims of armed conflicts and other disadvantaged groups;

4. Encourages Governments to take advantage of the activities of the Non-Governmental Organisations to organise a workshop on human and peoples’ rights education with a special reference to popular participation and non-formal education during 1994, and any further initiatives which would strengthen the long term activities of the African Commission and Non-Governmental Organisations in the field of human rights education.