Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights (EDC/HRE)

Teacher training in EDC/HRE: inter-institutional meeting

On 15-16 June 2009, the fourth inter-institutional meeting on citizenship and human rights education was hosted by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.  Participating organisations included The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, OSCE/ODIHR, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNESCO, The European Wergeland Centre, the Initiative for Learning Democracy (ILDE), the Network of European Foundations (NEF), the European Association of Teachers (AEDE), the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights as well as the representatives from the Education and Youth Directorates of the Council of Europe.

Participants agreed that an emphasis on prevention needs to be constantly borne in mind and raised with other partners, as human rights mechanisms over the last 60 years have focused more on redressing human rights abuses rather than preventing them. Hence the primordial role of education as the most effective long-term means for prevention.

Further, a systematic and comprehensive approach needs to be applied both in the training of teachers and trainers for democratic citizenship and human rights as well as in inter-institutional co-operation in teacher training in the field of democratic citizenship and human rights education.  The future Council of Europe European Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education – expected to be adopted in early 2010 – could perhaps provide a framework for such an approach.

Click here to download the report on the conclusions of the meeting.

Useful links:

- Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1849 (2008) "For the promotion of a culture of democracy and human rights through teacher education"

- The European Wergeland Centre (resource centre on education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship)

- Pestalozzi Programme

- Publication: "How all teachers can support citizenship and human rights education: a framework for the development of competences"