Address: Via Toscana n.10/a - Parma

Country: Italy

 School website

Project: The Human Rights: from the Declaration to the peer education in school

Working language during the project:

  • Italian

Themes of the Council of Europe campaign “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard
  • Preventing violence and bullying
  • Tackling discrimination
  • Improving well-being at school

Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:

  • Valuing human issues and human rights
    Human rights were studied and their effective importance was considered in real life and in different contexts.
  • Co-operation skills
    Students learnt to work together and to share their work with other students. They also learnt to communicate in an appropriate way (language and empathy).
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world
    Students demonstrated their knowledge of the different meanings attributed to human rights throughout the world and they tried to understand connections between these differences and different cultures.

Target group age range:

  • 15 - 19

Level of education:

  • Upper secondary education

Short description of the project:

This is the general description of the project written by a student who participated in it:

The project represents a long and demanding journey, which owes its roots to the Bertolucci Scientific High School in Parma. Each year the school presents different volunteer projects to students of each class, various charitable activities which bring together for peace purposes a group of young people composed of new and former high school students, and in so doing, create a moment of union and solidarity.

This strong spirit of solidarity has inspired our class to commit itself to deepen its knowledge of the UN Declaration of Human Rights in honour of its 70th anniversary, starting with Article 19 on freedom of opinion and expression. This was made possible thanks to the school’s membership of the "rights and responsibilities" programme promoted by the National Coordination of Local Authorities for Peace and Human Rights, by the Human Rights Center of the University of Padua, by the National Network of Schools for Peace and from the Table of Peace in collaboration with the Directorate General for Students, Integration and participation at the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Ministero dell’istruzione dell’università et della ricerca - MIUR), under the Memorandum of Understanding of 28 April 2016. These associations are committed to keeping alive the importance of " education and training in human rights ". The invitation to celebrate the 70th anniversary and to remember the importance of the Declaration was extended to several schools.

Our first task was to understand Article 19 from a variety of angles, analysing it above all from a social point of view. This was the beginning of our learning process with regards to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We read it, studied it and above all understood it with the help of our teachers. Following this study, we investigated the topic of "denied human rights", as we realised that the freedom we were investigating was not necessarily respected the world all over and sometimes not even close to home.

This analysis resulted in several presentations on various topics from freedom of opinion to censorship, from neo-colonialism to globalisation, from harassment and cyberbullying to cyber-harassment, from rights denied to the right to life.

Our work, however, had a clear objective: to be shared and made widespread. We were invited therefore to present our work to some of the classes over the two-year period as part of the peer teaching method, which consists of the exchange of ideas and notions between students. The school relies heavily on this type of teaching because it leads to two important advantages: the lessons become lighter and more pleasant because the students recognise themselves in their peer educators, creating a climate of mutual collaboration. The students also learn how to give presentations and to express themselves clearly.

Once we had learned the theory, we needed to put it into practice. We were looking for a conclusion to our project that could allow us to demonstrate what we had learned. As a result, we participated in the Perugia-Assisi peace march because we wanted to make our own contribution and make it known that in some countries of the world human rights are often still denied. It is much easier to violate a right than to respect it. We are frequently the first to take their value for granted as they are considered inviolable by our country. This is not always the case in other parts of the world. It is important to know what really happens, to be able to improve the situation. We must open our eyes to those who have become anaesthetised by our safe and secure daily life and remember that elsewhere others find it difficult to say what they think. With this in mind, we welcomed the idea of participating in the March, which was to be held from 5 to 7 October 2018, from Perugia to Assisi, and would also invite you to participate in similar great gestures of solidarity.

Finally, we would like to offer you a brief résumé of this journey by showing you two videos that show clearly what we produced.

The realisation of this long but important project has opened our eyes and thanks to this study we were able to become "active and aware citizens" interested in the events concerning all women and men and what is around them.


The objectives of the project are:

  • Acquisition of greater awareness of the concept of peace and rights;
  • Development of one's own critical reflection linked to the theme of identity and the complex relationship between us and them;
  • Acquisition of skills for reflecting on the complexity of contemporary global scenarios;
  • Ability to understand the different issues connected to the denial of human rights in some areas of the globe;
  • Awareness of the problem of cyber bullying and harassment;
  • Ability to present the problems analysed to younger students;
  • Appropriate general skills for dealing with work in the class.

Expected results/outcomes

Organisation and participation in the Schools for Peace Network of Parma, at a training linked to education for peace and citizenship and to the denial of the right to life, starting with a viewing of the documentary film "Human flow" by Ai Weiwei, which was followed by speeches by agencies dealing with the rights of refugees and migrants.

Work on the Project “Rights and Responsibilities” promoted by the Italian Coordination of Peace Organizations with reference to the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Participation in in-depth studies on the issue of cyber bullying and harassment.

Research and production of presentations on topics related to the two events mentioned above, in particular colonialism, neo-colonialism, case study on Sankara, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, globalization and glocalization, specific analysis of Article 19 of the Declaration (denial of this article: harassment, cyber bullying, restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression).

Presentation of the path developed in peer education to students from six different school classes .

Presentation on 10 December 2018 in an institute assembly (70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) to all school students of the work carried out on this project.

Outcomes: documents on the studies carried out on the Declaration, Article 19, the denial of human rights in different ways (e.g. cyberbullying); videos of the presentations given; videos on topics of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Thanks to the interest and commitment of the students involved, the project has grown considerably compared to its original design. In particular, peer education, implemented in the classes at two different times, took on a new direction that proved to be very educational.

Challenges you faced

The organisation of the various activities was very complex and multifaceted, and this represented a real challenge. In the end, however, the entire course was successful and the logistical difficulties that occurred during the course were resolved without too much worry.

Time-frame of the project:

March 2018 - December 2018.

Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:

  • Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
  • All Different – All Equal
  • Human Rights and Democracy Start with Us – Charter for All
  • Freedom(s) - Learning activities for secondary schools on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights