The role of youth organisations and youth work in promoting human rights education received an important push in the Council of Europe with the introduction in the year 2000 of the Human Rights Education Youth Programme which had the aim to mainstream human rights education in youth work and youth policy. A first Forum on Human Rights Education was organised to launch the programme which has developed grounded on the success of Compass, the manual for human rights education with young people, and later of Compasito.

The programme of the youth sector of the Council of Europe has reflected these developments with the introduction of training courses for trainers, support to national capacity-building activities, pilot projects supported by the European Youth Foundation, accompanied by the development of quality criteria in training for human rights education.

These experiences were reflected in the second Forum on Human Rights Education with and by Young People - Living, Learning, Acting for Human Rights - held in October 2009 in Budapest and Strasbourg. It brought together over 200 participants, youth leaders, activists and experts, from the Council of Europe member states and beyond. The participants reviewed the achievements of the HRE Youth Programme and outlined the future of Human Rights Education as a strategic dimension of the youth programme of the Council of Europe. 

The adoption of the Charter on Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE) in 2010, prepared by the Education and Youth sectors, recognises the role of youth organisations and non-formal education:

 

Non-governmental organisations and youth organisations have a valuable contribution to make to education for democratic citizenship and human rights education, particularly through non-formal and informal education, and accordingly need opportunities and support in order to make this contribution.

 

Youth organisations were consequently involved in the first review of the implementation of the charter which culminated in the conference Human Rights and Democracy in Action - Looking Ahead - The impact of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education, co-organised with the Education Department in 2012. A survey among NGOs and youth organisations was carried to collect their experiences with the Charter’s implementation.

The mainstreaming of human rights education in and through the programme of the youth sector has been reinforced in the Youth for Democracy programme and extended through the No Hate Speech Movement campaign. Bookmarks, the manual to combat online hate speech through human rights education, has contributed to reach out to new publics and partners for human rights education. Similarly, Mirrors, the manual on combating antigypsyism through human rights education, anchors antiracism activities in the promotion of a culture of universal human rights and the right to human rights education.

Seven years after the last forum, the time has come to review these experiences and their implication for policy and practice of human rights education through youth work and non-formal learning. The process of review of the Charter implementation provides an excellent context which, it is hoped, will also strengthen the knowledge about and the cooperation between the Education and the Youth sectors and respective stakeholders.

 




The forum is part of the programme of events and priorities of the Estonian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.



 

Expected outputs of the Forum

  • A message of the participants to the Council of Europe;
  • Guidelines for future developments and initiatives in the field of Human Rights Education with young people addressed to the Council of Europe, national authorities and to non-governmental organisations and human rights educators focusing on making the provisions of the Council of Europe Charter on EDC/HRE a reality
  • A video report and a photo and illustration exhibition on the impact of human rights education with young people
  • A collection of good practices in human rights education with young people
  • Input on the review of the implementation of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and contribute to the conference to be held in 2017 in cooperation with Education Department
  • A report and available documentation on the website of the Forum.

Aims and objectives

The 3rd Compass Forum on Human Rights Education aims at strengthening the quality, recognition and outreach of human rights education with young people in the Council of Europe. It has the following objectives:

It has the following objectives:

  • To evaluate achievements since the 2nd Forum and discuss recent developments in the understanding and practices of human rights education with young people
  • To prepare and contribute to the review of the implementation of the Council of Europe Charter on EDC/HRE with input from the youth and NGOs sectors
  • To address challenges and future goals for human rights education, especially through youth policy and youth work
  • To make proposals for the further development and sustainability of Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education in the Council of Europe
  • To support exchange and cooperation between stakeholders from formal and non-formal education fields concerned with EDC/HRE
  • To enhance the recognition of the role of young people and youth work in EDC/HRE.

Programme and methodology

The forum will take place over three working days with stakeholders in human rights education from all over Europe and beyond. It is conceived as a youth event based on the approaches and practices of non-formal learning. The programme will feature expert input, working groups, thematic workshops and informal and creative moments.

The programme is prepared by a team composed of representatives of the Advisory Council on Youth, the Steering Committee on Youth, European Youth Forum and other youth networks active in the field of human rights education with young people, representatives of the EDC/HRE coordinators, as well as trainers and members of the Secretariat.
Programme