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Resolution demands more human rights education

Resolution demands more human rights education

A resolution passed by the International Human Rights Education Conference held at the University of Western Sydney has called on the Federal Government to integrate human rights education into…

A resolution passed by the International Human Rights Education Conference held at the University of Western Sydney has called on the Federal Government to integrate human rights education into aid and development programs.

The Conference brought together government officials, academics and aid workers from more than 20 countries to discuss how best to increase human rights education in developing and developed nations.

Those at the Conference unanimously adopted the resolution which calls on the Federal Government to ensure human rights education is integrated within overseas development assistance, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations, such as Afghanistan.

Conference organiser Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM said a greater focus on human rights education abroad will help bring change to marginalised societies.

"Countries such as Afghanistan are in desperate need of books, schools and teachers, and we must make sure Australia is training and educating more people besides soldiers," said Ozdowski.

"By making sure human rights education is promoted by Australian aid programs we can teach our shared values, such as democracy and the rule of law, to children who have grown up knowing little more than oppression, war and the loss of human dignity."

The resolution also urges the federal and state governments to ensure human rights education is included in the national curriculum.

"The drafting of a national curriculum must take into account the role that human rights education can play in providing our children with a minimum set of standards to apply when faced with difficult life choices," Ozdowski said.

"We must make sure human rights education also takes centre stage in any future ethics classes, as opposed to relativism, which provides the perfect platform for communities and countries to sacrifice basic human rights in the name of concepts such as religion, culture and philosophy."

The resolution will be presented to the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.

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