23 May 2006
Vernor Muñoz, Special Rapporteur on the right to education, issued the following statement today:
The Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Vernor Muñoz, would like to join the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Director General of UNESCO and the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe in encouraging the national implementation of the Plan of Action for the first phase (2005-2007) of the World Programme for Human Rights Education. Since their joint letter was sent on 9 January 2006, the Special Rapporteur would like to follow up on that correspondence and calls again on States to take all necessary measures to ensure that human rights education is integrated into the primary and secondary schools system.
The Special Rapporteur believes that the plan of action will contribute to the goal of universal primary education by promoting human rights-based learning. He also strongly believes that human rights education is an integral part of the right to education. Indeed, human rights education would guarantee equality in education and also promote human rights values such as tolerance and non-discrimination in all its forms.
Integrating human rights into education systems contributes to ensuring the construction of quality education and to improving standards of living for all. The integration of human rights requires, on the one hand, ensuring that all the components and processes of learning, including curricula, materials, methods and training are conducive to their understanding; and on the other hand ensuring the respect of the human rights of all actors within the education system, especially students.
The Special Rapporteur is convinced that human rights education which promotes a rights-based approach enables the education system to fulfil its fundamental mission to ensure the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and strengthens the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Special Rapporteur calls on States and organizations of civil society to join their efforts in fulfilling this committment. He also encourages States to put in place research and planning strategies for the development of the Plan of Action for the first phase of the World Programme, as a matter of priority.