"Human rights are our common heritage and their realization depends on the contributions
that each and every one of us is willing to make, individually and collectively, now and in the future."

Louise Arbour
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2004 - Activities for Human Rights Day: Occupied Palestinian Territories

To mark the 56 th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, OHCHR/OPT hosted two human rights education events, first in Gaza, then in Ramallah.

On 8 December, a study day held in Gaza with cooperation of the Palestinian Association for Human Rights Education and Democracy, focused on Human Rights Education in Palestine: Experiences and Challenges , and brought together around 35 human rights professionals and activists, officials and academics. Five themes were presented and discussed:

  • Human Rights Education experience of OHCHR (focusing on the UN Decade for Human Rights Education)
  • UNRWA's experience in integrating human rights concepts and programmes in the UNRWA school system
  • Human Rights Education experience of the Palestinian Ministry of Education in integrating human rights concepts in the school curriculum
  • Palestinian NGOs' experience in teaching human rights within the local community
  • Palestinian Culture and Human Rights Education

The papers presented, together with recommendations, will be compiled in a report to be distributed and shared with official bodies and civil society as a basis for future work together.

In Ramallah, on 9 December, OHCHR invited officials from the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Center for Curriculum Development, human rights NGOs, UN agencies, academics and trainers to participate in a one-day workshop to examine the lessons learned from respective experiences in Human Rights Education in the formal and informal domains. The UN Decade for Human Rights Education was reviewed and discussed, and the first three-year phase of the new world plan presented.

Participants in the workshop were invited to present their plans and proposals in the field of Human Rights Education for 2005, and beyond, and to make proposals for future cooperation.

The meeting concluded with a series of recommendations on how to enhance future work together. A report of the workshop is being finalized and will be distributed widely as a basis for future planning for Human Rights Education.