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22. Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (2001)

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Human Rights Education and Training

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Human Rights Education and Training

(Adopted by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, A/CONF.189/12, 8 September 2001)


Measures of prevention, education and protection aimed at the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance at the national, regional and international levels

95. We recognize that education at all levels and all ages, including within the family, in particular human rights education, is a key to changing attitudes and behaviour based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and to promoting tolerance and respect for diversity in societies; we further affirm that such education is a determining factor in the promotion, dissemination and protection of the democratic values of justice and equity, which are essential to prevent and combat the spread of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

96. We recognize that quality education, the elimination of illiteracy and access to free primary education for all can contribute to more inclusive societies, equity, stable and harmonious relations and friendship among nations, peoples, groups and individuals, and a culture of peace, fostering mutual understanding, solidarity, social justice and respect for all human rights for all;

97. We underline the links between the right to education and the struggle against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the essential role of education, including human rights education and education which is sensitive to and respects cultural diversity, especially amongst children and young people, in the prevention and eradication of all forms of intolerance and discrimination;

Programme of Action

Human rights education for children and youth

129. Urges States to introduce and, as applicable, to reinforce anti-discrimination and anti-racism components in human rights programmes in school curricula, to develop and improve relevant educational material, including history and other textbooks, and to ensure that all teachers are effectively trained and adequately motivated to shape attitudes and behavioural patterns, based on the principles of non-discrimination, mutual respect and tolerance;

130. Calls upon States to undertake and facilitate activities aimed at educating young people in human rights and democratic citizenship and instilling values of solidarity, respect and appreciation of diversity, including respect for different groups. A special effort to inform and sensitize young people to respect democratic values and human rights should be undertaken or developed to fight against ideologies based on the fallacious theory of racial superiority;

131. Urges States to encourage all schools to consider developing educational activities, including extracurricular ones, to raise awareness against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, inter alia by commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March);

132. Recommends that States introduce, or reinforce, human rights education, with a view to combating prejudices which lead to racial discrimination and to promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship between different racial or ethnic groups, in schools and in institutions of higher education, and support public formal and non-formal education programmes designed to promote respect for cultural diversity and the self-esteem of victims;

Human rights education for public officials and professionals

133. Urges States to develop and strengthen anti-racist and gender-sensitive human rights training for public officials, including personnel in the administration of justice, particularly in law enforcement, correctional and security services, as well as among health-care, schools and migration authorities;

134. Urges States to pay specific attention to the negative impact of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the administration of justice and fair trial, and to conduct nationwide campaigns, amongst other measures, to raise awareness among State organs and public officials concerning their obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other relevant instruments;

135. Requests States, wherever appropriate through cooperation with international organizations, national institutions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to organize and facilitate training activities, including courses or seminars, on international norms prohibiting racial discrimination and their applicability in domestic law, as well as on their international human rights obligations, for prosecutors, members of the judiciary and other public officials;

136. Calls upon States to ensure that education and training, especially teacher training, promote respect for human rights and the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and that educational institutions implement policies and programmes agreed by the relevant authorities on equal opportunities, anti-racism, gender equality, and cultural, religious and other diversity, with the participation of teachers, parents and students, and follow up their implementation. It further urges all educators, including teachers at all levels of education, religious communities and the print and electronic media, to play an effective role in human rights education, including as a means to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

137. Encourages States to consider taking measures to increase the recruitment, retention and promotion of women and men belonging to groups which are currently under-represented in the teaching profession as a result of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and to guarantee them effective equality of access to the profession. Particular efforts should be made to recruit women and men who have the ability to interact effectively with all groups;

138. Urges States to strengthen the human rights training and awareness-raising activities designed for immigration officials, border police and staff of detention centres and prisons, local authorities and other civil servants in charge of enforcing laws, as well as teachers, with particular attention to the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, in order to prevent acts of racial discrimination and xenophobia and to avoid situations where prejudices lead to decisions based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia or related intolerance;

139. Urges States to provide or strengthen training for law enforcement, immigration and other relevant officials in the prevention of trafficking in persons. The training should focus on methods used in preventing such trafficking, prosecuting the traffickers and protecting the rights of victims, including protecting the victims from the traffickers. The training should also take into account the need to consider human rights and child- and gender-sensitive issues and it should encourage cooperation with non-governmental organizations, other relevant organizations and other elements of civil society;