Education trumps hate: toolbox for human rights educators

International Training Course for youth work practitioners ‘Education trumps hate: toolbox for human rights educators‘,  KA1 financed by Leargas under the European Union Programme Erasmus+ 21st-29th of August 2017, Glencree, Co. Wicklow, Ireland  #EducationTrumpsHate

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31 participants and trainers from Ireland, UK, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Lithuania, Belgium, Montenegro, Slovenia and Malta.

Non-formal education and the youth sector in Europe play a vital role in creating a human rights culture among young people. The current shifts of political powers, radicalization and refugee crises around the world cries for a need to equip youth workers and youth leaders with a new set of tools and methods for human rights education. Thankfully, in recent years the focus on human rights education and its quality standards is increasing due to the work of human rights and development organisations. However, human rights education as a concept and practice is relatively new to the non-formal education sector. The Council of Europe sees education as a defense against the rise of violence, racism, extremism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance and we couldn’t agree more. During the 4th Coordination Meeting of the Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech Movement campaign in Tirana (September 2016) we discussed creation of joined international actions to contribute to the further development of human rights education through youth work in Europe and Partner Countries. That was a starting point for this project development.

The main aim of ‘Education trumps hate: toolbox for human rights educators’ training course was to equip youth workers and youth leaders with a new set of tools, methods, knowledge and skills to deliver human rights education activities in ‘day to day’ work practices and to fight against the rise of violence, racism, extremism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance.

This training course was based on the non-formal learning methodology: learning from ‘hands-on’ experiences, self reflection and self assessment, experiences and expertise shares, as well as theoretical inputs, guest inputs and discussions. As a result of taking part in this training course participants gained knowledge about the democratic citizenship and human rights education on local, national and European levels; familiarised themselves with human rights education history, development and terminology; learned about the human rights education in the context of the Council of Europe and European Union; up-skilled themselves with practical tools that can be used in human rights educational activities for young people. As well as that, the Erasmus+ and European Youth Foundation programs were covered as a possible source of funding to access when developing national or/and international human rights educational activities in the youth sector.

The was four specific areas of focus during ‘Education Trumps Hate’ training course:

1. Defining Human Rights Education in the national and international youth work context;

2. Introductions and ‘hands on’ practices with ‘Bookmarks’, ‘Compass’, ‘We Can’ manuals and a board game ‘Wedi’;

3. Sharing the best practice examples of human rights education within the youth work sector in participating countries;

4. Networking and developing future collaborations. Links to No Hate Speech Movement campaign were made where appropriate.

Expected long term impact of this training course is a contribution to rising awareness and quality standards in relation to human rights education through youth work and non-formal education sector in European and Partner countries. This project reflected the values of the Council of Europe and the European Union such as human rights, democracy, advocating for equality, inclusion and protection of minorities. We expect to have a multiplier effect in participating countries as new initiatives and activities were planned to be delivered on local, national and international levels. These is no doubt that the numbers of young people and youth work practitioners engaged in human rights educational activities will grow in participating organisations as a result of this international collaboration project. We believe in a strength and power of unity, therefore all actions counts as we fight against the rise of violence, racism, extremism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance.

 

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