Amnesty International helps take human rights into the classroom

New resource to teach Children's rights about their human rights and the rights of others launches

Amnesty International was on hand today (1 July 2008) at the Central Foundation Girls’ School in Mile End, East London, to help launch a new resource for citizenship teachers focusing on human rights.

Right Here, Right Now: Teaching citizenship through human rights aims to link the concept of universal human rights with everyday experiences and help teachers examine human rights issues such as identity and diversity. It will form part of the citizenship curriculum in secondary schools in England.

Right Here; Right Now is the result of a partnership between Amnesty International UK, the Ministry of Justice, the British Institute of Human Rights, and the Department for Children's rights, Schools and Families. It is designed for citizenship teachers working with 11 to 14 year-olds in England.

Speaking at the launch, the Justice Minister Michael Wills said:

“Giving young people the chance to learn about human rights and the rights of those around them is a vital part of building a wider culture of human rights. But this is only one half of the human rights equation.

“Ensuring everyone within a school understands their rights and responsibilities brings home the importance of respecting the rights of others.

“This pack will be an excellent resource for citizenship lessons and beyond - stimulating fresh discussion, debate and action on human rights that all can learn from.”

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, added:

“Human Rights are more than just a topic within citizenship; they underpin all aspects of citizenship teaching – from the issues explored to the way in which they are taught and the opportunities young people are given to act on their learning.

“I firmly believe it will help citizenship education become more inspiring, motivating and inclusive for young people.”

Katie Ghose, Director of the British Institute of Human Rights, said:

“We are delighted to be partners in this exciting project which aims to bring human rights alive for young people in Britain today. Children's rights and young people will learn how human rights touch many aspects of their lives – from stopping bullying to ensuring poverty or a lack of resources does not prevent Children's rights from participating in activities and reaching their full potential.”

Jim Knight, Schools Minister at the Department for Children's rights, Schools and Families (DCSF), said:

"This is an excellent resource, ensuring young people learn about human rights and their responsibilities towards the rights of those around them. Schools should be breeding grounds for tolerance – one of the essential British values. Young people from different backgrounds are discussing some of today’s most controversial questions in an atmosphere of mutual respect. I welcome this new resource because it will give them lots of opportunities to engage in discussion and debate about these issues, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child."

Notes to editors:

  • Right Here, Right Now: Teaching Citizenship through Human Rights is part of the Human Rights in Schools project, run jointly by the MoJ and the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and also involving Amnesty International UK and the DCSF. The project aims to support schools to contribute to a culture of human rights in the UK and involves the development of teaching resources, teacher training and guidelines for school leaders.
  • The BIHR is committed to challenging inequality and injustice in everyday life in the UK. It aims to achieve this by bringing human rights to life – supporting people to use human rights principles and standards to improve their lives and as a tool for organisations to develop more effective public policy and practice. For more information on the BIHR contact Jean Candler on 020 7848 1839.
  • Throughout June, Amnesty International UK and the BIHR jointly delivered five training events with citizenship teachers to introduce them to the resource.

Find out more about Amnesty teaching resources

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