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Pupils showcase Northern Ireland's world-beating rights project

Pupils at Glencraig Integrated School in Holywood will showcase a world-beating human rights project developed by teachers in Northern Ireland today (Tuesday 2 March).

Primary 7 pupils will demonstrate their learning through the Lift Off schools project, a human rights education project being made available to all primary schools in Northern Ireland. The project was recently cited as an example of world-best practice by the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

The project, led by Amnesty International, the Ulster Teachers' Union (UTU) and the Irish National Teachers' Union (INTO) aims to enable primary school pupils of every age to learn about their rights and responsibilities and how they can help make their school, community and world a fairer place. Based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the set of three school resource books has been developed by local practising teachers, working in liaison with human rights organisation Amnesty International.

Pupils at Glencraig Integrated School have recently started the programme and will be showcasing their learning to visitors to the school, including Education Minister, Caitriona Ruane; local MP, Lady Sylvia Hermon; Chief Executive of the South Eastern Education and Library Board, Stanton Sloan; and General Secretary of the UTU, Avril Hall Callaghan.

Patrick Corrigan, Programme Director of Amnesty International said:
"It has been wonderful for the teachers and pupils involved in this project to get such high-level endorsement from the likes of the United Nations and the Council of Europe. With the support of the Department of Education, every primary school child in Northern Ireland is now being given the chance to participate in this world-class initiative. By giving human rights knowledge and skills to our Children's rights in the classroom, we are giving them the potential to make the world a fairer place for all. That is the ambition of this project, and the pupils at Glencraig are among those showing how it can be done."

The LIFT OFF project has recently been included in a compendium of good practice published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The publication, Human Rights Education in the School Systems of Europe, Central Asia and North America: A Compendium of Good Practicecontains 101 examples of the best practice in the world.

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