Human Rights Education Organizations

Organizations such as Institute Of Human Rights), Amnesty International and Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) promote human rights education with their programmes, believing "that learning about human rights is the first step toward respecting, promoting and defending those rights". Amnesty International defines Human Rights Education as a “deliberate, participatory practice aimed at empowering individuals, groups and communities through fostering knowledge, skills and attitudes consistent with internationally recognized human rights principles”.

Human Rights organizations aim to protect human rights on many different levels some being more specific to geographical areas, others are based on governmental influences, others are nonprofit and education based, while others specifically aim to protect a certain group of individuals. The following are organizations with brief descriptions of their aims, targeted audiences, and affiliations. According to the OHCHR, each submission whether private or public, governmental or NGO is evaluated with regards to the following context: Appropriateness, effectiveness, originality, ease of use, adaptability, sustainability, approach, and inclusiveness. Each characteristic of which is detailed in the article Human Rights Education in the School Systems of Europe, Central Asia, and North America: A Compendium of Good Practice.

African Centre on Democracy and Human Rights Studies

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This Commission is in charge of monitoring the protection of humans’ rights and ensuring the protection and promotion of these rights. It also is charged with the responsibility of interpreting the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This Commission is limited to the confines of the continent of Africa and the countries within the continent.

Amnesty International. One of the largest human rights organizations, Amnesty International includes 2.2 million members from upwards of 150 countries. The organization is committed to research as well as action in order to prevent and end human rights abuses. They are also very focused on seeking justice for the violations which have already been committed.

The Asian Human Rights Commission. The goals of the AHRC are “to protect and promote human rights by monitoring, investigation, and advocating and taking solidarity actions”. This Commission is limited to the confines of the continent of Asia and the countries within the continent.

The Chapel Hill and Carrboro Human Rights Center. The Human Rights Center (HRC) in Carrboro is home to many advocacy and service organizations, run as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization by UNC professor Judith Blau and by volunteers, many through the University as well. Many volunteers come through the Social and Economic Justice SOCI 273 APPLES course, and they mainly focus on immigrant rights.

Center for Human Rights Education

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)- The Children's Defense Fund attempts to create policies and programs to ensure equality to all children. They work towards decreasing the child poverty rate as well as protecting children from abuse and neglect. The members of the CDF act as advocates for children to help ensure a brighter future for them in which they are treated equally and have the right to care and education.

Commission for Human Rights, Council of Europe- The Commission is an independent institution which promotes awareness of human rights in the forty-seven Council of Europe Member States. Since it has such a broad area of concern its purpose is more to encourage reform and it takes “wider initiates on the basis of reliable information regarding human rights violations” versus acting on individual complaints.

EIP Slovenia – School for Peace- This Slovenian organization practices My Rights: Children’s Rights Education Project for children in elementary and middle schools. The organization promotes this project with the intent to endorse principles of the “UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”. They produce materials which allow for comprehensive learning methods in order to train their teachers and pass information to their students. To encourage teachers to participate, each month of the academic calendar focuses on one children’s right and corresponding activities and materials are used as guidelines.

Equitas- Internal Centre for Human Rights Education (Centre international d’education aux droits humains). Canada has instituted this non-formal program in which primary school aged children are introduced to human rights education through after school programs and summer camps known as Play it Fair! Its purpose is to educate the public on how important human rights are by starting the education at such a young age. It is “intended to raise human rights awareness in children and educate them against discriminatory attitudes and behaviours, thus equipping them with skills to confront them”.

European Commission Directorate for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

European Union Ombudsman. This organization exists to investigate grievances about the maladministration that occur with the institutions and bodies of the European Union.

Facing History and Ourselves. This US developed online module organization aims to provide information investigating “how societies attempt to rebuild, repair, and bring a sense of justice and security to their citizenry in the aftermath of conflict and genocide”. As the topics about which this particular organization are concerned with are more mature and sensitive than others, this program is designed for students in middle, high school, and at the university level. The module has specifically designed its program based on four case studies: Germany, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, and South Africa. This resource has proven helpful in order to study how individuals, orgnizations, and governments have fostered “stability, security, reconciliation, coexistence and/or justice”, all of which can be explained in more detail on the organization’s website

The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
History Teachers Association of Macedonia The most upper level of secondary educated Macedonian students are given the option of participating in a human rights based lecture called Retelling of History. This class is one in which they study from a different textbook than traditional history classes specifically focusing on the history of the country’s transitional period from 1990 to 2000. The alternative textbook not only focuses on the political and military aspects of history, as most do, but also includes social and cultural topics and themes of the historical time period. The course focuses on four main topics throughout the year including interethnic relationships, the new political scene, the transition itself, and how everyday life has been altered.

Human Rights Action Center. This nonprofit organization is based in Washington, DC and headed by world-renowned human rights activist Jack Healy. This center is supportive of other growing organizations around the globe. Their focus is on the issues documents in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Human Rights Council This council includes forty-seven states and is charged with the responsibility of promoting and protecting human rights on the international level. The council has a specific Advisory committee which assesses each situation as well as an outlined Complaint Procedure which must be followed in order for an individual or organization to bring a violation to the attention of the Council.

Human Rights Watch. Functioning as another global organization, the Human Rights Watch protects human rights by investigating claims, holders abusers accountable of their actions, and monitoring and challenging governments to make sure that they are using their power to end abusive practices efficiently and to the fullest.

Human Rights U.S.A.

Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF)

Istituto Comprensivo “Socrate” This Italian-based organization takes part in the practice they have named Preserving Human Rights: A Year-Long human Rights Education Course. This education course is a two semester class available to students ages 11 to 18. The class aims to familiarize students with the framework of human rights and educate them in regards to more contemporary issues. By educating the students with regards to these matters it is the hope of the organization that they will then be able to take the knowledge they have gained and be able to develop a platform to initiate action and raise awareness of the issue at hand.

National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP) “The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic quality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination”.

Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children

Namibian Legal Assistance Centre

Partners in Human Rights Education

People in Need People in Need developed a project called One World in Schools: Human Rights Documentary Films in which they provide teachers with films, over 260 of which are available, and other multimedia tools to assist in their education of human rights around the globe. The purpose of the videos is to teach the students, specifically primary and secondary school aged students in the Czech Republic, the values of tolerance and respect by way of audio-visual stimulation.

Peoples Decade for Human Rights Education (PDHRE)

Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE comprises fifty-six states from participating countries in Europe, Central Asia, and North America. The main focuses of the OSCE include the freedom of movement and religion. They specifically monitor torture prevention and human trafficking.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Unlike many other organizations this office is not limited to a specific geographic area, but instead works to protection all human rights for all peoples. Also unique of this organization is within its mission statement it aims to “help empower people to realize their rights” versus many organizations which state that they wish to promote knowledge etc.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This organization has a specific target audience of refugees which it hopes to protect from violations of their rights. They aim to ensure that any person can seek a safe refuge in some place while remaining to have the option to return home, integrate at a new locale or resettle in a third location.

Simon Wiesenthal Center. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a human rights organization which focuses on the international Jewish community. The Center addresses anti-Semitism including the hate and terrorism associated with it. By teaming up with Israel and cooperating so closely with the Jewish religious community, the Center defends the safety of Jews worldwide and serves to educate others about Jewish history including but limited to the Holocaust.

Street Law, Inc.

United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)</ref> “UNESCO’s goal is to build peace in the minds of men”. The organization hopes to act as a catalyst for “regional, national, and international action in human rights”.

US State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Confined to the United States, the Department strives to take action against abuse of human rights. Although they are not particularly involved with the investigations, they are the enforcers and have partnered with many other organizations committed to protecting human rights.