What is Partners in Human Rights Education?
Why is Partners in Human Rights Education needed?
What is the goal of Partners in Human Rights Education?
Who are the Partners and what are their roles?
How do the Partners work together to achieve the goal?
Who benefits from Partners in Human Rights Education?
How can you get involved and participate?
Partners in Human Rights Education is a community education project to help students learn about human rights and practice respect for others both in and out of school. While it was originally established in 1992 as a joint project of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center, it is now housed at Minnesota Advocates.
Originally, twenty partnerships of classroom teachers and lawyers were paired and trained in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding communities. Together, they taught children about their human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Teachers and lawyers alike were excited and described positive student responses to the Project. "I learned a lot of interesting things such as it is very important to respect people," commented one 6th grade student.
Partners in Human Rights Education teams include community representatives, lawyers, and classroom teachers in the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. The Partners Program is enriched by encompassing a broad range of diverse life experiences.
"It takes a community to raise a child." [african proverb] The world is increasingly inter-connected. Countries are becoming more and more of a global family, and human rights and responsibilities are an integral component in developing a competent world citizen. Students need classroom experiences which examine the present conditions in our society and the world and promote the development of positive alternatives. Specifically, the Partners Program works:
- To provide a universally accepted human rights values framework for students to begin questioning how to make the world a better place in which to live.
- To support teachers in facilitating an enviroment that encourages students to respect human dignity and become agents of change.
The "goal" of PARTNERS IN HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION is to teach rights and responsibilities through understanding the importance of human rights and developing skills to act on this information. These concepts enable students to respect human dignity and critically question why inequities and intolerances exist in their backyards, community, country, and world. This "goal" is achieved through:
The 4 E's
Educating students, teachers, lawyers and community representatives about human rights norms and their application in our society and throughout the world. These norms address civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.
Enlightening students, teachers, lawyers, and community representatives through discussions about human rights in their everyday lives and by examining the inequalities in our society and throughout the world.
Engaging students, teachers, lawyers, and community representatives to think critically and creatively about human rights and to develop behaviors consistent with securing these rights for all.
Empowering students, teachers, lawyers, and community representatives to become informed community participants who act upon their understanding of human rights and the responsibilities that accompany them.
The Partners are teachers, lawyers and community representatives in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, who train together and work as teams in the human rights education of children.
- The teacher provides the classroom setting, instructs students in human rights prinicples, and assists the team in developing the classroom instructional model.
- The lawyer assists the team and students in connecting human rights issues and social action activities to the applicable legal foundations.
- The community representatives assists the team and students with a social action component, facilitating the application of human rights principles into the real life situations of the students.
- Teachers, lawyers, and community representatives agree to participate in the Project and are matched according to their preferred school group, time availability and location interests.
- Teachers, lawyers, and community representatives attend a human rights education training to prepare them to provide human rights learning experiences for students.
- Teachers, lawyers, and community representatives are organized into three person Human Rights Educations Teams.
- Teachers, lawyers and community representatives are provided with materials and access to resource experts.
- Teachers, lawyers, and community representatives develop and organize their Human Rights Team approach, including the amount of time, the lessons and the methodology.
- Teachers, lawyers, and community representatives can serve on a speaker's bureau to provide information in a variety of settings.
Everyone involved in the Partners program benefits from the experience. Community representatives, lawyers, classroom teachers and students alike learn from each other and develop skills to build self-esteem, democratic ideals, and global responsibility for righting the human condition.