We must learn how to understand and value human rights while still at school. Therefore, it is important that human rights principles be included in the educational system. They do not have to comprise a separate subject, but should be present throughout the entire curriculum.
The main goal of the Institute of Human Rights educational focus is promoting human rights education in Estonia, by working with schools, non-governmental organisations, youth centres etc and providing trainings and organising conferences aimed at various stakeholders in human rights education. We have two travelling exhibitions in Estonian schools and libraries: “Human rights during the Soviet occupation time” and the result of the cooperation with the Anne Frank House about the life of Anne Frank. One more exhibition related to migration is yet to come.
We are implementing the concept of “human rights respecting schools” across Estonia. We also produce and translate relevant publications for human rights education such as the Council of Europe’s COMPASS-Manual for Human Rights education with Young People and we developed our own textbook for teachers to use in classes to teach human rights (“Inimese Õigus”). We are cooperating with the European Wergeland Centre, the Council of Europe and Ministries of Education from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the organisation by rotation of the annual Baltic Summer Academies, aimed at creating local partnerships for the promotion of human rights and democratic governance of schools.
Estonian Institute of Human Rights does international educational cooperation projects besides local ones as well. Currently we have two international projects: one in Kyrgyzstan and other in Tajikistan. Educational projects aim is to advance human rights and support the democratic development of Tajik and Kyrgyz societies by working with the local civil society representatives, universities and schools. Through a training programme adapted to local needs, NGO partners and local residents from the two countries increase awareness of human rights and take steps in promoting and defending them.
Read more about our Kyrgyz project here.
Read more about Human Rights Respecting Schools project:
Project: Human rights in the educational system – networking, teacher trainings and empowerment of youth
The project aims at contributing to systematic positive change in how human rights education is provided in Estonia in both formal and non-formal education sectors through creating a network of Human Rights Friendly Schools, and providing NGOs from the same communities with relevant training and long-term usable materials.