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Education – Civil Rights – Participation: Preconditions for Human Rights and Self-Determination?

Human rights are universal. At least in theory, they are regarded as generally valid and indivisible.

Upon signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th, 1948, all members of the United Nations recognized that these rights should form the basis of their actions. Article 26 of the Declaration proclaims the fundamental right to education. Free and uncensored education is seen as an important precondition for strengthening human rights. We must know our rights - but also our duties. Likewise it is important that we know how to exercise these rights and duties. Only then can we develop individual awareness for the balance between bearing rights and responsibility and thus be able to contribute to the development of a democratic world community based on human rights.

But what does the reality look like? To what extent do people have access to (free) education? Why are there people in some countries who have no access to the Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights documents - or why is access to them quite limited for some people? What types of barriers exist in certain places? How do rulers of autocratic states try to keep their societies from gaining access to education, thereby securing their status of power? In which instances is education replaced by indoctrination? In what ways is education prevented by means of online censorship and monitoring? To what extent do tradition and religious views influence education? Can education help to stop human rights violations, such as female genital mutilation and the persecution of homosexuals?

In this workshop, the International Society for Human rights (ISHR) will deal with different aspects of education as a precondition for human rights. Together with high-ranking guests from different countries, the group will discuss in detail the equality of men and women, physical integrity (by focusing on the example of female genital mutilation) and the right to uncensored education. In conclusion, ISHR will analyse and present further actions that are aimed at a formation of human rights, particularly in reference to new social networks.

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