During the fifty-first session of the Human Rights Council, as chair of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning (NGO WG on HREL) Elisa Gazzotti of SGI undertook several activities. Gazzotti participated in a meeting with the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education Farida Shaheed, moderated a side event on youth and human rights education (HRE), met the Member States of the Platform on Human Rights Education and Training and participated in informal meetings on drafting the Resolution, which requests the Office of the High Commissioner to seek the views of all relevant stakeholders in the target sectors, focus areas or thematic human rights issues for the fifth phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education.
On 21 September 2022, Gazzotti delivered an oral statement on behalf of the NGO WG on HREL, which advocated for better implementation of HRE for, with and by young people.
Gazzotti also moderated a side event on 22 September 2022, titled “Fourth Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education: Looking at the next two years: Gaps & Achievements.” Attended by around 30 in-person participants and 25 online participants, the hybrid event included a panel discussion organized by the Members of the Platform on Human Rights Education and Training (Brazil, Costa Rica, Italy, Morocco, the Philippines, Senegal, Slovenia and Thailand) and the NGO WG on HREL, with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Several stakeholders, including the OHCHR, Member States, civil society actors—including young people, and the NGO WG on HREL–participated in the side event. Together, they reviewed gaps and assessed achievements on the implementation toward the fourth phase of the World Programme to advance human rights education for, with and by young people.
Stakeholders’ objectives included: i) Reviewing achievements and current gaps/challenges on the implementation of Human Rights Education for, with and by youth, ii) Introducing the midterm reports submitted by States to OHCHR and iii) Sharing possible solutions on how to strengthen the implementation of the fourth phase of the World Programme in the next two years.
Ambassador Shara Duncan, Deputy Representative of the UN Mission of Costa Rica gave opening remarks before a youth-led panel. Paulina Tandiono, OHCHR Associate Human Rights Officer, shared some of the key points from the midterm report presented at the fifty-first session of the HRC. Hamdi Addow, UNESCO Associate Programme Specialist, then discussed the Future of Education Initiative Report from an HRE perspective.
After the UN perspective, three other young human rights educators and advocates shared their work. Jean Linis-Dinco, leading a team from the Philippines, shared a solution to support or strengthen the implementation of the fourth phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, which was created by a young winner of the Oxford Forum for International Development (OxFID) 2022 Youth Challenge. Irfaan Mangera, the subject of the film “Young People Engaging in Human Rights Education: A Story from South Africa” shared his inspiring work on HRE with young people. Finally, Lais Caputo of the Instituto de Desenvolvimento en Derechos Humanos (IDDH) offered best practices of human rights education for, with, and by youth from Brazil and spoke on how to engage with the Universal Periodic Review process in a practical sense.
After the presentations, participants heard closing remarks from Ambassador Anita Pipan, Permanent Representative of Slovenia. Pipan thanked the panelists for their grassroots efforts as young human rights educators and advocates who are “reaching out to youth in marginalized situations and situations of vulnerability, connecting the youth that [have] previously been left behind, and empowering them to know their rights and stand up for them.”
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