Elisa Gazzotti of SGI, as Chair of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning, delivered an oral statement.

14th November 2023

At HRC54, States and Stakeholders Outline Priorities for the Fifth Phase of the World Programme for HRE

  • Human rights education

“People everywhere want—and have a right to—a decent standard of living. Food on the table, and access to affordable medical care when they need it. Education and equal opportunities for themselves and their children. Good economic prospects, with a fair share of resources. A clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The freedom to make their own choices. Objective information, not propaganda. Justice and police systems that uphold their rights.”

With these words, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, opened the fifty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council (HRC54). (Türk’s full statement is available here.)

From 11 September to 13 October 2023, SGI participated at HRC54 at the United Nations Office in Geneva, together with representatives from governments, civil society and international organizations. Several human rights issues were addressed during this Council, including education in conflicts, children and young people, bullying, gender equality and climate change. During the first week, Türk gave a full update on the status of human rights in many countries. He stressed the importance of coming together to confront the challenges that humanity is facing, building trust and restoring hope, including through the work of the Human Rights Council.

Related to human rights education (HRE), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights presented a report on civil society and states’ views on focus areas and target sectors of the fifth phase of the World Programme for HRE, an international framework that aims to advance the implementation of HRE at the national level.

SGI closely followed the drafting of the Resolution for this fifth phase of the World Programme on HRE and made a written submission that stresses the importance for this fifth phase to continue focusing on youth, with a specific focus on young people from marginalized communities. SGI also made a joint proposal together with other colleagues of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning. On behalf of this group, we delivered an oral statement that advocated for human rights education and young people, adding urgent themes such as the environment and gender equality.

During the last week of HRC54, States adopted a Resolution for the fifth phase of the World Programme for HRE, which spans from 2025 until 2029. It was decided to focus on young people, expanding the scope to include children, with special emphasis on human rights and digital technologies, gender equality and environment and climate change.