Education for Human Dignity
At least 1 billion people live in slums, one woman dies every minute from pregnancy complications, 1.3 billion people have no access to basic healthcare, 2.5 billion people have no access to adequate sanitation services and 20,000 children a day die as a result. People living in poverty don’t just face deprivation, they are trapped – excluded, denied a say, and threatened with violence and insecurity. Rights are key to releasing that trap. Full respect for rights requires the recognition that everyone has the right to live in dignity, and the right to food, water, basic healthcare, education and shelter. This project – Education for Human Dignity – has established project support resources and tools through which the interlinked dimensions of poverty – deprivation, insecurity, exclusion and voicelessness – can be addressed.
Poverty exists in all countries of the world, developed or developing, and is likely to worsen with climate change and economic recession. Poverty is understood by many as a lack of resources and the solution to poverty as exclusively economic. One of the major global objectives of Amnesty International is to change the public debate so that poverty is acknowledged to be a human rights issue and human rights are seen as a part of the solution to poverty. Poverty is not natural or inevitable but the result of decisions; it is not only about a lack of resources, but about the behaviours and choices of those in power. Amnesty International believes that lack of access to and abuses of rights keep people poor and perpetuate and deepen poverty.
Eudcation for Human Dignity aims to educate beneficiaries about key rights and development issues including the right to health and right to housing. These issues also align with the Millenium Development Goals of promoting gender equality and empoweringwomen, combating HIV/AIDS and improving maternal health. Human rights education (HRE) is a powerful tool encompassing a process of learning, discovery and action that cultivates the knowledge, skills, attitudes, habits and behaviour needed for people to know, assert and advocate for the provision, respect and fulfilment of rights. This is a critical process of long-term social change.
Education for Human Dignity seeks to engage young people and their teachers in the debate on poverty and to facilitate understanding of how the experience of the poor is not just defined by a lack of income but also by a combination of deprivation, insecurity, exclusion and voicelessness. The project not only enables a deeper and informed understanding of development and human rights but also empowers young people to use human rights to call for solutions to poverty. It raises awareness of violations of people’s rights and the failure to fulfil basic needs as causes of poverty.
The overall objective is to raise awareness, inform debate and enable action in order to tackle the human rights abuses that drive and deepen poverty.
Working with young people is key to changing attitudes towards poverty in society. This project addresses the problem that the school curriculum, and human rights education in schools (where provided), focuses on civil and political rights and rarely focuses on economic, social and cultural rights.
The specific objective of the action is that through human rights education, support and resources (utilising participatory approaches), teachers’, youth workers’ and young people’s understanding of the relationship between poverty and human rights is improved and they are empowered to take action and call for human rights solutions to poverty.
Through human rights education and participatory approaches, young people and those that work with them (including teachers, youth workers and multipliers) have an increased understanding of the relationship between poverty and human rights, and are equipped and empowered to take action and call for human rights solutions to poverty.
- Prepare and equip schools to deliver Education for Human Dignity via the production of project support resources and tools including teachers’ multimedia resources and support, drawing on case studies from the global South.
- Train teachers, youth workers and other multipliers to use the project support resources and tools.
- Support young people to develop and implement actions to reduce poverty from a human rights perspective.
Education for Human Dignity is a partner project. Each partner has tailored their use of the project support resources and tools to their national contexts and the way in which poverty in the global South manifests itself in their country.
Project partners are:
- Amnesty International Italy
- Amnesty International Poland
- Amnesty International Malaysia
- Amnesty International Zimbabwe
- Amnesty International