#Article (Archive)

The need for Human right education

May 12, 2010, 12:04 PM | Article By: Lawyer Assan Martin

Educating the public about their rights and duties in nation-building is a central element that government cannot ignore. Nothing is more fundamental than educating society to live in peace and harmony.

Hence, it is incumbent on all nations to educate their citizens on human right laws for the present and future generations to live in a decent, civilized and peaceful society.

Human rights education is therefore, an obligation on member nations to initiate programmes that would educate their citizens on the respect for human rights and the rule of law. All nations must disseminate information on human right laws in their education and academic environments.

For this reason, many nations have now accepted their obligations and have taken steps to include human rights education into their school curriculum. Such approach is aimed at teaching children and young people the civilized values and dignity to be accorded to every human being at all times.

The UN in their effort to promote human rights and rule of law, especially in developing countries mostly dogged in conflicts, have requested governments to disseminate human rights information at basic education levels.

The rational behind such earlier human rights education is to prevent gross violations of human rights, as seen in the past decades.

Human rights education is vital in conflict prevention. The need to teach present and future generation on values that will help them live in a better and more peaceful society stands as a duty on every nation.

The lack of respect for human dignity and civilized values have led to mass killings and maiming in countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone, etc. Such atrocities are beyond human imagination in the 21st Century.

Again, the lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law are frequently the root cause of conflict and humanitarian crises as seen around the world.

Human rights education is important to all nations, especially for the police, security apparatus and law enforcement agencies.

It is one way of helping to reduce violations and to work effectively in serving their citizens. Human rights laws help to eliminate discrimination in society, and to also protect minority rights. Most importantly, it helps to strengthen our democratic institutions.

It is important to note that the lessons learnt in failure to respect human rights in crisis situations have catapulted to need of human rights education in our schools.

The accepted view is that if people understand their rights and duties to their fellow human beings, then rarely would there be barbarity and atrocities, as experienced in the past decades. The issue of human rights and rule of law are necessary in any nation- building, without which there would be anarchy.