11.05.2005 Education

Factor human right education into school curriculum

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Accra, May 11, GNA- A human rights activist on Wednesday called for the incorporation of human right education into the country's school curriculum to ensure that the young grew up knowing their rights and developing tolerance for others as well.

He said that was the surest way everyone could acquire wider awareness of universal human rights, abiding respect and tolerance for others.

Speaking at stakeholders' forum aimed at building a consensus towards the proposed institutionalisation of human rights education worldwide in Accra, Mr. Christopher Mensah Chrismek, President of Chrismek Rights' Foundation (CHRIF), a non-governmental organisation said there was a growing consensus that education in human rights was essential to social development and has the tendency of building a free democratic society.

He noted that over the last decade human rights violations had increasingly assumed a cruel dimension given the impression that perpetrators were becoming more brutish and sophisticated. Mr Chrismek said although the United Nations and other complementary agencies had made strenuous effort to ensure that the liberties of people were enjoying were not trampled upon.

"Cases in point are the genocide in Rwanda, amputation in Sierra Leone at the turn of the millennium, the mass killing in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the terror wrecked on poor villagers of the Darfur region of Western Sudan by the Jamjaweed militia."

He said against the progress realised, it was imperative to inject new strategies into the fight against human rights abuse globally adding, " this explains the call for the institutionalisation of human right education".

Mr Chrismek noted that education was a human right and that it must consciously be made available to all without restriction based on gender, class, ethnic group or creed.

Mr Nicolas Ahiator, Co-ordinator of CHRIF observed that ignorance had deepened human rights abuses since the victims were usually unaware of any defences.

He said traditions and customs backed by ignorance were at the root of human rights offences and the fight to eradicate the menace became protracted and complex to deal with.

Mrs Christian Dadzi, President, Federation of African Women Lawyers (FIDA) who chaired the forum was optimistic that human rights issues would be given prominence by policymakers since it was crucial to nurture democracy.

Participants at the one-day forum were drawn from the Commission for Human and Adminstrative Justice (CHRAJ), Federation of African Women Lawyers (FIDA) Islamic Council, Ghana, Humanitarian Action Network and Judicial Council others.

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