Human Rights Education and Its Relation to the Charter of the United Nations
Despite a centuries-long existence of the intellectual human society on the global scale, the world revealed its genuine face of progress after it had conceived the idea of human rights. However, this invention could have existed as an abstract notion if it had not been implemented in practice. The ultimate contemporary vision on human rights was reinvented after the World War II. One of the most important events of that time was the establishment of the United Nations. 1948 became a transforming year because it marked the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the world leaders and, consequently, members of the UN General Assembly. This document consists of 30 articles, which promote such essential principles as the right to life, freedom, and nondiscrimination.
The main controversy is that even after being proclaimed in a separate declaration, human rights remain vulnerable and are often violated. On the one hand, every new human being coming into this world is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms. To possess human rights does not mean to have privileges within a certain society. If to look at it reasonably, you cannot grant human rights to someone or revoke them because every single person automatically acquires them when one is born. On the other hand, it is still impossible to achieve an absolute equality at the global and even interpersonal levels.
We live in a turbulent world, where there are still developed and developing countries, strong and weak economies, the rich and the poor. While it is utopian to make every individual rich, it is rational and, more importantly, possible to eradicate poverty once and for all. Nonetheless, technological progress and global awareness of the burning issues have not transformed us into superhumans. We still easily change peaceful wellbeing to conflicting situations; we still waste money on the unnecessary possessions instead of helping the poor. Still, the authorities of countries and nations must join forces to contribute to the global education on the human rights.
Human rights education refers to the expansion of learning process aimed at helping people comprehend their evident and potential roles within their communities as well as establish their meaningful existence in the world. It also involves an in-depth exchange of experiences between the diverse nationalities. When people are aware of their fundamental rights, then they can improve their system of values. Amnesty International mentioned the empowering effects of human rights education that contribute to the development of the equality-grounded attitudes and skills. Knowing your rights and respecting the rights of others can make you a valuable and well-revered member of your community or a particular society.
Nevertheless, the more we delve into the issue of human rights, the more we get stuck in the labyrinths of injustice, realizing that millions of underprivileged people were born without these freedoms. It creates a strange paradox. We previously stated that everyone without any exceptions is entitled to the basic human rights at birth. When it comes to human rights education, it does not only entail educating the deprived on their automatic possession of such rights, but also enlightening the developed societies on an outrageous problem of the missing identities. What does it mean?
If you read Article 6of the Declaration of Human Rights, it will seem like an ordinary right of recognition as a person before the law. In other words, it is a basic human right to a legal identity. Then, a tricky question comes next, “Do all people in the world have birth certificates and passports?” You will ponder over it for a few seconds, saying, “Probably, yes.” The horrible truth is that about a billion of people were not registered at birth. They continue existing in this world, having no legal identities. Of course, the majority of such “non-identity” individuals come from the poorest countries and regions. Thus, the controversy with human rights is becoming even more intense when you understand that millions of people do not have the fundamental right of being recognized by their government. It makes it one of the most extreme human rights violations ever. How a person can have an access to healthcare and education if he or she possesses no identity? In certain cases, volunteers who come to Asian, African, and Latin American countries tend to be amateur educators to the locals. Yet, it is not enough to educate them all. Even if you share some valuable knowledge, their rights still remain violated. Unfortunately, such officially non-existent people cannot access any of the necessary services offered by the government for their citizens. Logically, such people do not get life-saving immunizations and access to normal job positions. It makes them extensively unprotected. People without the legal identities frequently fall victims to human trafficking. Even when their family and friends will keep on searching for their missing fellows, it will be impossible to report that someone is in danger if this individual “does not exist”.
Human rights education is important because it raises awareness of such complicated issues as millions of non-existent identities and the ensuing problems, such as human trafficking, labor exploitation, and child marriage. Besides, if a person does not have a birth certificate, then one does not have nationality and citizenship – crucial factors, which allow any person to be a valuable part of your society.
- It helps every citizen of the world know about their rights
Being educated on the fundamental human rights is going a step further into a more prosperous fair global society. The majority of people from marginalized communities have no idea that they possess human rights equally to everyone else in the world. Although “mere knowledge” about your human rights cannot guarantee you a better life, it gives you a crucial opportunity to envision the outcomes of the positive changes you can make as a self-aware citizen. Also, you will be able to discern the violation of your rights and defend them.
- It enlightens on the diversity and decent attitude to it
In an ideal scenario, individuals should be taught on their human rights since young age. If children understand that the world is full of people with different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, they will likely begin to appreciate the diversity rather than similarity. Diversity teaches that every individual is unique, therefore their rights should be respected. Human rights education, in this case, nurtures kind-hearted personalities and even decreases the rates of bullying in schools.
- It unveils the historical development of the human rights’ concept
Human rights education can be taught in the light of history and the pivotal changes, which led to the establishment of ultimate freedoms and values. Students learn about the challenges people faced when trying to fight for their integral right – freedom. You can travel throughout history pages from slavery times to emancipation, from restricted educational opportunities for women to rational feminism. The inclusion of the human rights history into the curriculum makes more and more people appreciate their rights, which should be inviolable in the modern world. In fact, many colleges and universities have incorporated studying human rights and their development history in various disciplines. While the subject is quite difficult and tricky to argue, students often seek help and buy college research papers on human rights and how those are adhered to in different communities and societies.
- It teaches to discern the existent problems and violations of human rights
If you estimate all the existent issues related to the human rights violation, you will have more justifiable reasons to talk about it and contribute to positive transformations. For instance, poverty is one of the greatest human rights issues. Knowing what exactly causes poverty may even help prevent it. Usually, the main cause is not even living in a developing country but having no access to high-quality education. Well-educated people tend to land jobs they deserve despite their citizenship because they know how to realize their rights.
- Educational programs on human rights enhance your critical thinking
The kernel of decent education is not cramming information into students’ brains. Any well-organized educational model is aimed not only at providing the necessary information on the issue but also at delving into all its aspects profoundly. In other words, it teaches us to analyze circumstances and attitudes, as well as the reasons behind them. When learning about human rights, everyone interested should be able to analyze the fundamental principles critically through the lens of experience and facts.
- Human rights education develops empathetic potential and tolerance
It is imperative that all people comprehend the universality of human rights. So, these rights cannot be someone’s privileges based on their social status. These rights are the same for the rich and the poor. Your human rights do not lose their power when you are in a different country. You should be treated without bias despite your race, intellectual capacity, and beliefs. If someone violates your rights, then they unknowingly violate their rights as well. The comprehension of the power of human rights universality unites us all and encourages mutual tolerance.
- It teaches you to defend your rights
If you know what your rights are, then you know when you should defend them. The pillars of the Human Rights Declaration are based on virtues and values, so this knowledge boosts your moral principles. If someone discriminates you, you will likely stand up for your rights and beliefs.
- It instigates righteous activities of social justice
We can assume that in most cases a person who knows and understands the human rights is compassionate and fair. Thus, such an individual will crave for social justice around them. In this regard, human rights education encourages protection of not only one’s own rights but also the rights of the most vulnerable people within the communities. If such a person has a volunteering potential, then it is likely they will participate in charity events or create special groups to support people in need.
- It contributes to human rights activism
There is a range of organizations that promote and support fundamental human rights. Human rights education discloses the most useful organizations of this kind, encouraging promotion on sites and within the vulnerable communities.
The United Nations is a global organization that indispensably reflects the essence of human rights. Upon their creation, they signed a highly important foundational treaty called the Charter of the United Nations, which was drafted on August 14, 1941 and signed 4 years later. The World War II had just ended, and global communities came together with the aim to establish an organization to cooperate with one another in a peaceful world. This organization became a symbol of justice and solidarity.
It was crucial to help the world unite again and reaffirm their values along with ultimate human rights. Thus, the United Nations Charter served as the reminder that we have to remain human beings with equal rights. These were the first steps towards the new world and unbelievable social progress. The initial mission of the Member States was to promote the adherence to human rights across all nations. Thus, it was important to join forces within large and small communities in order to educate new generations on these universal rights.
- “We the Peoples of the United Nations” are the opening lines of the UN Charter. It implies that people form the essence the UN values.
- San Francisco was symbolically chosen for signing the United Nations Charter. This location served as a reminder of the scale of the World War II. Its two main fronts were Europe and the Pacific.
- At the beginning, only 50 original participants signed the UN Charter. Nowadays, the United Nations has expanded to 193 Member States.
- Although Polish representative was absent at the historic Charter-singing conference, Poland is regarded as one of the original signatories. They left a blank space to fill in for Poland later.
- Upon the approval of the Charter on October 24, 1945, the United Nations was officially established.
The then U.S. President Harry Truman said such memorable words at the end of the conference: “The United Nations Charter which you have just signed is a solid structure upon which we can build a better world. With this Charter the world can begin to look forward to the time when all worthy human beings may be permitted to live decently as free people.”
Although the fundamental human rights declared in the rest 30 articles of the Human Rights Declaration remain unchangeable, the demand for educating people on their rights and freedoms is growing fast nowadays. More and more academic establishments include human rights into their syllabus; more and more students write research papers and dissertations on this topic. Seamless knowledge of human rights influences career choices of young people, many of which become successful business leaders and fair politicians. The adherence to human rights should be further promoted at work, showing the respect of employers to their employees. This is where equality cannot be taken from you despite your gender and social status.
One of the greatest promoters of human rights education is UNESCO. It was in charge of organizing the globally significant conference “United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education” aimed at the eradication of illiteracy. UNESCO constantly contributes to the advancement of human rights education by dint of:
- Expansion of the necessary study materials, as well as their worldwide adaptation;
- Collaboration with global partners on creating and implementing development programs at national and international levels.
If your school promotes human rights education, then it is likely that the level of all other subjects is advanced. The knowledge of human rights can improve even weak educational system. Thus, it can contribute to the overall upgrade not only of a separate school and community but also of economic and social wellbeing on a larger scale.
Human rights education reveals benefits not only for students but also for teachers. Being taught as a separate subject, it can contribute to the increase in job positions. If working and learning environment is based on the adherence to human rights, then values will include nondiscrimination, empathy, tolerance, and equal opportunities. Being aware of your human rights can prevent many conflicts within the education setting and beyond. Also, children studying human rights will be more inclined to democratic principles.
The modern world is changing at lightning speed. Probably, fundamental human rights will not become different. Yet, it is high time to add some new relevant Articles to the UN Declaration. For instance, the official approval of the right to digital privacy and cyber security would be a valuable supplement.
The article presents some insights on the importance and necessity of education on human rights. While there is extensive research on the subject and the issue of human rights violation, the topic is still debatable. Human rights are taught and widely discussed in the curricula of various programs in numerous colleges and universities. The disciplines that study the topic range from social studies, business and management to nursing. If you need extensive but focused overview in different realms, you can order it from writing experts, such as professional nursing writing services.