Newsletter on Human Rights Education
and Education for Democracy

Year 1, issue 1 (23 October 2003)
Published by the DARE network
for its members and contacts

Table of content

1. Message from the DARE chairperson
2. Introduction of Katrin Wolf, coordinator of the Grundtvig 4 project (Katrin Wolf)
3. Conclusions of a HRE curriculum development seminar (Wim Taelman)
4. Towards a second UN decade for HRE?
5. A European Year of Citizenship through Education (2005)
6. The next DARE seminar: Antwerp (Belgium, (Wim Taelman)

1. Message from the chairperson

Dear friends and colleagues of the DARE-network,

This is the first edition of our newsletter and I'm very happy to be able to start with good news. Our meeting in Antwerp has been encouraging and stimulating. We had a vision. We shared our expectations about the future promotion of Human Rights Education and Education for Democratic Citizenship within the new network hoping that our activities will contribute to a growing awareness of this important field of education. We approved an ambitious work plan knowing that we have to cooperate closely in order to realize all plans. And of course we hoped for the acknowledgement and support of the European Union. Our application for Grundtvig 4 had passed the first hurdle, but we had no security if DARE will be accepted in the final stage.

Now we know: DARE is one of five European networks that will be funded. Officially we started the first of October 2003 and will be supported according to our work plan till the 30th of September 2006. This gives us great chances and space to develop our partnership. We'll have the means to realize our plans with seminars and conferences. We shall publish a regular newsletter. We already established a website: www.dare-network.org . The permanent working groups will be able to concentrate on their tasks, to exchange and bring together experiences, to work on the improvement of educational material and concepts, to develop and publish good practice in our field of HRE and EDC, to plan new projects and last not least to create a broader platform for political and public awareness of HRE and EDC on national and European level.

Our first activity will be the seminar we already announced in Antwerp. We invite you to participate at the meeting " Perceptions, Perspectives and Challenges of HRE and EDC" which again will take place in Antwerp from 4th - 6th of December 2003. During these three days there shall be sufficient time to deepen our acquaintance, to organize mutual presentation of our educational approaches and the framework we are working in, to identify main issues of cooperation and interest.

We combine the meeting with the first session of the two working groups

which will meet the 3rd and the 7th of December, one day before and one day after the seminar. The board of DARE decided this arrangement because we thought it to be too late for this year to organize three different meetings. Working groups should identify their priorities on the first day and include the results of the seminar when they meet again the day after. Please, note the date and reserve it in your schedule!

I just returned from the first meeting of all new coordinators of Grundtvig 1 and Grundtvig 4 in Brussels. The Commission is ready to give us competent advice, but also expects a lot. One important expectation is that Education for Human Rights and Democracy becomes more visible, an expectation that matches with our own aims. In order to fulfil these aims and to make our vision alive we need your contribution, your commitment, your ideas and experiences. So, let's DARE, let us profit mutually from our knowledge and creativity, let us be a network of democratic culture, insisting on democratic change.

Best wishes and warm regards,

Hannelore Chiout


2. Introduction of Katrin Wolf, coordinator of the Grundtvig 4 project

Dear colleagues, members of the participating and cooperating organisations of the DARE-network!

As Hannelore Chiout wrote in this newsletter above, the DARE-network achieved a lot within a short time.
13 participating organisations, who signed the application and 18 member organisations – all together from 23 countries – met in Antwerp in June 2003, worked together on and adopted a common declaration.
Now we have the financial resources for our cooperation, which is based on our personal and organisational capacities. In Antwerp we got quite an impressing idea of our potential and how we can use it.
Now we should bring together our ideas, energy and activities in order to create a new productive network. On behalf of the board I shall work as the assistant coordinator for DARE and I would like to introduce myself with some details of my personal and professional background:
In my “first life” I worked as a theatre director until the late 80s. I have two children and spent most of my life in Berlin, in the Eastern part. After the fall of the “Wall” in 1989 I worked for the first free elected government in the department for the equality of women and men of the state secretary. In 1991 together with other women I founded the “East-West-European WomensNetwork (OWEN e.V.)”. For more than 12 years I developed and managed the organisation. Together with many women especially from Eastern Europe we created and developed this network for the empowerment of and with so called “grass root women”. We run long term courses for example in the Ukraine, in Russia and Poland and motivated them to build up their own and appropriate infrastructure and national and international networks: democratisation in action.
Now I’m a free lancer and work as a trainer in the fields of intercultural education, antiracism, mediation and for the support of self help organisations for Russian speaking migrants in Germany. I’m also involved in the AdB project “Women Engendering Peace and Democracy” with women from Israel, Palestine and Germany now for five years.
I’ll try to do my best for DARE. My main tasks will be:

Of course I need your active support in our cooperation. Our inspiring meeting in June gave me the courage and also the joy to start this responsible job. My English is not perfect – I shall improve it as well as other skills which are needed for this work.
Our next challenge is very near: our seminar and the first meeting of the working groups from the 3rd to the 7th of December 2003.
We’ll meet in Antwerp! Good wishes for your daily work and the development of our DARE-network!

Katrin Wolf


3. Conclusions of a HRE curriculum development seminar

Actively being involved in DARE and at the same time having been involved in previous activities of the Human Rights Education programme of the Youth and Sports Directorate of the Council of Europe, I participated at the curriculum development seminar in Budapest (18-20 September 2003). The main issue of the agenda was the development of a concept of advanced training for trainers in human rights education.

Results and conclusions of the seminar:

The advanced training of trainers in human rights education, as it is developed during this seminar, is to be open for trainers who themselves have experience and background in training for human rights education. It will be based on the training needs of the individual participants (strongly learner-centered), will preferably consist of two seminars, the period between them aimed at individually applying and practicing what has been learned with the help of a mentor. Participants at this training will also need to carry out preparation tasks.

I am convinced that such an advanced traing for trainers in human rights education could be a very good help for DARE members in raising the quality of their work. Let's hope that in fact such a course will be organised and that DARE members will be participating.

Wim Taelman

4. Towards a second UN decade for HRE?
(text from Kazunari Fujii SGI UL Liaison Office, Geneva, as sent in to the HRE listserv of HREA)

"The UN Sub-Commission on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights adopted a resolution entitled "UN Decade for Human Rights Education" at its annual session held from 28 July until 15 August in Geneva. Not only it was the first time that the Sub-Commission adopted such a resolution since the Decade began, but also this resolution was unanimously adopted by all the Sub-Commission members who were present in the room. It is very rare to happen at meetings of a UN human rights body. (Adoption by consensus = adopted without vote because no one disagreed. Unanimous adoption = every member present at the session is in favour of the resolution hence adopted. Normally every member co-sign or co-sponsor the (draft) resolution.)

It started by the statement made by a member of the Sub-Commission, Mr. Yokota who proposed a second UN decade for HRE. I would say, probably there was none who anticipated that the Sub-Commission would deal with the UN Decade for HRE issue since there is no agenda item directly linked with HRE and accordingly the Sub-Commission has not done it ever.

The NGOs swiftly reacted communicating each other, although the time was very limited to prepare any action, in order to make a joint NGO statement. In 4 days, the statement was drafted and signed by 7 NGOs present at the Sub-Commission. The statement was made on the basis of the one we made at the Commission.

By constructive dialogue and collaboration between the NGOs in Geneva and the Sub-Commission members, the next step of the drafting the resolution was made. (...)

You can find the text of the resolution at: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/2/55sub/advancedoc.htm#L11 and, E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/L.11. Resolution 2003/05

Given this document, now we really need to do lobbying to the appropriate authorities at the national level by NGOs. Also, we should look ahead to the work of NGOs at the Commission next year.

There is no guarantee that the Commission accepts the draft decision recommended by the Sub-Commission resolution.

Now, it is really up to what could be done from now until the next session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, March-April 2004 that the current UN Decade for Human Rights Education be maintained in a effective form for its remaining areas of implementation.

I suggest that each actor at the national and regional levels; (i) promotes the importance of HRE again both in society - i.e. formation of opinion poll, and (ii) more importantly does lobbying to the national authority specifically influential to the government delegate to the UN Commission on Human Rights session. The government delegate who deals with resolutions at the Commission on Human Rights always follow the instruction given by the capital of the country in advance and during the session."

This issue will be treated by the DARE Working Group 2 (lobbying).


5. A European Year of Citizenship through Education (2005)

A decision on this (Council of Europe) European Year could be taken at the Athens (Greece) meeting of the European ministers of Education, 10-12 November 2003. The Committee of Ministers, in its meeting of 11 June 2003, supported the idea of such a year but decided that the final decision would only be taken once the availability of financial resources had been established. The financial viability needs to be assured by 'significant voluntary contributions from member states and by their willingness to provide staff resources through secondment'.

The main general aims would be the following:

  1. to raise awareness about how education can contribute to the development of democratic participation of quality, which promotes social cohesion, mutual understanding, intercultural dialogue, solidarity and respect of human rights;
  2. to provide member states with a framework for reflection on the role of education in developing and promoting citizenship at national level;
  3. in particular, to help make EDC a priority objective of educational policy-making and reforms at all levels of the education system, as recommended by the Committee of Ministers (Recommendation Rec(2002)12 on Education for Democratic Citizenship, item 3 paragraph 1);
  4. to encourage and support initiatives, including informal contributions and partnerships, which promote education for democratic citizenship within and among states parties to the Cultural Convention as well as within the global community.

The specific objectives envisaged are:

  1. to consolidate the work on the development of core competencies for democratic citizenship led by the Council of Europe since 1997, taking into account the European dimension;
  2. to stimulate, when and where appropriate, educational reforms so that legislation and educational provisions (curricular contents and methods) include elements to promote participation in the democratic processes;
  3. to support initiatives aimed at promoting education for democratic citizenship both in the formal and non-formal sectors;
  4. to develop reflection and debate on new methods and directions in EDC/HRE policy and practice, and on democratic governance of educational institutions;
  5. to stimulate the contribution of all education sectors to the development of the democratic culture without which democratic institutions and laws cannot function;
  6. to strengthen the global dimensions of education for democratic citizenship in Europe, and share the experience gained from the “Year” with other regional actors globally;
  7. to reinforce intersectorial co-operation within the Council of Europe and with other international institutions and non-governmental organisations on EDC and Human Rights Education.

The main target group of the Year would not be the general public, and as such the Year would not be a campaign, unless individual members states choose to do so as part of their national strategy for the Year. The Year would aim first at reaching target groups such as educational policy deciders, multiplyers, and professionals with a special interest in the subject.

It is expected that a Steering group will be set up to plan the Year in more details. Some ideas at this stage for the kind of activities that could be developed during the year, are the following:

a) at the level of the Council of Europe

  • providing legislative assistance in the field of EDC to member states that so wish through consultations with experts;
  • assisting member states and relevant NGOs with the organisation of teacher/multiplier training seminars;
  • developing instruments that facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, generally known as “core competences”, that reflect the fundamental values of the Council of Europe, notably human rights and fundamental freedoms, pluralism and the rule of law; in particular:
  • publication of codes of good practice with examples of successful initiatives in EDC;
  • making widely available teaching aids and instruments on EDC that were developed both at national and international levels;
  • development of a database on EDC-related legislation and policy documents for policy makers, advisory groups, NGOs and the scientific community;
  • preparation of educational dossiers on EDC-related themes for various target groups.

b) at the level of the member states

In view of all this, it is clear that such a Year could be helpful in fostering the objectives of the DARE network and of its members. Therefore it could be useful should each of us, as DARE member, contact its national minister of Education and ask the country's moral and financial support for the Year.

Once a positive decision is taken, it will be up to all of us to approach our national (or regional) authorities in order to be included in the shaping of the Year at that level. As a network we need to look how we can cooperate with the European authorities and with other European networks. Of course this also will be discussed in the upcoming working group 2 meetings.

(with thanks to the Council of Europe for providing us with the information )


6. The next DARE seminar: Antwerp (Belgium), 4-7 December 03

Invited: the DARE members (the Grundtvig project's budget allows for 27 participants)

Practicalities of the seminar:

The activities of Working Group 1 (members as foreseen in the Grundtvig application):

The activities of Working Group 2 (members as foreseen in the Grundtvig application):

  • Arrival day: Tuesday 2 December. First meeting in the late afternoon.
  • Further meetings: Wednesday 3 December, Thursday 4 December.
  • Departure day: Sunday 7 December.

For the seminar and the working groups the participants will (again) be lodged in Hotel Tourist, near the Central Station of Antwerp.

The meetings will take place in Scoutel (premises belonging to the Belgian Flemish boy-scouts and -girls), Lange Kievitstraat (entrance near the boyscouts' shop), Antwerp. This is on a five minutes walking distance from the hotel. Also lunches will be taken there. Most dinners will be taken in restaurants in the city centre.

A formal invitation (one person per member organisation) and draft program will be sent out soon.

The participants of the seminar are expected to contribute information on HRE and EDC in their country, which will be used for a DARE publication. More details soon to come.

Travel costs, hotel costs and meals are, with certain restrictions, covered by the Grundtvig project for the DARE members. More details will be sent soon.


This newsletter is edited by DARE
Editor Wim Taelman.
DARE, c/o VORMEN vzw
Lange Gasthuisstraat 29
B-2000 Antwerp (Belgium)

Contributions for this newsletter can be sent to: wim.taelman@vormen.org

DARE correspondence address:

Hannelore CHIOUT
DARE network chairperson
Mühlendamm 3
D-10178 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: 00-49-30-400 401 17
Fax: 00-49-30-400 401 22
E-mail: chiout@adbildungsstaetten.de
Url: www.dare-network.org
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