e-DARE
Newsletter on Human Rights Education
and Education for Democracy

Year 1, issue 4 (20 April 2004)
www.dare-network.org/newsletter
Published by the DARE network
for its members and contacts

Table of content

1. Message from the chair
2. Meeting of Working Groups 1 and 2 in Berlin, 5th-6th March 2004
3. 2005: European Year of Citizenship through Education
4. EDC in Poland – a view of the landscape
5. Using elements of Playback Theatre in Human Rights Education
6. Joint project – Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights
7. A new book on HRE: The Rights to Human Rights Education - Basic approaches in Human Rights Education
8. HREA Distance learning course "Introduction to the European System of Human Rights Protection and Promotion"
9. Links to official human rights reports from and on particular states.
10. European Conference: “Networking Europe – Democratic Citizenship Education”
Editor

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1. Message from the chair

Dear friends and colleagues,

In a few weeks there will be our next meeting in Budapest. I hope to welcome many of you and I’m confident that we shall all benefit immensely from an exchange on ICT-learning in Human Rights Education and Education for Democratic Citizenship.
I should like to draw your attention in this newsletter to recent developments in EU education programmes. Although still to be ratified by the European Parliament, “The new generation of Community education and training programmes after 2006” was adopted on 9 March 2004 by the European Union. This Communication outlines the content of two major new Community programmes in the field of education and training, which the Commission will formally propose in the summer. These are:

°An Integrated Programme in Lifelong Learning, for mobility and cooperation between EU, EEA/EFTA and candidate countries, which will subsume the existing Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes.
° A Tempus Plus programme, for the countries neighbouring the EU and for the existing Tempus countries, focusing on cooperation and development in higher (university-level) education, vocational training, school and adult education.

The most exciting information refers to the intention to give Grundtvig an independent standing.
The above mentioned Integrated Programme includes four parts:
COMENIUS for school education; ERASMUS for all forms of higher education at university level; LEONARDO DA VINCI for vocational training; and GRUNDTVIG for adult education. In addition there will be a transversal programme between general education and vocational training to strengthen synergy effects - and a new programme, JEAN MONNET, which will concentrate on the process of European integration. This programme will also contribute to the support of important European organisations and associations in the field of general education and vocational training.
This is important news for the cross-national contacts and partnerships of DARE members, but also for the future of DARE as a special network.

I wish you all sunny spring - and hope to see you in Budapest!
Hannelore Chiout chiout@adbildungsstaetten.de

Hannelore Chiout, chair, chiout@adbildungsstaetten.de, AdB

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2. Meeting of Working Groups 1 and 2 in Berlin, 5th-6th March 2004

Nearly all members of Working Groups 1 and 2 of DARE network Grundtvig 4 project were able to attend this meeting in Berlin. It was held at the Wannsee FORUM - an educational centre and one of the member organisations of AdB - in a lovely setting near a lake and in the green surrounding of Berlin.

On the first day, Working Group 1 developed a concept and a table of contents for DARE's first publication (please find the proposal also in this issue of e-DARE). On the second day we discussed the challenges we are facing in our respective countries. We all had in common the phenomena of apathy and lack of trust towards society - resulting in a low level of participation in elections and of general involvement in society throughout our various countries. Other contributions centred around teachers (training of teachers, materials, lack of motivation because of too little or too much focus on EDC).

A discussion resulted as to reasons which could help explain this apathy/lack of trust. This was exemplified by various issues of concern within the countries represented in Working Group 1 - and, although some common threads could be detected, these were by no means universal throughout the eight countries represented.

After this brainstorming session on challenges we see EDC/HRE as facing within our various countries, and on ways to increase the visibility of DARE, we discussed the possibilities for a common project based on our findings.
Areas thought worth exploring included:
(a) Training the trainer seminars
(b) Criteria or guidelines for good practice
(c) Discussing examples of good practice

At the same time, Working Group 2 developed a strategy and a schedule for

  • lobbying – to bring the issues of EDC and HRE on to the regional, national and Europe-wide agenda
  • financing DARE's activities and raising DARE members’ expertise in fund-raising.

Common areas between Working Groups 1 and 2 were defined:

  • Producing materials to be used for lobbying
  • Informing each other
  • Common projects
  • Website
  • Defining connections for and borders between our work in HRE and EDC
  • Common identity

Also the preparatory group for the Budapest seminar in April met several times and drafted the programme for the ICT seminar. The Board prepared for the General Assembly, which will also be held in Budapest. We are looking forward to working together in Budapest and getting to know each other better and better and becoming more and more a lively cooperative network for promoting EDC and HRE.
(Please find the full report of the meeting on the DARE website in the months to come.)
Katrin Wolf, KatinkaWolf@gmx.de

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3. 2005: European Year of Citizenship through Education

This European Year will be launched in Bulgaria, on 13-14 December 2004. Its objectives are:

  • To draw attention to how crucial education is for the development of citizenship and of participation in a democratic society . This participation has several dimensions:
    1) Political dimension – participation in decision-making and exercise of political power
    2) Legal dimension – being aware of and exercising citizens’ rights and responsibilities
    3) Cultural dimension – respect for all peoples and fundamental democratic values and contributing to peaceful, intercultural relations
    4) Social and economic dimension, combatting exclusion and (conversely) ensuring social inclusion
  • To promote the implementation of Recommendation (2002)12 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on education for democratic citizenship

What can the Council of Europe offer?

For whom is the year intended?

  • The Year will first and foremost aim at reaching education policy decision-makers, multipliers and professionals having a specific interest in the subject.
  • As compared to the initial phase of the project, target groups will be broadened to take in higher education, decision-makers at local level, civil society.
  • Some countries have indicated that they will also target the general public in awareness- raising activities.

For activities at national level there is considerable flexibility. One could form a national organising committee to:

  • promote the aims of the Year (‘ambassadors’ for the year);
  • motivate and assist different players, governmental as well as non-governmental;
  • identify needs and expectations with regard to the Year, monitor its impact, develop follow-up activities;
  • coordinate the Year's activities so as to achieve a coherent programme;
  • stimulate inclusion within curricula of Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education.

The programme will possibly include the organisation of seminars and training activities for teachers and multipliers, exhibitions and the preparation of legislative reforms to support formal and non-formal education. Each country will decide its own programme.

Within the Council of Europe an ad hoc committee of experts will be created - consisting of delegates from various CoE departments and bodies, and of representatives of other intergovernmental organisations. On top of that, partnerships will be created with different sectors of the Council of Europe, notably the entire DG IV (Directorate General Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport), with governments and with international and intergovernmental institutions, and with NGOs.

What can DARE members do?
For DARE members who want to be included in their national plans for the Year, it is advisable that they get in contact with the EDC coordinator of their country (see: http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/education/E.D.C/Coordinators_corner/090_liste.asp )

Possible activities are:

  • organisation of teacher training seminars and of training seminars for other multipliers;
  • organisation of exhibitions and/or contests;
  • development of tools or instruments for support of education for democratic citizenship and human rights in the various countries;
  • a publication on the implementation of democratic citizenship and human rights values in schools, teaching materials on/for democratic citizenship and human rights;
  • … DARE members are encouraged to take initiatives!


What will DARE do?
In 2005 DARE will organise, in cooperation with other networks, a conference on democratic citizenship and human rights. This is planned to take place in Germany. More data will follow later on…

For more information on this European Year, see http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/education/E.D.C/What_is_education_for_democratic_citizenship/Genesis%20and%20developments.asp
(For the text of this article several documents of the Council of Europe have been used).
Wim Taelman, VORMEN vzw, wim.taelman@vormen.org

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4. EDC in Poland – a view of the landscape

Recent trends in Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) in Poland should be viewed in the context of the major social and economic transformation that started fifteen years ago and in particular the reform of the whole educational system. The system was decentralised and responsibility for running schools was transferred to the local authorities. This in turn has stimulated stronger co-operation between schools, local authorities and parents. Although the civic education as a separate subject has been present in curricula for over 30 years now, the content of this subject was completely changed in the early 1990s. Typically, very boring lessons with teachers struggling to explain the details of the functioning of the socialist state or some basic notions of Marxist social theory were replaced by lessons highlighting the functioning of modern democracies and participation in the life of the community, tolerance, human rights issues, etc. Kornel Gajewski, a gymnasium student from Wojkowice expressed his attitude to civic education classes in these words: “I like this subject because we are often given the opportunity for group work and we don’t have to memorise all the stuff. It is enough to see what is going on around you” .1

In 1997, the Ministry of Education adopted a new core curriculum plan for general education in primary and secondary schools. This plan has made civic education a required subject at all grade levels. This change was made possible through lobbying by various NGOs and from the significant know-how transfer and financial support from the US and EU. As a result of collaboration amongst the Ministry of Education, the National In-service Teacher Training Centre and the Centre for Citizenship Education, a large resource of trainers and educators has been created and teaching material, lessons scenarios and student handouts have been prepared. This allowed a major improvement in the quality of EDC. The recent IEA citizenship and education study across 28 countries proved that Poland scored very high on nearly all the measures of civic knowledge, engagement and attitudes.2 This appears consistent with efficient EDC policies, though the direct link is difficult to prove formally. In practice, the picture of Polish EDC might not look that bright. The national core curriculum obliges each school in Poland to fulfil the civic education curriculum guidelines, i.e. one lesson per week. Already from the 1st grade of primary education some EDC elements are to be included. From the 4th grade on, EDC is to be implemented cross-curriculum through the co-ordinated efforts of teachers of various subjects. Starting from 7th grade, EDC becomes an independent subject. While the cross-curricular approach in the case of 10-12 year old pupils is theoretically very appealing, it is difficult to verify whether teachers are really implementing it. There exists anecdotal evidence pointing to problems with co-ordinated interdisciplinary work by the teachers, so that the EDC curriculum is not fully executed. Many teachers tend to concentrate on topics they are directly responsible for.

Still, the methodology of teaching civic education has much improved. Teachers are trained to run interactive classes making use of new technologies and involving their young audience. There is a large variety of good textbooks. All these make civic education classes attractive to pupils, as various surveys show. The opportunity to express their own point of view, discuss problems openly, make group presentations and play and have fun at the same time is what pupils like. On the negative side, many teachers tend to prefer the traditional lecture model of classes which needs less preparation and simplifies evaluation of students’ knowledge.

This problem appears to be somehow neglected by the Ministry of Education, which seems satisfied with having finally managed (with some help from NGOs) to include civic education within the national core curriculum. It would require a higher degree of determination to promote more efficient EDC approaches amongst teachers.

On the other hand, a significant contribution to better EDC situation comes from the NGO sector. One good example is the Centre’s for Citizenship Education programme, promoting an additional civic education lesson in schools. This initiative began in the mid-1990s and proved to be a big success. Currently, many Polish schools over and above the standard civic education lesson have an additional lesson where the local community dimension is covered in more detail. The necessary condition for introducing such lessons is that local government agrees to finance an additional hour. The popularity of this programme confirms that some local authorities have understood that supporting civic education brings benefits to their communities. Otherwise, there are a few other big NGOs working in the field of EDC. Foundation Education for Democracy, Foundation for Local Democracy Development or Stefan Batory Foundation are carrying out various projects aimed at strengthening civil society and local media development and promoting civic competences. On top of that there are hundreds of smaller organisations doing a really good job in this field all over Poland. My own organisation - St. Maximilian House of Reconciliation and Meetings - in Gdansk is one such.

An interesting initiative was begun a few years ago by the Polish Humanitarian Organisation, a large NGO dealing primarily with humanitarian aid. The project is called humanitarian education and is aiming to increase awareness on humanitarian issues among Polish pupils. There is a network of trainers who may be invited to schools to give lessons on humanitarian education. Also, lessons, scenarios and other materials for teachers are freely available from the PHO website.

At a first glance it appears as if EDC became a bit neglected in Poland during the last two years as European education was considered a priority. It is true that a lot of effort and money has been invested in preparing society for EU membership. One could argue that efforts were concentrated not so much on explaining or teaching anything but rather on convincing the people to say ‘yes’ in the accession referendum, which is not really an EDC method. On the other hand, however, thanks to European education programmes over 3000 European school clubs have been created for the last few years. They were established originally to provide and distribute information on the EU in schools and in local communities; but over time their activities shifted in the direction of promoting local activity and various civic initiatives. Most of them are just informal groups of teachers, pupils and local leaders co-operating with local authorities, schools and media but involving also other citizens and responding to local community needs. Is there any better way of teaching EDC than by involving people in the everyday life of their community?

Importantly, European school clubs are so far the only available EDC instrument for adults. The lack of programmes targeted at adults constitutes a significant problem and thus the very encouraging results of the IEA study (referring to 14-year-olds) cannot entirely justify complacency. It is certainly great that teenagers are aware of their rights and obligations as citizens; but there are problems in the functioning of Polish society because some adults brought up in the communist times are currently threatened by social exclusion through inactivity in the labour market or unemployment. It is a pity they have no chance to learn about the functioning of democracy or the market economy. Successful programmes targeted at youth could be used as a basis for building efficient permanent learning EDC mechanisms.

Agnieszka Paczynska,
St. Maximilian House of Reconciliation and Meetings in Gdansk, Poland, apaczynska@yahoo.com
1 Cf. ‘Pupils write – my KOSS classes’,www.ceo.org.pl/koss/lekcje_koss/index.htm. Own translation. International experience indicates high correlation between an open classroom climate and civic knowledge. Cf. Judith Torney-Purta, ‘Patterns in the Civic Knowledge, Engagement, and Attitudes of the European Adolescent: The IEA Civic Education Study’, European Journal of Education, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2002, pp. 129-141.
2 Judith Torney-Purta et al., Citizenship and Education in Twenty-eight Countries: Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age Fourteen, International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), Amsterdam, 2001.

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5. Using elements of Playback Theatre in Human Rights Education

A moment of a workshop
We are in a teacher training session on Human Rights. The participants are sitting in small groups and sharing stories from their own life. The theme is: Human rights in our own life. The group selects one conflict between a teacher (Hungarian) and a parent (Hungarian-Roma).
Then the Group sets to work with this story:
  • We see “living sculptures” of emotions, the ones involved in this story. Anger, Fear, Desperation, Aggression.
  • Another small group presents the power difference between the characters.
  • Variations of “Power games”, power and powerlessness
  • The third group plays the story as it happened.
Then the same sequence is played again and again, because many of the teachers want to try the role of the Roma parent and how he conducts himself in this scenario.
The trainer asks how could we change the story. They try out different reactions: Aggressive, Submissive, Paradox. Intensive work; the whole group is involved.

Amongst the feedback there was focus for instance on how touching and important it was to work with different perspectives, not only talking about rights but seeing how is it possible to turn them in practise. Someone asks what can be done on a policy level, how structures can be changed?

After the pause the group works further with structures. The schools system is on the stage. People are symbols of different parts of the institution, with someone getting the role of Human Rights Education. And the group works with the theme how human rights can be integrated into this school system….

We leave this workshop now, because I just wanted to show how elements of Playback method combined with other theatre techniques help to transfer the message of Human Rights Education.

The message

In Human Rights Education we transfer values such as the importance of human dignity, inclusiveness, anti-discrimination and many others. Through using the elements of Playback Theatre method, participants can connect what they learn with their everyday life experience. In a workshop context there is no theatre group, but participants who are working out stories and situations - by doing which they learn:
  • Empathy: to mirror different emotions, to listen to feelings as conveyed in stories
  • Social sensitivity: to step into a role or situation different from one's own
  • Inclusiveness: as playing together evokes cooperation amongst participants.
  • Dealing with the diversity present in the Group: different ways to react “spontaneously” to a situation, to experience the diversity of expressing the same thing.
  • Dealing with conflicts: trying out different interactions, trying out different strategies for shaping a story, playing and hearing the same story as told from different perspectives.
  • Creativity: through improvisation, spontaneous creative energy is released.
What is Playback Theatre?
Playback Theatre is an original form of Improvisational Theatre, a unique collaboration between performers and audience. Someone tells a story or moment from their life, chooses actors to play the different roles, then watches as their story is immediately recreated and given artistic shape and coherence.
Building community through personal stories
Playback Theatre creates a ritual space where any story - however ordinary, extraordinary, hidden or difficult, funny or heavy - may be told, and immediately made into theatre. And where each person's uniqueness is honoured and affirmed, whilst at the same time building and strengthening our connections to one another as a community of people. Social change and transformation begins here, as we make space for stories from the community, through individual voices, and are affected by them. It maintains communication and understanding also in a difficult social context.

Human Rights Education does not only take place in class or seminar rooms. Playback Theatre as a format can contribute to the deepening of the values and practice of Human Rights.

Examples:
  • Conflict transformation: Our theatre group has played in several events where parts of the same community had difficulty with each other. In a village Playback has been used in hearing from both side on the difficulties of living together between Roma and Hungarians.
    In a Hungarian school students learned this method and established their own theatre group to deal with conflicts between fellow students and also to create a better school atmosphere.
  • Community events: On the International Day of Human Rights we performed in a refugee camp.
    In a Jewish community centre stories were told as a means of coping with past memories. In an old people's home, with family members also invited, we depicted stories representing difficult situations from Hungarian history.
  • Healing: In a refugee camp we played stories of Albanian and Serbian refugees.
Origins
Playback Theatre grew out of the methodology of psychodrama. As a theatre form, it was established by Jonathan Fox (US) in 1975. Since then, Playback Theatre has found its way into hundreds of settings and locations. There is an international network which provides connection and information for Playback practitioners in five continents. http://www.playbacknet.org/

Aniko Kaposvari,
Foundation for Human Rights and Peace Education, ankohu@yahoo.com
Trainer on Human Rights Education, Mediator
Member of the International Playback Theatre Board

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6. Joint project – Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights

One of the aims of DARE should be to develop and submit joint project proposals. These common projects could involve all members of DARE or be a project amongst a few member organisations. We should like to present one of the later examples - the project on Political Participation of the Young, involving Internationales Forum Burg Liebenzell (an AdB member organisation, AdB itself being a DARE member), and the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights. The project involves partners from Norway and Czech Republic as well - the Hordaland County Council and the Europe House Jihlava.
All the organisations mentioned are organising a common seminar “International Youth Meeting – Political Participation of the Young”, to which they are inviting young people (16-23 years old) to take part. The seminar takes place in Germany on 2 – 9 May 2004. It is expected that participants from Germany, Czech Republic, Norway and Lithuania would share their experience on forms of participation in their community, ideas of projects they organise for young people, and other topics. The idea is to bring interested and active people together to find out best practice models of participation, to hear new ideas, to have interesting discussions and to establish a network for the future.
Akvile Andruliene, Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, akvile@lchr.lt
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7. A new book on HRE: The Rights to Human Rights Education - Basic approaches in Human Rights Education

(Bilingual publication in German and English, but mainly in German)

The Title:
Lohrenscheit, Claudia: Das Recht auf Menschenrechtsbildung -
Grundlagen und Ansätze einer Pädagogik der Menschenrechte
Mit einer Studie über aktuelle Entwicklungslinien der «Human Rights Education» in Südafrika; Frankfurt am Main (IKO-Verlag) 2004; ca. 350 S.; ca. 21,90 €

The author:
Claudia Lohrenscheit, Dr.phil, Intercultural Educator, works as a co-ordinator for HRE at the German Institute for Human Rights, Berlin (www.institut-fuer-menschenrechte.de).

The book:
Human Rights Education is a new educational approach which has evolved since the beginning of the 1990s. Since the United Nations proclaimed a Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), efforts and interest in the theory and practice of this discipline have grown considerably. This book summarises the results of an international research project in this field. It offers practical insights into basic assumptions and ideas of HRE from an international perspective. The case study on South Africa shows how HRE is implemented under specific political, social and societal conditions. The book will stimulate the discussion, promotion and further development of a comprehensive understanding of Human Rights Education as a cross-cutting discipline in educational and social sciences.

Keywords: Introduction into Human Rights Education from an international perspective (with a case study on current developments in South Africa); UN, UNESCO, political, intercultural and global education, South African education, international educational research.

Link:
See:
http://www.uni-oldenburg.de/nordsued/content/Human%20Rights%20Education.htm

(text provided by the author)

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8. HREA Distance learning course "Introduction to the European System of Human Rights Protection and Promotion"

13 September - 5 December 2004
Instructor: Dr. Gerd Oberleitner (London School of Economics)

This distance learning course provides participants with practical guidance on how to protect human rights through the European human rights system, and specifically the institutions and treaties of the Council of Europe.

Participants will be introduced to the main European human rights conventions and jurisprudence, primarily as developed through the European Court of Human Rights. The course addresses European human rights standards as they apply to civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and the rights of minorities. Case studies on the freedom of expression, homosexuality, violence against women, protection of the mentally ill, prisoners' rights, and the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons, will deepen participants' understanding of European human rights standards and machinery. The course is primarily intended for advanced (under)graduate students of (international) law or social and political sciences, civic education and history teachers, and NGO staff members from Council of Europe member states. Participants should have a good written command of English (the course language is English), have high competence and comfort with computer and internet use, and have regular access to e-mail and the internet.

Deadline for applications: 15 June 2004

Further information and application forms can be downloaded from:
http://www.hrea.org/courses/9E.html

Frank Elbers felbers@hrea.org, Human Rights Education Associates

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9. Links to official human rights reports from and on particular states

International level

You want to know which persons from a certain state are member of one of the UN committees?
http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/newcomembycountry?OpenView

All UN country documents (reports to UN Human Rights bodies, concluding observations...)
http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/newhvviewbycountry?OpenView

Concluding observations from the Committee on the Rights of the Child:
http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/newhvdocsbytreaty?OpenView&Start=1&Count=750&Expand=8.3#8.3
International Court of Justice: cases and decisions, per country
http://212.153.43.18/icjwww/idecisions/icasesbycountry.htm

European level

National party reports to the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe:
http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=http://assembly.coe.int/Documents/AdoptedText/ta99/EREC1401.htm
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, country by country
http://www.coe.int/T/E/human_rights/Ecri/1-ECRI/2-Country-by-country_approach/default.asp

National reports on the revised European Social Charter
http://www.coe.int/T/E/Human_Rights/Esc/4_Reporting_procedure/1_State_Reports/Revised_Social_Charter/Index.asp
Recent conclusions on the implementation of the European Social Charter, by country:
http://www.coe.int/T/E/Human%5FRights/Esc/4%5FReporting%5Fprocedure/2%5FRecent%5FConclusions/1_By_State/Social_Charter/Index_State_2004.asp
Recent conclusions on the implementation of the Revised European Social Charter, by country:
http://www.coe.int/T/E/Human%5FRights/Esc/4%5FReporting%5Fprocedure/2%5FRecent%5FConclusions/1_By_State/Revised_Social_Charter/Index_2004.asp
National reports for the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities:
http://www.coe.int/T/e/human_rights/Minorities/2._FRAMEWORK_CONVENTION_(MONITORING)/2._Monitoring_mechanism/3._State_reports/List%20of%20State%20Reports.asp
Opinions of the Advisory Council (country-specific) on the Framework Convention:
http://www.coe.int/T/e/human%5Frights/Minorities/2%2E%5FFRAMEWORK%5FCONVENTION%5F%28MONITORING%29/2%2E%5FMonitoring%5Fmechanism/4%2E%5FOpinions%5Fof%5Fthe%5FAdvisory%5FCommittee/1._Country_specific_opinions/List%20of%20Opinions.asp
European Court of Human Rights decisions on cases in your country:
http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/hudoc/default.asp?Language=en&Advanced=1 (under ‘respondents’ you can find your country)

Visit reports of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture on your country:
http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/hudoc/default.asp?Language=en&Advanced=1 (under States you can possibly find your country)

Wim Taelman, wim.taelman@vormen.org, VORMEN vzw

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10. European Conference: “Networking Europe – Democratic Citizenship Education” (Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 23rd – 26th September 2004)

Europe is becoming larger – geographically, politically, economically and culturally. Given this unique historic chance, there is now more room to manoeuvre for democratic processes of participation and new scope for action in respect of the civic society. The challenges are also growing for civic education work that is strongly transnational in structure. The concepts and the agendas together with the actors in civic education can no longer be considered and be set into a relationship as attachable individually and in a national context. Rather, it will depend more on networking the diversity in cultures and ideas, the intellectual trends of thought and discourse, making them tangible and conveying them for the citizens into the immediate reality of their lives, and making them comprehensible. Only then a European public will come into being that is able to influence the democratic political community of the EU sustainedly “bottom upwards” out of a mature European civic society.

The conception of the European Conference requires a broad understanding of the formats and contents of a civic education and it summarises these together under the concept of a democratic citizenship education. Besides the general and civic education, additionally education on human rights and peace, education for sustainable development, and intercultural learning are subsumed. Over four days, in a variety of podiums, in five working groups and an open space, presentations will take place on themes, agendas and fields of practice, actors and multiplicators, subject-related didactical and country-specific problem fields, existing civil and cultural networks and interactive virtual portals of a European citizenship education in the form of best-practice examples; and these will be compared with each other and a platform will be initiated for to provide networking and stronger cooperation. One of the objective lines of the conference is to discuss a first basic canon of norms and quality standards of a democratic citizenship. With the help of best-practice examples, a current insight into concepts and structures of a democratic citizenship education in Europe will be developed. Furthermore, strategies and methods will be compared which are aimed at conveying and implementing a democratic citizenship education in the educational systems of the European member states. Especially with a view to the “European Year of Citizenship through Education” of the European Council taking place in 2005, endeavours will be made to secure lasting results and to develop longterm partnerships with various organizations.

Project call

What is being sought are best practice examples and currently running education projects in Europe which reflect the contents, forms of conveyance, conceptions and methods of a democratic citzenship education from the perspective of the individual countries. The objective line of the 5 working groups will be: “Benchmarking Democratic Citizenship Education in Europe”. The titles of the working groups are:

I.: Understanding of Democratic Citizenship in the Non-Public Educational System
II.: Understanding of Democratic Citizenship in the Public Educational System
lll.: Competences in the Media and Information Society
lV.: Participatory Engagement for Increasing Voting Rates
V.: Education for Sustainability and Intercultural Learning

Registration and Dispatch of Project Examples under:
apex – Kultur- und Bildungsmanagement
Anja Ostermann, Reiderweg 18, 58285 Gevelsberg, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 2332 4199; Fax: +49 (0) 2332 757056; info@apex-management.de

Notes on the organization

The participation fee is € 85, for students a discount rate of € 50 is applicable. Included in this are the accommodation in a single room in one of the halls of residence of the University of Santiago de Compostela from 23.-26. September 2004, breakfast, reception on 23. September, lunch on 24. September and evening meal on 25. September as well as all the coffee breaks, the cultural framework programme, all the conference documentation, and the shuttle transfer from the airport to the conference site and back again.
The conference language is English without simultaneous translation.
On application to the conference management, participants from Central and East European countries can receive a refund of travel expenses up to a max. of € 100 at the conference site.
During the conference one has the possibility to exhibit materials and project presentations. This offer has to be registered with the conference management in good time.

Organizer: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education)
In cooperation with:

University Santiago de Compostela
Free University of Madrid, Spain
Federal Ministry for Education, Science, and Cultural Affairs, Austria
Institute for International Relations (IFRI), France
Multimedia Institute, Bosnia
DARE – Damocracy & Human Rights Education Network
University of Prague, Czech Republic
European Journalists e.V.
Cittadinanzattiva, Italy

Conference Management and Registration
On behalf of bpb: Apex – Kultur- und Bildungsmanagement
Anja Ostermann, Reiderweg 18, 58285 Gevelsberg, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 2332 4199, Fax: +49 (0) 2332 757056, info@apex-management.de
www.apex-management.de

Press contact:
Swantje Schuetz, Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Press Office, Adenauerallee 86, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Tel + 49 (0) 1888/515-284; Fax + 49 (0) 1888/515-293; schuetz@bpb.de

(text provided by the conference organizers)

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This newsletter is edited by DARE, Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe network

Editor Wim Taelman.
Address:
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
AdB
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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