1. Welcome address
of the new DARE chair
Dear DARE Network members and friends,
It is a great honour for me to be elected as the new Chair of the
DARE-Network Board. It is not an easy task following such a
successful chairwoman as Hannelore Chiout, but I shall try my best
to strengthen DARE as a highly efficient international network
that provides support to the European community of values through
its educational work and aims at strengthening the democracy and
human rights throughout the European community.
As all of you are part of the success of DARE, I highly appreciate
your past, current, and future contributions to its international
activities. I am convinced that the Dare - Network possesses
enormous potential for an attractive future and trust you to use
these opportunities to the full.
Along with its many other functions, one of the most important
goals of DARE is to promote a deeper understanding and commitment
to human rights and democracy through education. On behalf of the
DARE - Network Board, I would like to thank all DARE members for
your contribution and devotion to this work and for you
involvement in achieving our mutual goals.
I look forward to working together with you to keep up the
momentum that we have built up till now.
Introduction of Deyana Dimitrova Kurchieva, new DARE network
Since 1 January 2008 the DARE network has its first employee.
Deyana Dimitrova Kurchieva works at Partners Bulgaria as
coordinating assistant for the DARE Network.
Deyana was born on 25.01.1973 in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she
currently lives and works.
She has studied and lived in the USA for six years, where she
received the BA in psychology. In 1997 she was accepted in the
Master's Programme in Clinical Social Work at New Bulgarian
University in Sofia, where she eventually worked as an
administrator and an Acting Deputy Director.
Since 2003 Deyana has been employed at Partners Bulgaria
Foundation and participated in and coordinated more than 5
projects related to children at risk. She has extensive experience
in collaboration with international organizations and in working
on projects related to vulnerable groups and specifically to
children at risk.
Are economic and social rights real human rights?
Economic, social and cultural rights were not taken up in the
same international treaty as the civil and political rights are,
though both international treaties were adopted at the same
time, in 1966. When we take a closer look at both texts of these
covenants, we find some important differences with respect to
the binding nature of them.
Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take
steps, individually and through international assistance and
co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the
maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving
progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in
the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including
particularly the adoption of legislative measures.
From article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and
1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to
respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory
and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the
present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as
race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other
2. Where not already provided for by existing legislative or
other measures, each State Party to the present Covenant
undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its
constitutional processes and with the provisions of the
present Covenant, to adopt such laws or other measures as may
be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the
“Duties sans Frontières. Human rights and global social justice”
(2003, International Council on Human Rights Policy, pdf, page
The status of economic, social and cultural rights in
relation to political and civil rights has at times been
subject to disagreement. It is often argued that the former
cannot be enforced in the same way; and that they are
aspirational because in many societies it would be
prohibitively expensive to implement them. It is also claimed
that wide disparities in living standards between countries
mean that they cannot be guaranteed; and that courts cannot
(or should not) adjudicate such rights because this would lead
to judicial interference in government budget decisions.
About the equality and indivisibility of all human rights, the
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, resulting from
the World Conference on Human Rights (1993), is clear:
All human rights are universal, indivisible and
interdependent and interrelated. The international community must
treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the
same footing, and with the same emphasis. While the significance
of national and regional particularities and various historical,
cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is
the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and
cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and
States have the duty to report regularly about their
implementation of economic and social rights. From the website
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:
All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to
the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States
must report initially within two years of accepting the
Covenant and thereafter every five years. The Committee
examines each report and addresses its concerns and
recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding
State Reports and the Concluding Observations/Comments
can be found at: > Convention: CESCR; Type: State Party Report, or
The Mission Statement of the
The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural
The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights (ESCR-Net) is a collaborative initiative of groups and
individuals from around the world working to secure economic
and social justice through human rights. ESCR-Net seeks to
strengthen the field of all human rights, with a special focus
on economic, social and cultural rights, and further develop
the tools for achieving their promotion, protection and
fulfillment. Through ESCR-Net, groups and individuals can
exchange information, develop a collective voice, amplify
their actions, develop new tools and strategies. By
facilitating joint actions, enhancing communications and
building solidarity across regions, the network seeks to build
a global movement to make human rights and social justice a
reality for all.
About the possibility and difficulties of a complaint procedure
for economic, social and cultural rights, Wouter Vandenhole
Netherlands quarterly of human rights ; vol. 21, no. 3):
With the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW
in 2000, four of the six main UN human rights treaties are now
complemented with an individual complaints procedure. The
proposal to establish an individual complaints mechanism for
economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) meets with
considerable political opposition. Progress has been
jeopardised by an ongoing discussion on the nature of ESCR,
which are still very often considered as second-class human
rights. It is submitted here that the two main issues of
debate - justiciability and the nature of the obligations of
States - have been sufficiently clarified in recent years in
order to allow for individual complaints. Ongoing reluctance
to establish an individual complaints procedure for ESCR can
therefore no longer convincingly be based on legal motives. A
new impetus to the debate on the establishment of an
individual complaints procedure for ESCR was given in 2001,
with the appointment of an independent expert, and in 2003,
with the establishment of an open-ended working group. The
suggested amendments to the draft for an Optional Protocol as
prepared by the ESCR-Committee in 1996, may assist the working
group in bringing the draft Optional Protocol in line with
changed circumstances since 1996, with particular reference to
Human Rights Watch has its
on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights:
Human Rights Watch considers that economic, social, and
cultural rights are an integral part of the body of
international human rights law, with the same character and
standing as civil and political rights. We conduct research
and advocacy on economic, social, and cultural rights using
the same methodology that we use with respect to civil and
political rights and subject to the same criteria, namely, the
ability to identify a rights violation, a violator, and a
remedy to address the violation.
From the Amnesty International
webpage about Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights:
Everyone, everywhere has the right to live with dignity.
The means that no one should be denied their rights to
education, adequate housing, food, water and sanitation, the
highest attainable standard of health, and other economic,
social and cultural rights.
Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights in 1948, the international community has recognized
that all human rights are indivisible.
However, while economic, social and cultural rights were
marginalized for much of the 20th century, now larger numbers
of individuals and organizations are acting to reclaim these
rights. Nevertheless, still greater efforts are needed to
ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of these rights
for everyone, everywhere.
For more than 45 years, Amnesty International has mobilized
millions of people around the world.
VORMEN vzw (Belgium)
Taking stock of EDC in adult education in Europe
Stocktaking Study on Lifelong Learning For Democratic Citizenship
through Adult Education (LLL - EDC-Study)
How can adults develop competencies relevant for democratic
citizenship in Europe? This was the guiding question of the LLL-EDC
stocktaking study made by researchers from 7 European Universities,
EAEA and the DARE-Network.
The stocktaking study focuses on research, policies and practices of
Adult Education for Democratic Citizenship and offers currently the
most up to date overview in EDC research, policy and practice in 9
The study aims at collecting evidence and providing an analytical
review at European level of policies, which intervene in the field of
Adult Education for Democratic Citizenship, and educational
interventions, which have proved effective to nurture democratic
citizenship among adults. It also strengthens evidence-based policy
making and advocacy in the field of adult learning for democratic
citizenship on local, national and European levels (e.g. EU Lisbon
The study combines empirical collections of data and events (i.e.
consultations with practitioners, etc.). It's scope is collaborative
and transnational, linking research, policy and practice.
The primary outcomes of the study are national reports released during
the project period. These reports are combined and summarised in three
transnational analysis. One can find them on the web, following the
the LLL-EDC study. Later this year a concluding report that will
be released by Soren Ehlers who coordinated the project at the
University of Aarhus/Danish School of education.
Research: From the study of research literature, the study
reveals that cultural heritage plays a central role to current
trends in Adult Education for Democratic Citizenship (AEDC); thus
different conceptualisations coexist between and within countries.
However, AEDC it is not a well-defined area of research,
especially empirical research is sparse. Furthermore, scholarly
knowledge rarely enters policy circles. In brief, the findings
highlights that, in spite of a general concern on citizens´
democratic conduct, there is still limited attention on how to
nurture democratic participation via adult education.
Policy: The study provides an account of the present trends
in, as well as the factors that influence, policy and
implementation with respect to lifelong learning and Adult
Education for Democratic Citizenship. It will also look at the
socio-political contexts, the main agents and factors in the
process of policy-making, and the way in which policies are
implemented in the nine countries in the study.
Practices analysis: The study
includes the analysis of some 25 EDC -related practices. While
these practices are not necessarily representative for the
countries involved in the study or for Europe at large, they
provide interesting insights into a broad scope of initiatives
addressing diverse topics and audiences and applying a variety of
approaches and methods. It is this diversity of practices which in
its collectivity represents Adult Education for Democratic
Citizenship - often without being declared or recognised as such -
rather than a specific course on this subject.
All national reports, additional material and transnational
analysis can be found on the
website of the
The study was granted by the EC/Grundtvig 1.
Eight new interactive websites on children's rights
VORMEN is proud to announce its 8 brand new interactive websites on
children's rights for 8 distinctive target groups:
www.rechtisnietkrom.be: for 14-15 year old students in technical
www.overmogenenmoeten.be: for 14-15 year old students in special
www.enwijdan.be: for 14-15 year old pupils in vocational education
www.ikenjijenzij.be: for 10-12 year old students in primary
www.kinderenhebbenrechten.be: for adults in classes for low
www.watzijnkinderrechten.be: for (formal) adult education
www.tsjildrensraits.be: for students in teacher training
www.derechtenvankinderen.be: for students in social higher
education (not yet on line? a little patience...)
The educational and interactive websites make use of short movies,
pictures,... They use 'dragging' exercises and short questions which
make the participants 'win' or 'loose' rights.
They have puzzles, cartoons and short 'personality tests'.
Most af them can be visited through a demo. For full visit a
registration is needed. Teachers can then monitor the activity of
A manual with technical support, background information and correct
solutions can be downloaded by the teacher after registration.
information (in Dutch)
The websites are produced with the support of the Flemish government.
VORMEN vzw (Belgium)
This newsletter is edited by the DARE project 'Democracy and Human
Rights Education in Adult Learning', which receives funding from
the European Community (Lifelong Learning Programme).
e-DARE is an initiative of the network DARE vzw, Democracy and Human
Rights Education in Europe, and is distributed to the partners of
the above mentioned project, to the DARE members and to interested
third persons, organisations and institutions.
The authors remain responsible for the content of their
DARE vzw, c/o
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B-2000 Antwerp (Belgium)
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