Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe (DARE network) strongly condemns the current political regime in Russia’s attack on Ukraine. This unprovoked use of military force against the country, the people and the elected government of Ukraine, a sovereign European state, shakes the foundations of peace and democratic coexistence in Europe and and directly opposes our fundamental convictions of human rights and the democratic processes on which Europe is built (e.g., Helsinki Final Act, OSCE process, European Convention on Human Rights). The attack violates international law, and is against the Russian constitution, art. 10, prohibition of propaganda of war and of Russia’s criminal code, art. 353, initiation of war.
The attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracy, human rights and open societies everywhere. It targets the European peace order and, thus, the very foundations of citizenship and human rights education as we know it. It shows that peace, democracy and the rule of law are not self-perpetuating.
In the DARE network we have members, partners, friends and cooperation in both countries and are heavily concerned about their life, their security and their situation. We must intensify our efforts to collectively create good, reliable, peaceful relations in Europe and the world. We must look for new ways to strengthen the democratic forces and human rights defenders in civil society in Russia and Belarus. Democracy and human rights education has here an important role to play.
As promoters of democracy and human rights education, we call for:
- the Russian government to cease its attack on Ukraine and to respect Ukraine’s right to territorial self-determination;
- immediate humanitarian, practical and moral support of and intensified cooperation with our Ukrainian partners;
- An immediate start of negotiations for the adhesion of Ukraine to the European Union.
Stakeholders from the political level of the EU and the COE and from the level of educational practice in EDC/HRE we call for:
- a clear commitment to reversing the shrinking civic spaces that have created the conditions for anti-democratic forces to gain ground;
- a sustained investment in democracy and human rights education in Europe and neighboring countries;
- a commitment to stand against all human rights and democratic abuses globally and to support refugees in all conflicts.
- strengthen and support courageous citizens and civil society speaking out against violence and authoritarianism who face repression in Russia and Belarus;
Many DARE member organizations have acted quickly to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Please find a selection of resources to support these efforts here:
- How to support Ukraine via MitOst
- How to support charities in Ukraine via Humanity in Action Deutschland e.V.:
- we also recommend Emergency humanitarian aid for Ukraine via Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights e.V.
DARE board, 01.03.2022
Evgenyia Khoroltseva (Menneskerettighetsakademiet/ Human Rights Academy, Norway)
Georg Pirker (Arbeitskreis deutscher Bildungsstätten (AdB) e.V., Germany)
Inês Carvalho (Rede Inducar, Portugal)
Agnese Koligina Balode (Baltic Human Rights Society, Latvia)
Moritz Borchardt (Culture goes Europe (CGE) e.V., Germany)
Rebecca Welge (Demokrative, Switzerland)
Signatories from the DARE membership
Giovanna dell’Amore, International Cooperation Centre, Italy
Juliana Hoxha, Partners Albania for Change and Development, Albania
Ulrich Ballhausen, Leibniz Universität Hannover – Institut für Didaktik der Demokratie, Germany
Yiannis Laouris, Future Worlds Center, Cyprus
Martina Camatta, Centro per la Cooperazione Internazionale, Italy
Annegret Wulff, MitOst, Germany
Despina Karakatsani, University of the Peloponnese, Greece
Silvia Volpi, REDU, Italy
Corina Leca, The Friendship Ambassadors Association, Romania
Tamar Shuali Trachtenberg, European Instiute of Education for Democartic Culture Universidad católica de Valencia, Romania
Petru Botnaru, Terra-1530, Moldova
Daniela Kolarova, Partners Bulgaria Foundation, Bulgaria
Stefano Rossi, Centro per la Cooperazione Internazionale, Trento Italy
Kalliopi Manoudi, EUhoria Youth Lab, Greece
Marco Oberosler, Centro per la Cooperazione Internazionale, Italy
Iveta Verse, Education Development Center, Latvia
Dora Katsamori, Greece
Sulev Valdmaa, Jaan Tõnissoni Instituut, Estonia
You can join DARE´s statement by adding your name/organisation here
Illustration: Jerzy Skakun: Peace for Ukraine at Pogotowie Graficzne