IIPE 2009: Budapest


Report of the 2009
International Institute on Peace Education

July 26-August 2, 2009
Budapest, Hungary

“Human Rights Learning as Peace Education: Pursuing Democracy in a Time of Crisis”


Introduction

The International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) 2009 took place from July 26 to August 2 in Budapest, Hungary. The institute was co-organized by the IIPE secretariat and the EJBO Foundation with the support and sponsorship of UNESCO, the Center for Nonviolence and Democratic Education of the University of Toledo, Ohio and the Biosophical Institute. IIPE 2009 explored the theme of “Human Rights Learning as Peace Education: Pursuing Democracy in a Time of Crisis.”


Theme

“Human Rights Learning as Peace Education: Pursuing Democracy in a Time of Crisis”

IIPE 2009 explored the theme of “Human Rights Learning as Peace Education: Pursuing Democracy in a Time of Crisis.” Human rights learning, as facilitated by peace educators is critical, participatory and learner centered. It is intended to prepare learners to work toward the transformation of the existing order of violence and injustice into a world social system based upon the principle of universal human dignity. This principle of human dignity underlies all human rights concepts and norms and is at the core of human rights learning (HRL). HRL emphasizes modes of critical thinking and self reflection that are necessary for internalizing the essential principles of human rights, enabling individuals and communities to become agents of change (PDHRE). HRL begins with “assuming the rights of learners to decide themselves what they will believe and develops means through which the learners can acquire information while forming their own opinions and determining their own course of action about the issues of concern to them…in the absence of authentic human rights learning people will not be able to achieve their full dignity.” (Reardon)

Such critical thinking is essential to participatory democracy. “Strong democracy” (Barber) is based upon a positive conception of liberty dependent upon self-determination, equality, deliberation and direct participation in the political decisions that affect our personal and social lives (Snauwaert). The realization of human rights can be seen as the necessary conditions and core values of participatory democracy and positive peace. Educating for critical thinking and democracy would include questioning policy that deprives or denies any individual or group of any of their fundamental human rights. Such inquiry is a key process of peace education pedagogy.

The world is now seized by multiple, complex economic and political crises. Many of the policies and political decisions that have contributed to these crises have been justified as furthering “democracy.” The global economic crisis can be attributed in large part to the decisions and behaviors of a minority of the human family who control the world’s resources and act in short-term self-interest at the expense of the majority and the biosphere. The political crises stem from similar origins, the policies and strategies of those who wield state power without regard to universal human rights

During the year of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the “International Year of Human Rights Learning,” it is fitting that the IIPE considered the framework of Human Rights as an ethical vision for just and democratic global and local societies. Human rights learning as peace education offers a pedagogy for an education toward the realization of essential rights, responsibilities, duties and obligations of an informed and engaged democracy. Through human rights learning as peace education, citizens may be capacitated to critically examine and challenge political ideas; inquire into economic and environmental policies; propose and consider alternatives; and work toward a more just global future.

IIPE 2009 participants joined in an inquiry to identify and assess the social, political and educational structures that pose impediments to the realization of human rights and a culture of peace. Presentations and workshops examined the links between economic and political crises at the local, state, regional and global levels and look for ways to address them through education. Through common discourse and reflection participants learned together about possibilities for formal, non-formal and informal education to capacitate citizens to pursue democratic change.

References:
Barber, Benjamin (1985). Participatory Politics for a New Age. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
PDHRE – Peoples Movement for Human Rights Learning. www.pdhre.org
Reardon, Betty. Statement prepared for PDHRE. www.pdhre.org/HRLreardon.pdf
Snauwaert, Dale (2005) “Reclaiming the Lost Treasure: Deliberation and Strong Democratic Education” Educational Theory, 42:351-367.


Audio of Plenary Sessions

(Note: To download audio visit the IIPE Internet Archive)


Descriptions of Plenary Sessions:

PLENARY A: Human Rights and Democracy in Times of Crisis
*Janet Gerson (USA) – MODERATOR
*Dale Snauwaert (USA) – HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY: AN ETHICAL AND POLITICAL FRAMEWORK FOR PEACE EDUCATION
* Eva Borbelyne Nagy (Hungary) – LOSERS AND WAYS OUT OF THE CRISIS TIME IN THE NEW DEMOCRACY IN HUNGARY
* Armene Modi (India) – ACCESS TO BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS AND EDUCATION: VILLAGE WOMEN IN INDIA

PLENARY B: Transcending Culture and Conflict – Incorporating Children’s Human Rights
* Barbara Barnes (USA) – MODERATOR
* Éva Blénesi (Hungary) – PEACE PLAYGROUND CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS: HUMAN RIGHTS, PEACE EDUCATION AND CULTURAL PRACTICE FOR ROMA, NON-ROMA CHILDREN AND ADULTS
* Gloria María Abarca Obregon (Mexico) – YOU CANNOT GIVE SOMETHING YOU DO NOT HAVE: INCORPORATING RIGHTS OF THE CHILD INTO TEACHER TRAINING EDUCATION IN MEXICO
* Benard Kurgat (Kenya) – BALANCING VALUES, NORMS AND COMMUNITY STRUCTURE: CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN KENYA

PLENARY C (Public Plenary): Regional Struggles in Educating for Human Rights and Peace: Critical and Practical Issues
* Dale Snauwaert (USA) – MODERATOR
* Ghassan Abdallah (Palestine) – EDUCATION AS A MATTER OF SUSTAINABLE JUST PEACE
* Sakena Yacoobi (Afghanistan) – EDUCATING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN
* Colins Imoh (Nigeria) – ‘HUMANITARIAN’ COMPENSATION AND ITS EFFECT IN THE STRUGGLE FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE IN THE NIGER DELTA

PLENARY D: Educating for Political Dimensions: Dilemmas in Understanding Human Rights and Democracy
* Son Ninsri (Thailand) – MODERATOR
* Francesco Argenio Benaroio (Italy) – INTERNATIONAL LABOUR MIGRATION: THE ILO APPROACH
* Cecilia Deme (Romania) – THE VICIOUS CIRCLE OF POVERTY: CONDITIONS, DIMENSIONS, POLICIES AND PRACTICES
* Janet Gerson (USA) – WHO’S ACCOUNTABLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS? THE WTO AS A SUPRANATIONAL CHALLENGE

PLENARY E: Applying Learning and Planning for Action
* Tony Jenkins (USA) – MODERATOR
* Jasmin Nario-Galace (Philippines) – DOING WHAT WE TEACH: SOME IDEAS FOR THE ACADEMIC-ADVOCATES
* Saima Anwer (Pakistan / Gulshan) – MINORITY RIGHTS: EMPOWERING INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
* Paula Andrea Ramírez Diazgranados (Colombia) – RECOGNIZING ONESELF AND OTHERS: BODY LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION

Other Files
Hungarian Folk and World Music Singer Palya Bea entertains and conducts a sign along with the IIPE


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