HURIGHTS OSAKA in collaboration with several institutions has started preparations for the Northeast and South Asia training workshops. They form part of the series of training workshops that HURIGHTS OSAKA is holding for the current fiscal year. The first training workshop was the pilot teacher training workshop held for Southeast Asia in May this year. These training workshops are held at the subregional level to be able to focus on similar issues and experiences among the participating countries.
For the Northeast Asia training workshop, HURIGHTS OSAKA collaborated with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO and the Ministry of Education of Korea in preparing the proposal that was submitted to the UN. A preparatory meeting was held in Seoul on June 18-19, 1999 to discuss the program of the training workshop and the necessary preparatory activities. The training workshop aims to get the participation of different education officials (curriculum developers, trainers, school administrators, district education officials, teachers) and related NGO workers from south Korea, Japan, China, Mongolia and hopefully north Korea. The training workshop is planned to be held in early December 1999 in Seoul. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights agreed to support the training workshop. In its agreement with the Korean government, the training workshop will now be organized under the UN system because it is now a UN workshop.
The Northeast Asia training workshop have the following objectives:
- Develop a common understanding of human rights education in schools;
- Discuss strategies, based on lessons learned from other countries, towards the effective incorporation of human rights education in the school system;
- Identify key components and sub-regional and national priorities for human rights education programmes in schools;
- Facilitate sub-regional cooperation in the area of human rights education among relevant partners (Governments, national institutions, educational institutes and NGOs);
- Develop national and sub-regional plans for human rights education in schools
It will have four areas of concentration:
- Training of teachers and other education personnel;
- Curriculum development and extracurricular activities ;
- Policy issues;
- Human rights education in the classroom.
Each area of concentration will have a working group during the training workshop.
Ten participants, officially selected by their respected governments, from each of the five countries are invited to attend. NGOs representatives will be invited as observers. The UN will not be able to provide NGO representatives who are not part of the ten-person country delegation.
With the UN involvement, it is hoped that the participation of government representatives from China and North Korea will be secured.
The South Asia training workshop is now also under preparation. A preparatory meeting was also held in Nepal on September 7-9, 1999 with the participation of representatives of institutions in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The meeting discussed possible program for the training workshop which is planned to be held in Colombo early next year. There will also be participants from the government education institutions, schools and NGOs. The Centre for the Study of Human Rights and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education are the main collaborating institutions for the South Asia training workshop. The proposal to the UN will hopefully be submitted before the year ends.
Since the support of the UN through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is also being sought for the South Asia training workshop, the training objectives andareas of concentration may or may not be the same as the Northeast Asia UN training workshop.