Plan of Action

World Programme for Human Rights Education, First Phase, New York and Geneva, 2006.

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Foreword: The international community is increasingly adopting intergovernmental frameworks at the global level, such as the World Programme for Human Rights Education (from 2005 onwards), which aim at encouraging the development of sustainable national strategies and programmes in human rights education. In particular, the Plan of Action for the fi rst phase (2005-2007) of the World Programme, which is contained in this booklet, focuses on the integration of human rights education in primary and secondary school systems.


Th is international trend highlights a consensus that the education system plays a vital role in fostering respect, participation, equality and non-discrimination in our societies. For the education system to play such a role, a comprehensive approach to implementing human rights education, addressing not only educational policies, processes and tools but also the environment within which education takes place, is needed.

It is important to bear in mind, however, that international programmes can only support – and not substitute for – committed, vigorous and concerted national action. Ultimately, United Nations programmes acquire real value only if national and local actors take responsibility for implementing them in their communities, and use them as mobilization and advocacy tools.

Th e Plan of Action for the fi rst phase (2005-2007) of the World Programme was adopted by all United Nations Member States in July 2005. It proposes a concrete strategy and practical guidance for implementing human rights education in primary and secondary schools.

Th is document is now in your hands. We hope it will provide ideas for developing new initiatives, expanding those already existing and enhancing cooperation and partnership at all levels.

We would like to appeal to all to get involved and participate in global human rights education eff orts; the realization of human rights is our common responsibility, and its achievement will depend entirely on the contribution that each and every one of us is willing to make.

Louise Arbour & Koïchiro Matsuura.

The Plan of Action for 2005-2007 in brief … (full long text).

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