Rabat Conference on Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education: Tendencies and Innovation from Civil Society Actors
Following the profound socio-political changes in the Arab region, what kind of innovations can be assessed today in terms of democratic citizenship and human rights education (CHRE)? In partnership with the Arab Institute of Human Rights (AIHR) and the International Centre for Human Sciences (CISH), UNESCO is organising a regional Conference to present the intermediate results of a regional report on innovative initiatives in non-formal education on CHRE in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia, from 3 to 4 November 2015, in Rabat, Morocco.
For over 4 years, numerous countries in the Arab region have been engaged in a process of constitutional, institutional and political reform. Reflecting the major socio-political changes, these reform movements also respond to significant social and cultural conditions (young populations, economic crisis, social inequality, competition of political ideologies with cultural and religious models, presence of new ITCs, etc.). The social demand for more rights, for more democracy and more justice represents a leitmotiv for all social movements, which have been the source of recent political upheavals in the region. In this transition phase of deep transformations, democratic citizenship and human rights education (CHRE) has demonstrated itself as a solid and sustainable factor in the spread of democratic culture, in raising awareness amongst young people on human rights issues, in opening culture up and in the long-term reduction of political and social tensions.
In this context, a partnership was established between the Social and Human Sciences Sector of UNESCO, the Arab Institute of Human Rights (AIHR) and the International Centre for Human Sciences (CISH), to write a regional report on innovative initiatives in informal education on democratic citizenship and human rights education (CHRE) in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia. These four countries were identified as study areas for three reasons; (i) a context of recent socio-political changes, having a direct impact on and/or creating new demands in the field of CHRE; (ii) the multiplicity of stakeholders and approaches in the field of CHRE; and (iii) the presence and work of at least one of the report partners on the ground.
This conference aims to present the main results of the regional report, in order to discuss them with the stakeholders involved, and to develop the concepts further, as a work in progress.
Conceived as a conference-debate, the conference will be organised as follows: sessions of presentations and discussions, as well as thematic round-tables to expand on the thinking avenues and recommendations.