What UNESCO does in Education about the Holocaust and genocide

UNESCO works with Member States and partners to develop programmes that foster understanding of the causes and consequences of the Holocaust and how genocide can happen, in ways that are relevant to local histories and education systems. The aim is to provide students with skills to engage in critical enquiry about what makes genocide possible and equip them to recognize the role of human rights and active citizenship today, while exploring past atrocities.

UNESCO provides evidence-based guidance and tools (link Resources) to support textbook and curriculum revision, develop and revise policies, promote appropriate and relevant pedagogies, and enhance cooperation between formal and non-formal sectors of education, including with museums and memorials. In addition, UNESCO’s Clearinghouse on Global Citizenship Education provides education stakeholders with hundreds of references on Holocaust and genocide education. UNESCO, in partnership with the OSCE, also pays particular attention to addressing anti-Semitism through education.

UNESCO organizes capacity building through various programmes designed to support education stakeholders and advance the institutionalization of education about the Holocaust, and more broadly genocide and atrocity crimes. In Latin America, support is provided through the UNESCO Latin American Network on Education about the Holocaust and Other Genocides. Globally, UNESCO supports education policy makers of all regions through a capacity-building mechanism entitled the International Conference on Education and the Holocaust.

UNESCO ensures that the memory and the legacy of the victims of the Holocaust is preserved. UNESCO organizes various commemorative and cultural activities, notably around the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. UNESCO supports the preservation and dissemination of Holocaust-related archives of outstanding value, through its Memory of the World register, and supports the protection and development of the Auschwitz Birkenau former concentration and extermination camp, a World Heritage Site. In the same spirit, UNESCO facilitates discussions to develop a joint exhibition involving successor states of Yugoslavia in the ‘former-Yugoslav pavilion’ at Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum.

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