The Special Rapporteur on the right to education of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Vernor Muñoz Villalobos, issued the following statement today:
The Special Rapporteur on the right to education would like to join the Commission on Human Rights and the Economic and Social Council in encouraging the General Assembly to adopt, on 10 December 2004, the proposed World Programme for Human Rights Education as a meaningful contribution to the implementation of the right to education.
The Special Rapporteur also wishes to draw attention to the draft plan of action for the first phase (2005-2007) of the proposed World Programme which is a joint effort of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The draft plan of action reflects intense and thorough discussion and consultations of world specialists on education and human rights.
The Special Rapporteur believes that this plan of action will contribute to the achievement of the second Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education by promoting rights-based quality education. He also strongly believes that human rights education is an integral part of the right to education. Indeed, human rights education would not only guarantee access to education, but would also promote human rights values such as respect for diversity and non-discrimination in all its forms.
Integrating human rights dimensions into education systems contributes to the achievement of quality education which can improve standards of living for all. That requires, on one hand, ensuring that all the components and processes of learning, including curricula, materials, methods and training are conducive to the learning of human rights; and on the other hand ensuring the respect of the human rights of all actors within the education system.
The Special Rapporteur is convinced that human rights education which promotes a rights-based approach enables the education system to fulfil its fundamental mission to secure fostering citizenship and the development of the student's personality, talents and abilities to their fullest potential.