New toolkit for schools to become human rights friendly

Amnesty International has published a new package for schools to create an environment where students can enjoy their human rights. The new package helps schools, communities and students teach and enjoy human rights one step at a time.

Human Rights Friendly Schools are founded on principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation. They are communities where human rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.

The Human Rights Friendly Schools package contains a toolkit, pamphlets for students, schools, teachers, communities, and families, as well as a poster.

The most significant change I have experience or have seen as a result of the Human Rights Friendly Schools programme is that they take bullying, violence and teasing very seriously here. Almost no one is mean, and if so, the problem is immediately taken care of.

Student, 11, Bermuda

The network of 238 schools aspiring to become human rights friendly is expanding continuously, with schools in 22 countries around the world joining the programme since 2009. There are many ways to become a Human Rights Friendly School. Each school has its own strengths to build from and its own local context to take into account. The best results are achieved when schools take a step by step approach outlining goals for each year in consultation with students, parents and administrative staff. When schools have a long-term approach, they see the greatest gains and will see sustainable changes in the everyday life of the students and their whole learning environment.

The set of new materials support the implementation of Human Rights Friendly Schools around the world. It provides concise, practical, and comprehensive support to schools implementing Human Rights Friendly School.

You can download the toolkit here

The key components of the package includes:

  •  A toolkit to provide school teachers with information about the whole-school approach, the ten global principles, the global standards that schools are working toward to become human rights friendly, as well as human rights activities to include in the everyday learning experience;
  • Four pamphlets to introduce the concept of Human Rights Friendly Schools to students, teachers, administrators, families and communities so they can get involved;
  • A Poster to raise awareness of the initiative in participating schools.

The content of the material is easy to comprehend and I anticipate easier implementation as a result. The new materials are precise and specific in explaining th whole aspects of the Human Rights Friendly Schools programme.

Teacher feedback on the Human Rights Friendly School package

The first human rights friendly school 

Amnesty International Ghana is one of the pioneers of the Human Rights Friendly Schools programme, joining in 2009 as part of the programme’s pilot.

Accra High School joined as the first pilot school for the programme and since then, the programme has expanded to 20 schools across the country, and gained traction within the Ghanaian educational sector as a way to spread human rights awareness among young people.

Read more about the Human Rights Friendly Schools programme.