A series of projects is being carried out to put into practice human rights education both in formal and non-formal educational settings.

“Teaching Respect for All” – the UNESCO-USA-Brazil joint initiative

Launched on 18 January 2012, the UNESCO-USA-Brazil project "Teaching Respect for All" aims to design a curricular framework for anti-racism and tolerance. More

Gender Equality

Primary school in Attarbari, Yemen

Girls are the first to suffer from poor quality education. Their rights within education are violated through lack of taking specific issues which affet them into account including curricula, teaching methods, the learning environment and the persistence of stereotypes.

Promoting gender equality through textbooks - Methodological guide for players in the textbook chain [PDF]

The UNESCO Guide “Promoting gender equality through textbooks - Methodological guide for players in the textbook chain,” shows, through an innovative methodology for the analysis, how gender inequality is constructed in textbooks over the curriculum and intends to give everybody in the textbook environment the tools to revise textbooks or use existing ones critically.

Violence Prevention in Schools

Student-teacher dialogue to prevent violence in school, France

© UNESCO - Michel Ravassard

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children was a global effort to paint a detailed picture of the nature, extent and causes of violence against children, and to propose clear recommendations for action to prevent and respond to it. Professor Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, the Independent Expert appointed to lead the Study, presented the final Study Report in October 2006. An inter-agency group on Violence against Children was set up (the Secretariat is located at UNICEF) to follow up the recommendations of the World Report and UNESCO has been actively involved in this joint effort. 

In the follow up to the World Report, UNESCO focuses on school-related violence. In partnership with experts and relevant institutions such as the International Observatory on Violence in Schools, UNESCO makes efforts to promote research, data collection, awareness-raising and advocacy as well as strengthening and applying legal and political mechanisms to protect the rights of children. 

Gender-based violence is a subject of particular concern. UNESCO leads activities on awareness-raising, capacity-building at the national level and dissemination and exchange of good practices.

Related Links

Report of the Expert Meeting “Stopping Violence in Schools: What Works?” - The Expert Meeting “Stopping Violence in Schools: What Works?” held in 2007 came up with a series of recommendations for integrating violence prevention strategies in educational policy and practice: teaching communication skills, providing tools for students to make ethical decisions, establishing a non-violent school atmosphere and eliminating corporal punishment were highlighted as good practices.

4th World Conference on Violence at School and Public Policies (Lisbon, Portugal, 23-25 June 2008) 
The World Conferences on School Violence (2001 in Paris, 2003 in Quebec, 2005 in Bordeaux) have been regularly organized by the International Observatory on Violence in Schools. Being a space for dialogue for those who are concerned with the phenomenon of school violence, the World Conferences brings together researchers and practitioners from all over the world to share the ideas and experiences to combat school violence. The fourth version took place in Lisbon in cooperation with UNESCO.

International Observatory on Violence in Schools 
The international federation of researchers on violence in schools began in 1998, an initiative of the European Observatory on School Violence.

Ethics Education

Children sharing a story

© UNESCO/ASPnet - Lauri Dower

UNESCO, UNICEF and the Arigato Foundation have recently published “Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Program for Ethics Education” which is a toolkit for educators to teach children about respecting and understanding diverse faiths, religions and ethical beliefs.

Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Program for Ethics Education [PDF]
This toolkit aims to help young people and children develop ethical decision- making skills and nurture a sense of belonging, community and values. Ultimately its aim is to shape attitudes for building peace through teaching tolerance and mutual understanding.

Preparing Roma Children for Primary School

Rom children, Romania


Despite the efforts to expand and improve education for Roma children, as many as 50 per cent of Roma children in Europe fail to complete primary education. The inclusion of Roma children in basic education largely depends on their access to early childhood educational opportunities and their transition to quality primary education.

Furthermore access to and completion in primary schools for Roma children is facilitated by an education embodying human rights principles and values such as non-discrimination, intercultural education, non-violence, peace and tolerance. UNESCO, together with the Council of Europe, advocates for policies and strategies that improve the educational possibilities of Roma children to benefit from early childhood programmes and primary education. Experts from European countries met at UNESCO Headquarters in September 2007 to share innovative educational policies and practices and identify areas of action to improve the educational situation of Roma children. 

Related Links

Expert Meeting - Towards quality education for Roma children: transition from early childhood to primary education  Inequality in access to quality basic education is widespread; worldwide, 72 million of primary school-age children are still out of school and many pupils leave schools without acquiring essential skills and knowledge. While positive actions exist in favour of better early childhood and primary education for disadvantaged children, including Roma children,  there are not enough of them.

Interview with Michaela Zatreanu “School is like a bicycle: if you don’t pedal, it topples” 
An education expert, Michaela Zatreanu doesn’t fiercely advocate teaching school in Romani, despite being the author of the first textbooks published in this language in Romania. She thinks instruction exclusively in Romani would represent a form of segregation and promotes schooling with a multicultural dimension.


Human Rights and Education in Albania

With the financial assistance of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a project promoting human rights and democracy education was established in Albania in 2001.

The first phase of the project “Intercultural and Human Rights Education in Albania (2001-2003)” contributed to establishing a solid basis for the introduction of human rights education in the country. The ongoing second phase “Promoting Quality Education for All: Human Rights and Democracy Education in Albania (2005-on-going)” aims at further promoting a climate of respect for human rights and the practice of democracy in all educational establishments.

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