In recent months as the pandemic has hit the globe, discussions on human rights education have highlighted the impact it has on COVID-19.
On 3 July, during the 44th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education presented her thematic Report titled “Right to education: impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the right to education, concerns, challenges and opportunities.”
SGI, on behalf of 18 organizations of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning (NGO WG on HREL) submitted a written statement on Human Rights Education and COVID-19 which highlighted that:
- The rise of manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination such as hate speech and hate crime, highlights the urgent need to accelerate the process of integrating human rights education for all young people, including those with disabilities, into all public and private educational systems and curricula.
- The participation and voices of all youth is essential, particularly those who are most marginalized.
- Access to funds and resources for organizations working on human rights education with youth should be guaranteed.
- States must ensure that all people have access to accurate, reliable, and timely information about COVID-19 and to education about their human rights, including health, in a variety of accessible languages and formats.
On a separate occasion, during a roundtable discussion on civil society response to COVID-19 in April, the open resource website Transforming Lives: The Power of Human Rights Education, developed by SGI, the NGO WG on HREL, HRE2020 with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was highlighted as a useful tool to contribute to fulfilling the right to education during COVID-19.[Photo: UN Web TV]