|Who we are
The Egyptian Centre for Human Rights Education (ECHRE) is an independent organisation that was founded in 2009 by a group of international human rights activists. ECHRE is dedicated to promote and ensure Human Rights Education in Egypt and the Arab World. We believe education is the first step to understand, respect, defend and protect human rights. ECHRE co-operates with individuals, NGOs and universities to advocate Human Rights Education in all sectors of society.
The real test of credibility of any human rights institution is whether or not it possesses the four cornerstones that we at ECHRE believe underpin our values:
We at ECHRE work for a world in which human rights education has become an integral part of the education every child, teenager and adult. Through human rights education people of all ages become familiar with the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and behaviors required for individuals to understand, assert and defend their human rights as well as to respect the rights of others. For us education is both a human right in itself and a means of realizing other human rights. As an empowerment right, education is one of the main vehicles by which economically, socially or culturally marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and isolation and can obtain the means to fully participate in their communities. Hence human rights education must be considered as an indespensible part of the right to education.
ECHRE aims to spread a type of learning about human rights that does not happen without people questioning their own values and attitudes, including their assumptions about human rights. Human rights education thus becomes key to a process of "transformative learning" in which participants are encouraged to be more discriminating, open, and reflective. Ultimately it shall lead to a new interpretation of experience to guide future action.
We at ECHRE believe that human rights education inspires people to take conscious control of their own lifes as humans and as citizens, and to take part in the decisions that affect their own and the life of others. In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, human rights education can constitute a crucial step towards building and ensuring a strong human rights culture in which democracy, the rule of law, social justice, good governance, peaceful international relations and mutual respect and understanding between people of different social, political, cultural and religious backgrounds can grow. ECHRE exists to make this vision come true.
ECHRE aims to reinvigorate the ideals and objectives of:
Human Rights Council resolution 10/3 would promote human rights education and learning, as well as Commission on Human Rights resolution 2005/61 of 20 April 2005 and Subcommission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights resolution 2006/19 of 24 August 2006.
Article 26 (2) states that "Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace".
The United Nations Decade stated that human rights education, training and public information were essential for the promotion and achievement of stable and harmonious relations among communities and for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and peace.
The Vienna Conference had recommended that States should "strive to eradicate illiteracy and should direct education towards the full development of the human personality and the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms".
The World Program called on all States and institutions to include human rights, humanitarian law, democracy and rule of law as subjects in the curricula of all learning institutions in formal and non-formal settings.
The 1996 UNESCO report the importance of "learning to live together" within and across different societies is central to the whole idea of education - the "necessary utopia".
ECHRE calls on the state to take on responsibility for the implementation of all the international human rights obligations.
The mission of ECHRE is to promote formal and informal human rights education in Egypt and the Arab World as a whole. At the center of our attention is human rights education for children, youth and young adults. We work towards the creation of a suitable environment for future generations of human rights advocates and defenders, as well as students and teachers of human rights. We support existing local and regional human rights institutions to work effectively in achieving their goals. We cooperate with local, regional and international scholars, activists and civil society organisations to achieve our our mission and concentrate on establishing strong networks between human rights educators from the Arab region and international scholars, activists and civil society organisations in the field of human rights education.