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People's Decade of Human Rights Education
The National Center for Human Rights Education (USA)
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The USA Project of the People's Decade of Human Rights Education (PDHRE)

P.O. Box 311020, Atlanta, GA 31131
(tel) 404/344-9629 (fax) 404/346-7517
ROSSCHRE@aol.com
Web: http://www.chre.org 

Human Rights Education - A National Movement
On January 1, 1996, the National Center for Human Rights Education opened its doors and joined 21 other countries which launched human rights education projects as part of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004). Sponsored by the People's Decade of Human Rights Education, the CHRE trains grassroots community activists in human rights history, language, treaties, and standards. The CHRE seeks to build a social movement for human rights by educating grassroots activists in order to connect the local struggles, and activists within them, to a global struggle for human rights.

The American society, most especially the activist community, have not used the vast knowledge of human rights to its full advantage. They do not know what the United Nations can mean to them or what it offers. There is no global human rights movement in the United States. To the majority of Americans, human rights violations occur overseas. This is the state of human rights in the United States today. In the words of CHRE Board Chairman, Rev. C. T. Vivian, "America has been denied the greatness of the United Nations."

Human Rights Education, however, can change this. Human rights education allows us to build upon the gains of every social movement that has happened in this country in the last 60 years: the civil rights movement, the youth movement, the women's movement, the lesbian/gay movement, the labor movement, the environmental movement, the Native American movement, and the Latino movement. Human rights education can put these activists in connection with movements of the world. This will help end the artificial separation between civil and political rights, and economic, social, and cultural human rights. In other words, current proposals on welfare reform are economic human rights violations. Human rights education can make activists better at their own movements specifically because it employs a holistic framework that embraces the full spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, political and social human rights. Human rights education provides the concepts, strategies, solidarity, vision, and pressure for social change.

The CHRE seeks to catalyze a mass-based movement through popular activist education based human rights: How can we educate people to use the law and political systems to call for the enforcement, interpretation and creation of laws not to contain and off-set segments of the population but to protect and empower them? The answer comes in knowing both the domestic laws as well as the international human rights laws and covenants, and interpreting them to serve people's needs. If people are given the information, they can make the necessary decisions for their lives. Education, commitment and organizing creates a peoples' movement, and that movement decides laws worthy of the human community. The mission of CHRE is to "bring human rights home" to the American people, and build a Human Rights Culture in the United States. In 1996, CHRE will educate and train at least 500 activists around the country to become human rights educators. For more information, please contact Loretta Ross at 404 / 344-9629.

For more information, please contact PDHRE:

The People's Movement for Human Rights Education (PDHRE) / NY Office
Shulamith Koenig / Executive Director
526 West 111th Street, New York, NY 10025, USA
tel: +1 212.749-3156; fax: +1 212.666-6325
e-mail: pdhre@igc.org