UNRWA launches teacher toolkit for Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance

12 June 2013

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has launched a teacher toolkit for Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance (HRCRT) education in Amman this week.

UNRWA has been engaged in the teaching of human rights for more than a decade. Education for HRCRT empowers Palestine refugees, encouraging them to enjoy and exercise their rights, uphold the rights of others, be proud of their Palestinian identity, and contribute to their society in a positive way.

The Toolkit is a practical tool which provides a general guide on human rights, planning tools for its integration at schools, and 40 activities that help to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of students towards a culture of human rights.

“The Toolkit will improve UNRWA’s approach to human rights education, drawing on good practices from around the world, and building on UNRWA’s experience in teaching human rights,” said UNRWA’s Director of Education Dr. Caroline Pontefract, adding: "The importance of this training cannot be underestimated as it will serve to enable every UNRWA teacher to play a crucial role in strengthening a culture of human rights in UNRWA schools and institutions that serve 491,000 Palestine refugee students.

Paul McAdams, the International Human Rights Education Expert who has played a key role in the development of the toolkit said: “It is meant to serve as both an inspiration and a practical guide for UNRWA teachers to strengthen and sustain a culture of human rights in their classrooms and schools.”

The toolkit was developed in a fully participatory manner and then improved along the pre-testing feedback in West Bank and Gaza schools. “The teachers really enjoyed the child-centred, participatory approach of the toolkit. We noticed that students were learning while having fun", said HRCRT Programme Coordinator Ms. Ozlem Eskiocak.

One UNRWA teacher from Nablus observed that through the suggested activities in the tool kit, even shy students were able to participate in the classroom: “I am happy that the Toolkit allows all students, not only the outspoken ones, to participate and be engaged.”

For more information about UNRWA HRCRT Programme:

HRCRT policy (English - Arabic)
HRCRT policy short version (English - Arabic)
HRCRT fact sheet (English - Arabic)

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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