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Youth as Actors in Peace and Human Rights Education
an article by Lenka Valacsaiova, UNOY Peacebuilders

On 10 August 2011, UNOY was partnering of the Utrecht University Summer School program on Peace and Human Rights Education and organised the UNOY day. This year’s focus was Asia and creative approaches to peace education. A journal article, Youth as Actors in Peace and Human Rights Education, has been recently released on the Summer School program. The article has been written by Marloes van Houten, Course Director for the Utrecht University Summerschool, and Vera Santner, Former Asia Desk and Project Officer of UNOY Peacebuilders.

click on photo to enlarge

The Summer school reminded that youth “are the prospective leaders, facilitators and stakeholders”, but unfortunately, the work of young people is often not taken seriously. The project of the Utrecht Summer school course on peace and human rights education was mainly inspired by two initiatives: the UN International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World and the EURED project for European Peace and Human Rights Education.

The United Nations proclaimed the period of 2001-2010 as the UN International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World Decade (the UN International Decade). The Final Civil Society Report (2010) on the UN International Decade indicates that youth are important players who apply their knowledge, skills and abilities to work towards a realisation of the Culture of Peace. However, it is remarkable that peace and human rights education programs have mainly been developed for children and youth, and not together with or by them.

According to the authors, the involvement of UNOY Peacebuilders in the International Summer School is exceptional, because it testifies that youth can be a relevant partner in 'creating knowledge' and be even more effective in reaching their peers than ‘adult actors’.


Question(s) related to this article:

Youth speaking to youth on peace, Do you know of other examples?

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Latest reader comment:

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

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Teens Making a Difference:  Study Circles in Action
Rencontre internationale de la jeunesse à Dakhla : Création d’un réseau mondial pour la paix
United Youth
International Youth Meeting in Dakhla: Creation of a World Network for Peace
Youth as Actors in Peace and Human Rights Education
International Seminar on Youth and Culture of Peace, Bilbao, Spain  
Children's Peace Statue finds a new home
Peace Seminar organised by UNOY Peacebuilders
Photo exhibit promotes culture of peace
This is a wake up call!
Taking the Peace Pledge
Estudantes da periferia de São Paulo encenam espetáculos para defender cultura de paz
Students from the suburbs of São Paulo go on stage to promote the culture of peace
Bangui : La jeunesse s’initie à la culture de la paix et de l’Unité nationale [République centrafricaine]
Bangui, Central African Republic : Youth organize for the culture of peace and national unity
DIF estatal fomenta cultura de paz en escuelas (México)
State DIF promotes culture of peace in schools (Mexico)
Costello students take part in UK Peace Jam

This report was posted on November 28, 2011.