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Launch of a Manual on Citizenship Education and Human Rights for Youth in Morroco

When, local time: 
Thursday, 17 December 2015 - 9:00am to 2:00pm
Morocco, Rabat
Type of Event: 
Meeting by Member States or Institutions
Phinith Chanthalangsy, p.chanthalangsy@unesco.org

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) and the UNESCO Office for the Maghreb (based in Rabat) will partner on December 17 to celebrate Human Rights Day 2015 around important notions such as culture of human rights and citizenship, and human rights education. More than ever today in Morocco the latter are fundamental, as the country is in full social transformation towards entrenching rights principles, freedoms and democratic participation.

On this occasion the "Manual of citizenship and human rights education for Youth in Morocco" will be presented. This is a co-publication of UNESCO and the National Human Rights Council, with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. The aim is to offer a new educational resource to advance youth’s ownership of human rights culture. There is indeed a compelling need to provide trainers and educators with an educational tool rooted in the Moroccan context, marked in particular since 2011 with the enshrinement of universal repository of human rights.

Published in Arabic and French, the manual consists of 20 factsheets combining the general (international standard system) and the particular context (Moroccan law and institutions).

Each lesson plan articulates three components: 1) a concise brief of the international framework; 2) an overview of the Moroccan legal and institutional situation; 3) a series of exercises and practical activities to allow the learners to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes consistent with the values of human rights (autonomy, participation and critical thinking). The overall philosophy is geared toward an active democratic citizenship.

The culture of human rights is the best guarantee for the respect and the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The rights can be effective and achieved on the long term only when the philosophy of human rights (universal, interdependent and indivisible) permeates the way of being and living of individuals. The appropriation of this culture by men and women of all generations are an additional requirement for States and for social actors, beyond and in parallel with the implementation of democratic deliberation and protection institutions (parliaments and local authorities, justice, national institutions of human rights, etc.). Similarly, the reform of educational is essential, as schools have a central role for the acquisition of values and the training of citizens.

In Morocco, as elsewhere, only specific Citizenship and Human Rights Education at all levels, in formal, non-formal and life-long learning frameworks can accompany and consolidate reforms and contribute to the training of responsible citizens. Significant efforts have been made in this area, involving both the government, national institutions and civil society actors, so that today the constitutional and legal frameworks have been reformed, institutional mechanisms exist, specific advocacy actions are undertaken, languages elements are mastered, etc. But what about the "culture" of human rights more broadly? And what educational conditions exist or are required to enable its development and amplification?

This endeavour also taps into a more global reflection: What is the place of education in general and of citizenship- and human-rights-based education in particular for young democracies in the 21st century?