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Human Rights
In the field of human rights, UNESCO works to encourage and disseminate human rights research; to promote education in human rights; to lead action in the fight against all forms of discrimination at national, regional and international level; to encourage cooperation among all actors and networks; to promote democracy and to further reflection on new forms of violence, notably by drawing up regional plans for human security.

un_p_mugabane.jpg Its work has three major aims:
With regard to the advancement of human rights, action is concentrated in areas where UNESCO has a special mandate: generating and sharing knowledge, protecting human rights, renewing and reinforcing commitment to human rights education and providing advisory services and technical assistance to Member States.

In important related areas, such as women and gender, where emphasis is on promoting equality between the sexes and on the social dimension of women's rights, actions focus on research, networking, advocacy and knowledge sharing of best practices.

In the fight against discrimination, UNESCO tries to identify the obstacles hampering the full exercise of human rights: the impact of nationalism, religious intolerance, discrimination against minorities, and forms of discrimination arising from scientific progress or from illness such as HIV and AIDS.

After concentrating its work on the theoretical analysis of the principles of democracy, UNESCO developed a strategy in 2002-2003 for an international programme on democracy. This strategy is coordinated by the International Centre for Human Sciences (ICHS) at Byblos (also referred to as the Byblos Centre) in close cooperation with the International Panel on Democracy and Development (IPDD).

UNESCO encourages and advances research on new forms of violence and develops regional plans for human security by improving links with local initiatives to prevent conflicts at their source, through respect for human rights and policies for sustainable development and for alleviating poverty.

See also
Photo: South Africa © UN/P. Mugabane


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