Program Sphere of Influence

 

There is a lack of human rights understanding in our society. Due to the low level of knowledge of the society about human rights, fundamental freedoms and the mechanisms of their protection even the endeavors of citizens aimed at representing and protecting the public interests very often remain ineffective.

Several components that specify this problem could be emphasized. The first component implies the existing practice, when the human rights content is substituted. More and more often human rights are used as a political tool or a magical word combination that helps to veil the lack of words or something else in political arguments. The second component implies the deficiency of a continuous public (official) system in human rights education. According to the reports of our government, the system of legal education provided in grades 1 to 11 was established in Ukraine. Such information was provided to the UN Committee against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as an answer to the questions of the Committee to the 5th Ukrainian Periodic Report on execution of the Convention against Torture . However, first of all, human rights education is not completely identical to legal education. Secondly, for several years in a row there has been discussed a problem concerning the deficiencies caused by the content of the Legal Science program, which is taught in the 9th grades. Thirdly, the majority of the subjects related to human rights education are suggested as optional, and thus, taking into consideration busy school programs, in most cases remain without attention. Finally, the level of knowledge of the teachers in the sphere of human rights education remains low. The third component implies the lack of specialists who are able to use effectively and in a quality manner the educational tools in order to protect and advocate human rights. The fourth component implies the lack of practical specialized educational programs for non-government organizations that would teach how to use effectively the tools for human rights protection (for example, how to carry out a monitoring, to organize social public events, to prepare awareness campaigns, to plan strategic legal proceedings, etc.).

There are non-government organizations in Ukraine today that fulfill different measures in the sphere of human rights education. Some Ukrainian methodological experience is available as well as materials of the Council of Europe and the United Nations regarding human rights education.