Who needs to know?
Human rights are for everybody. That’s what universal means in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is an opportunity for those with power to learn to protect the weaker and more vulnerable people in any given society and opportunity for those with less power to empower themselves with knowledge of their human rights.
Specific groups in a UK context for whom human rights education is particularly valuable could be
- Young people vulnerable to gang activity and gun and knife crime
- Vulnerable young women and girls who could be at risk of sexual exploitation and trafficking
- Young people at risk of being drawn into radical and destructive ideologies
- Bullying is a problem in many schools and social settings; successful human rights education can socialise the bully and empower the victim
- Young girls from a cultural background where early and forced marriage, so-called ‘honour killing’ and female genital mutilation (FGM) are prevalent
- Anyone experiencing domestic abuse or bullying at home or at work. These are all violations of human rights
Although these groups are mostly made up of young people, it is adults who are the main perpetrators of the violations highlighted. This work of human rights education has a vital function and result of child protection. It will greatly help to correct sources of problems in the society as well as preventing them from recurring. It will also improve social cohesion and mutual understanding.