SGI Quarterly October Issue Explores Human Rights Education
The October 2011 issue of the SGI Quarterly magazine, "Human Rights Education Today," has been published and is also available online.
This year the UN General Assembly is expected to adopt the Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, the first international instrument devoted exclusively to human rights education and training. The October issue of the SGI Quarterly celebrates this milestone, featuring the insights and experiences of a number of remarkable scholars and activists from around the world who are working to bring a culture of human rights to life.
Promoting human rights education is a core aspect of the SGI's global peace movement and, through the work of its United Nations liaison office in Geneva especially, SGI has made key contributions to the drafting of the Declaration. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's annual peace proposals have provided the underlying energy and direction for SGI's efforts to help build a culture of human rights. In the excerpt from his 2011 proposal included in this issues of the SGI Quarterly, President Ikeda writes that the norms of human rights must be felt a as a personal "vow." Only then can they "become a source of inexhaustible energy for social transformation."
Human rights scholar Andrew Fagan writes that for human rights to be successfully globalized, the ideals to which they appeal--freedom, equality and dignity--must characterize the way in which educating people about human rights is pursued. Brazilian Human Rights champion Austregesilo de Athayde, in an excerpt of his dialogue with SGI President Ikeda, comments "I am convinced that appreciation for the dignity of humanity cannot gain widespread acceptance unless we become aware of the sacred element in ourselves."
Educator and writer Nancy Flowers reflects on the process of human rights education for young people, saying, , "Ideally the child's human rights learning is reinforced by every aspect of daily experience." Activist and SGI member Sarah Motha describes how school-based "peace clubs," which help young people to examine and find solutions to problems in their daily lives, are transforming communities in South Africa.
Back issues of the SGI Quarterly can be read at www.sgiquarterly.org/search_issue.html
[Report and photo courtesy of the SGI Office of Public Information]