The 8th International Conference on Human Rights Education was held in Montreal, Canada from November 30 to December 3 with the topic of “Bridging our diversities.” The three-and-a-half-day conference gathered more than 300 participants from 59 nations. These human rights promoters attended 70 sessions, presenting and sharing thoughts on the latest developments in human rights education. Volunteers from the Association of World Citizens (AWC) also attended the conference and shared with other participants AWC’s achievements in human rights education campaigns, especially the experiences of promoting the Declaration of World Citizens, the Declaration for the Movement of An Era of Conscience, and the Declaration of Taxpayer’s Human rights.”
Starting in 2010, the conferences, which have been held in different countries, have provided a platform for educators, policy-makers, and scholars to get together and discuss solutions to human rights education. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Canada. The government of Canada put in a lot of effort to ensure the success of the conference. The conference was co-organized by Equitas, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Concordia University, McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, UQAM, and Western Sydney University. The aim of the conference is to tackle global challenges by creating more equitable and peaceful communities and seeking more effective solutions to the current problems in the world.
The first day of the conference focused on the discussion of human rights for indigenous people. The government of Canada admitted its own mistakes, delivered apologies, and took actions to show its respect for human rights. One of the conference organizers, Mr. Sev Ozdowski expressed, “It’s very meaningful that the Prime Minister of Canada delivered apologies to the indigenous people and their children.” It is expected that the conference will deepen the awareness of human rights education through discussions on the theories and practices. It is also anticipated that global rule of law will be established through the UN educational networks and make the world a just and peaceful place.
Charles Patton, an elderly leader of the Mohawk in Canada, expressed, “All creatures are created equal. Nowadays, human activities have caused great impact on Earth. The Mother Earth is trying to heal its own wounds brought forth by humans. In the course of Mother Earth’s healing process, humanity may be dispensed.”
Murray Sinclair, a member of the Senate of Canada, retired judge, and Aboriginal Canadian, thinks highly of education, especially the human rights education for indigenous children. He believes that people are created equal and we should learn from each other. Education will help people learn from different ethnic groups, he adds.
A volunteer of the Association of World Citizens, Shi-Ching Li, commented, “AWC has long been committed to human rights education at all levels and paying close attention to issues of human rights education. AWC has brought the idea of love, respect, and peace around the world through conferences and endorsements of declarations. AWC members have attended many NGO conferences and exchanged ideas with chief justices from around the world in the hope of inspiring people’s conscience and promoting partnerships among civil societies, private sectors, and governments.” The dialogues with human rights educators at the conference and discussions of human rights issues such as rights to life and taxpayer’s rights have received widespread feedback.
P1: Opening of the 8th International Conference on Human Rights Education
P2: Mr. Charles Patton, an Aboriginal Canadian, thinks we should learn from each other through education.
P3: Charles Patton, an elderly leader of the Mohawk in Canada, expresses, “Human beings should be alert to the fact that the Mother Earth can heal itself without us.”
P4: AWC members have dialogues with human rights educators at the conference and discuss about human rights issues such as the rights to life for children and taxpayer’s human rights.