Conference on Human Rights and Democracy in Action

Conference on Human Rights and Democracy in Action – Looking Ahead: The impact of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education
The conference on Human Rights and Democracy in Action – Looking Ahead: The impact of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education was organised in Strasbourg on 29-30 November 2012 by the Council of Europe in the framework of the Andorran Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, and in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Wergeland Centre.
The conference aimed to take stock of the results achieved since 2010 and to discuss the challenges faced by the States party to the European Cultural Convention in the implementation of the Charter, with a view to plan future strategies in this area, and to assess the support measures needed from the side of the Council of Europe and other international institutions.
The participants welcomed the preparation of the first report on the implementation of Charter (based on replies to a questionnaire received from the governments), and the collection of feedback from civil society organisations, as the first steps for the development of the support measures. They made a number of recommendations for strategic action to be undertaken by the Council of Europe, the States party to the European Cultural Convention and the civil society organisations with a view to support the implementation of the Charter. In particular, they proposed a number of possible ways of developing a more transparent, consistent and participatory evaluation approach for the next review cycle (foreseen in 2017). While opinions were very diverse in relation to the need for and feasibility of stronger evaluation mechanisms, there was an emerging consensus on the benefits of on-going dialogue among key actors in this area and on the added value of the Charter as a clear framework and impetus for such dialogue.
The participants’ recommendations will be examined by the Steering Committee for Educational Policy and Practice (CDPPE) and the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ), with the intention of translating them into proposals for specific actions within the Council of Europe Programme of Activities 2014-2015. It is also foreseen to submit the conclusions of the Conference to the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Education in Helsinki in April 2013, and will be disseminated at relevant activities in the framework of the EU 2013 Year of Citizens. The participants’ recommendations can be summed up as follows:

Recommendations to the Council of Europe

Geoff Scaplehorn

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