EJHA – Network of Human Rights Educators

EJHA is a network of private individuals active in the field of education who are committed to the promotion of human rights. EJHA aims to facilitate the cooperation and exchange of information among trainers, teachers, other practitioners as well as civil society organisations involved and/or interested in human rights education or democratic citizenship education or any related fields (global, intercultural, peace education, etc.) in Hungary.

Through its national network EJHA would like reach out to and engage educators ready to promote human rights through education about, for, and through human rights, and indirectly the entire society, specifically including children and young people. Occasionally, EJHA may work in partnership with actors from other countries.

Objectives of EJHA:

  • Increase the visibility of human rights education and strengthen the relationship among individuals and organisations promoting human rights;
  • Optimise the use of resources of EJHA members and supporting organisations for maximum effect;
  • Raise awareness of human rights among young people and mobilise them to take action;
  • Promote active citizenship and thus strengthen democracy in Hungary;
  • Contribute to creating solidarity in society and a country where people like to live.

Only natural persons may become members. Organisations including both registered and non-registered entities, however, may be involved as supporting organisations if they agree with EJHA’s objectives and Articles of Association, and support the network in realising those objectives, and if their application to become a supporting organisation is approved by the board of EJHA. The supporting organisation currently include:

  • Az emberség erejével CUM VIRTUTE HUMANITATIS Foundation
  • NANE Association
  • Haver Foundation
  • Labrisz Lesbian Association
  • Amnesty International Hungary
  • AppArt
  • Menhely Foundation

Most EJHA activities are carried out by EJHA members who act on a voluntary basis. Programmes are financed from funds awarded through grant programmes. In 2018 our donors included the Embassy of the Netherlands in Hungary and the European Youth Centre Budapest of the Council of Europe.

EJHA members are committed to taking action. We feel that in today’s Hungary it is important to stand up for human rights values. We want to learn from each other, share best practices, provide and receive professional support, be part of a human rights education community, and promote active citizenship. We put an emphasis on cross-sensitisation so that the educators focusing on a particular issue or working with a particular social group would be aware of and understand the specificities of working with other human rights-related issues or sensitive groups (e.g. Roma rights, gender quality, homelessness, refugee issues, etc.).

EJHA was created in December 2016. First a Facebook group was set up to connect human rights educators. The FB group currently contains over 400 members. The Network has some 50 members, who regularly meet, work in working groups and organise various programmes for themselves and/or open to any human rights educators. The EJHA Articles of Association was adopted on the first general meeting of members in March 2018, where board members were elected and a coordinator was assigned as well.

Who is EJHA for?

All practitioners including teachers, trainers, students, activists, peer counsellors, social workers, and other professionals committed to human rights education or related educational fields (such as education for democratic citizenship, global, intercultural, peace education, etc.) who would like to contribute to achieving EJHA’s objectives, and targets EJHA members have set for themselves.

What does EJHA offer?

  • We provide a platform for you, i.e. human rights educators acting independently or in an organisation or institution to cooperate and support each other;
  • We offer a safe environment where you can feel part of a community instead of a lonesome fighter for human rights;
  • You can attend our programmes, participate in training programmes and use EJHA services available to members;
  • You can join one or more working groups to organise and implement EJHA projects;
  • You can meet other EJHA members and jointly work in order to create a society where each person enjoys full and equal access to human rights, live in security and in harmony with the environment and has the opportunity to develop their talents and achieve their full potential.

Projects and programmes realised in 2018

Online library and video collection

EJHA created an online library of human rights educational resources and made it freely available on EJHA’s website (the website is in the Hungarian language only). The library includes both Hungarian an English language resources, some of which are not accessible on any other sites, nor in paper copies. EJHA also made an indexed collection of videos (in Hungarian or English language) that can be used for human rights educational purposes.

EJHA Forum

EJHA organised a 3-day national seminar called Forum in March 2018 for the members of the network to learn and share practices, discuss professional dilemmas and challenges in human rights education, and thus to promote human rights education in Hungary and to create commitment and build strong and lasting personal and professional relationship among actors. EJHA held its first general meeting during this Forum, where members adopted the Network’s Articles of Association and elected three board members.

EJHA roadshow:

In the spring of 2018, EJHA launched a roadshow and visited 4 towns including Miskolc, Debrecen, Pécs and Szeged to meet local human rights educators, learn about their challenges, tell them about the Network and find out if and how EJHA and local actors could cooperate in the future.

Training of trainers

EJHA organised a national training of trainers sponsored by the European Youth Centre of Budapest of the Council of Europe. The training was offered for activists and educators who wanted to learn more and improve their skills in human rights education and implement educational programmes in their localities (school, peer group, NGO, etc.) to raise awareness of and commitment to human rights, especially among youth, to promote active and responsible citizenship and tolerance in society. The 19 participants selected from over 40 applicants planned and implemented human rights education projects in their own local environment.

Human rights education flash report 2018

The Council of Europe published a report in 2017 on the state of citizenship and human rights education in Europe. EJHA decided to conduct a non-representative survey among primary and secondary school teachers to explore the state of human rights education and education for democratic citizenship in Hungarian schools. According to the research findings, raising awareness of and learning about human rights does not constitute an integral part of the curriculum, and most teachers do not know about related educational resources or manuals that otherwise would be accessible to them. Only one fifth of respondents stated that their school provides a safe environment for students where their human rights are respected.

EJHA conference

EJHA’s first human rights education conference was held in September 2018 at the European Youth Centre of Budapest, and attended by some 100 participants including human rights education practitioners or educators of related fields and other actors interested in human rights education. The programme included panel discussions, workshops, a playback theatre session and a fair of NGOs delivering human rights education to young people. The conference was a great success and the feedback received from participants indicated that there was need for more such workshops and discussions.

2019 plans

EJHA wants to organise programmes and reach out to more people in 2019. Activities that the members decided to realise in 2019:

  • Hold a national human rights education conference organised in cooperation with Amnesty International Hungary
  • Provide capacity building for members of the human rights education school project called Civil Kurázsi and involve more organisations and actors into this project
  • Add human rights education games to our collection of human rights educational resources
  • Organise a fair of human rights educational games in Pécs
  • Translate some human rights education manuals to the Hungarian language
  • Deliver human rights education workshops for teachers, and a series of workshops for EJHA members to learn from each other
  • Build a collection of easy-to-use human rights educational resources for school teachers (human rights education, religious classes, ethics)
  • Provide consultation and professional support for school teachers
  • Develop human rights educational standards
  • Organise an EJHA roadshow visiting several Hungarian towns
  • Organise programmes at summer festivals in cooperation with other organisations delivering human rights education to reach out to the general public and strengthen the community of human rights educators
  • Introduce EJHA to participants of other human rights education training programmes and invite them to join the EJHA network

Some other (long term) plans

  • National training of trainers
  • Translate to Hungarian and add subtitles to English language videos in EJHA’s human rights education video collection
  • Publish a human rights education flash report based on the results of a repeated research among teachers

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