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Running for human rights

France

schools across the country are preparing to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, the 50th anniversary of its adoption by the United Nations in Paris.

Fourteen human rights groups are joining government departments and local authorities to teach pupils about the declaration and the injustices that violate it.

There will be a cross-country race "against racism and for human rights"; a pamphlet for schools on equality, based on Article 1 of the Declaration; and the Mouvement contre le Racisme has devised an anti-racism game.

Longer-term action includes Red Cross campaigns to spread ideas of tolerance and respect, to promote health and to make December 10 a day against violence on television, in the cinema, in the press and at school.

The education ministry has told schools that civics and history-geography lessons should concentrate on human rights, including such issues as apartheid.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly adopted two new laws to coincide with Children's Rights Day in November. The first created a children's ombudsman, while the second - adapted from a motion by the annual children's parliament - discourages schools and local authorities from buying supplies made by exploited children abroad.

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