Human rights

16th February 2001 at 00:00
CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION. Book 1: key concepts and debates. By Lynn Davis. Book 2: developments and resources in the UK.By Leena Chauhan. Book 3: an international overview. By Lynn Davis. Free from the British Council. Order from Mary Redshaw,tel: 0161 957 7413; email: mary.redshaw@ britishcouncil.org

This set of reports outlines the current state of play in citizenship and human rights education. It is not a light read, nor one you would readily choose as an introduction to the field. But it is a timely review of the issues arising from the Human Rights Act and our headlong rush to implement citizenship in our schools. The three slim volumes aim to ensure that human rihts education does not get eclipsed by citizenship education.

Book 1 debates whether human rights education is part of citizenship or vice versa. Interesting doubts are raised about terms such as "integration". Who decides who needs integrating into what?

Book 2 gives a useful overview of policy development across the UK and an annotated contacts list. Book 3 provides a summary of the global picture. It has some fascinating models of good practice such as the Rajasthan night schools for working children.

This is a noble attempt to capture the whole picture at a key moment. As such, it inevitably has gaps and, unfortunately, is already going out of date.

Gillian Temple


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