Research about, through and for human rights: A right-based methodological framework for developing education about, through and for human rights

Year: 2021

Author: Islam, Md Khairul

Type of paper: Individual Paper

Human Rights Education (HRE) has gained prominence from policymakers, educators, and world leaders because it aims to provide young people with the necessary knowledge, skills, and values in order to foster a universal culture of human rights. Various international and national organizations, including the United Nations (UN), the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and others, are actively working to promote a positive culture of human rights education around the world. The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) recommendation to promote human rights through education demonstrates further evidence of worldwide concern for HRE. The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training is a landmark instrument because it provides a framework "education about, through and for human rights" to support HRE (United Nations Human Rights Council, 2011). While the first component focuses on information and understanding, and the second on right-based teaching and learning methodologies, the third component focuses on empowering people to enjoy and exercise their rights, as well as respect and uphold the rights of others.Despite the fact that several components of HRE are included in Bangladesh's existing national education policy and curriculum, HRE is not widely practised in schools. This paper presents the results of a case study that looked at how HRE could be developed in a Bangladeshi secondary school. This paper focused in particular on how a right-based methodological framework that cantered the research as "research about, through and for human rights" could contribute to the development of HRE in the school. The study utilised a qualitative case study approach with an action research component. Two teachers from the same secondary school volunteered to participate in the study, hence one secondary school was chosen as a case study. Semi-structured interviews and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) have been deployed to collect data from the head teacher, classroom teachers and students. Findings suggest that collaborative action research which established a right-based methodological framework-‘research about, through and for human rights’ had potentials for both investigating and developing ‘education about, through and for human rights in the school. This framework itself investigated as well as potentially contributed to the promotion of knowledge and understanding(education about human rights), teachers’ and students' voice and participation (education through human rights) and their empowerment (education for human rights).These findings have potential implications for conducting HRE research as well as promoting HRE.