BOS 2: Living together at ease in a landscape of religious diversity and differences: education matters!
Heiner Bielefeldt, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Ibrahim Abubakar Jega, Shulamith Koenig , Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar, Khalek Awang, Floriane Hohenberg, William Vendley
Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, 2011 on “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief”, calls for “strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promo- tion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels” through, inter alia, “education and awareness-building”. This session takes into consideration existing guidelines and gives room to share best practices and discuss how to take action, in order to implement these recommendations.
Rapporteur: Heiner Bielefeldt
Moderator: William Vendley
Not only broad minds but also open hearts capable of compassion and imagination, that is the real challenge in tackling the root causes of religious hatred. It is no coincidence that cultural and religious literacy, cross-cultural dialogue and skills as well as education for tolerance and respect play a key role in achieving this change.
This session builds upon the Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 of March 2011 on Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief, which “calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels” through, inter alia, “education and awareness-building”. Moreover, it takes into consideration the practical recommendations of a series of four expert workshops for Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia on the prohibition of incitement to national, racial and religious hatred.
In all four regions, participants highlighted that Incitement to hatred in society should be countered by effective measures, particularly in the fields of teaching, education, culture and information, with a view to combating prejudices, hostility or violence and to promoting understanding and tolerance. This broad conclusion is also validated by the experience gathered by UNAOC over the past five years in the many activities, conferences and debates held with a wide range of stakeholders all around the world.
This Session takes into consideration existing principles and guidelines, like the “Toledo principles on teaching religions and belief in public schools” (OSCE), as well as the “UNESCO Guidelines on teaching Intercultural Education” and the fundamental cultural and religious rights of the child that are proclaimed in the “Human-Rights based Approach to Education for All”.
In this regard, experts and participants tend to unanimously endorse the following recommendations for action, inter alia:
- To nurture dialogue, starting at a young age, and to create public space for inclusive cross-cultural, interreligious and intra-religious interaction.
- To encourage increased knowledge, mindset-building, awareness-raising and social mobilization and skills to effectively counter hate speech and to employ creative methods for mobilizing public opinion.
- To raise media representatives’, teachers’ and religious/community leaders’ awareness of their social and moral responsibilities and their roles.
- To conduct human rights education and training, also addressed to law enforcement officials and members of the judiciary.
This breakout session will be an opportunity to share best practices, discuss how to take bold action in order to implement these recommendations and agree on a pilot agenda to boost formal, non formal and informal education for respect and tolerance.