Human dignity is the core of human rights and human rights education, which is granted to all human beings irrespective of religious, birth, gender or civilization.
Human rights education needs a three-dimensional approach to be effective:
Knowledge-based (to know about human rights: e.g. the history of rights, how democracy functions), skills-based (for human rights: self-knowledge and self awareness, realising your own prejudices) and environment-based (in or through human rights: creating a “whole-school policy”).
The Austrian educational principle of citizenship education, which has been in force since 1978, includes human rights education. The content parameters are decreed as a basic principle. This means that every teacher can be called upon to teach citizenship education – even at primary level. Besides this educational principle the school subject “history and citizenship education” from grade 8 on comprises teaching on topics of human rights.
polis – The Austrian Centre for Citizenship Education in Schools helps teachers to bring citizenship and human rights education into the classroom. The work of polis incorporates the transfer of knowledge as well as the raising of awareness and the strengthening of social skills.
Further ongoing projects are run in the extracurricula education:
The postgraduate programme European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) aims at educating experts in the field of human rights and democratisation and to prepare them for their future work.
The Training Curriculum on Fundamental Rights for Judgeship Trainees is based on a tandem-principle, in which human rights experts from university together with senior judges, will introduce the trainees into fields of national law that are notably linked to the diverse fundamental and human rights issues.
The University of Vienna offers students with the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights the opportunity to study human rights in an international, interdisciplinary and practice-oriented environment.