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Five minute masterclass

Showcase your good practice!

Young people workshop
Do you use awareness-raising, outreach, education or community engagement to help people tackle discrimination and human rights issues?

We are part of a project funded by EU Progress and the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission to help people recognise discrimination and take action to deal with it.

We want to hear from organisations across Europe doing this kind of work and showcase good practice examples in 'Five minute masterclasses' on this page of our website.

If you would like to showcase your work in this area we'd love to hear from you.
Please download and fill in the 'Five minute masterclass' questionnaire (46 KB) and send it back to us. If you have any queries or would like the questionnaire in another format feel free to get in touch using the feedback form below.[/block-quote]

On this page you can find out about other organisations in Europe that deliver what we call 'public legal education' (PLE); that is awareness-raising, outreach, education and community engagement as part of their discrimination and human rights work with the public.

Each organisation has completed a 'Five minute masterclass' where you can quickly pick up insights, hints and tips on how to do effective equalities PLE:

Iceland

Please briefly introduce yourself by describing your role and your organisation:

The purpose and aim of the Icelandic Human Rights Centre is to promote human rights by collecting information on and raising awareness of human rights issues in Iceland and abroad. The Centre organises conferences and seminars on human rights and provides human rights education. The Centre promotes legal reform and research on human rights and has established the only specialised human rights library in Iceland. The Centre serves a monitoring role and comments on bills of law and public policy and provides information to international monitoring bodies on the state of human rights in Iceland. The Centre manages EU Progress Programmes for Iceland for 2009-11, hosts the Human Rights Education Project and is a member of AHRI, the Nordic School of Human Rights Research and the UNITED-network.

Please tell us briefly about your organisation’s work delivering awareness-raising, outreach, education and community engagement (what we call public legal education (PLE)) with the public to tackle discrimination and human rights issues.

Awareness raising event - Icelandic Human Rights Centre With regards to awareness-raising, the centre organises various events. For example every year we celebrate the European-wide Action Week Against Racism on 21st March, which is the International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

This year we had a festival with theatre, music, break dance and circus performance, hand art, games, trashing prejudices and a flash mob in a local shopping centre in Reykjavík. The event was organised by the Icelandic Human Rights Centre, Seeds, the Red Cross Iceland, the Evangelic Lutheran Church of Iceland and Soka Gakkai Iceland. The theme was promoting diversity. We had a competition before the event where we had young designers send in their ideas for a logo to put on t-shirts, badges, postcards and more to raise awareness about diversity. This year the winning idea was a teddy bear made up of different parts to promote the idea that we are all equal despite being different.

Awareness raising event - Icelandic Human Rights Centre 2In December 2008, on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the centre published a revised version of the declaration. The aim was to make it more accessible to young people by making the text simpler and also we had young designers design each article of the declaration. We did a similar thing on the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in December 2009. We published a booklet with information on the convention along with the text of the convention. The booklet was then decorated with pictures of women of all ages and races.

What do you think were the key ingredients in achieving these successes?
Our extensive knowledge about human rights and how we utilise it in human rights awareness raising.

What problems do you think practitioners should look out for when delivering public legal education on discrimination and human rights:
That the public isn't always aware of what discrimination is and doesn't know whether an act constitutes discrimination or not. Therefore, they need to be aware of what questions to ask and how they are formulated in order to get the desired results.

Are there any resources that you couldn’t manage without that you’d like to recommend to others, for example, research findings, materials, training etc:
I think the website www.bayefsky.com is very helpful when looking for state reports and concluding observations from the United Nations human rights committees.

Finally, if you had all the funding and resources you could wish for, what would be your dream public legal education project to tackle discrimination and human rights:
To go into all schools to teach children as well as high school and university students about discrimination and human rights. Also to go to workplaces and teach people about the same thing.

Hungary

Please briefly introduce yourself by describing your role and your organisation:

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour is responsible for a varied range of activities that cover crucial everyday matters of importance. Its activities involve both adults and youth; active, working citizens; as well as pensioners. The main responsibilities lie in the improvement of the social life situation of persons, the family, and persons with a disadvantageous background. Some special tasks involve citizens of all age, working abilities or family and social status.

Within the Ministry the State the Secretary for Equal Opportunities bears the main responsibility for equality affairs (gender, Roma, disability, LGBT, Equal Treatment Authority).

Please tell us briefly about your organisation’s work delivering awareness-raising, outreach, education and community engagement (what we call public legal education (PLE) with the public to tackle discrimination and human rights issues.

In the field of equal opportunities one of the main activities is awareness-raising by making use of a number of tools and instruments. Various programmes help bring topics onto the agendas; events and conferences summarise best practices and experiences; publications disseminate the information on the topics, training for special target audiences support equality mainstreaming; calls for proposal schemes support NGOs in reaching the citizens directly; while awareness-raising campaigns use traditional and new media tools to reach a wider public and disseminate the most important issues at hand.

Can you please give us some examples of your best successes when delivering what we call PLE in the field of discrimination and human rights:

'Roma dreams' campaign - the compilation of a campaign based on billboards depicting everyday Roma citizens and their dreams (becoming a sport reporter, having a school in the settlement, becoming old in the family community etc.). The photographs were done by art photographers who are also social activists themselves and the texts were developed based on the interviews with the Roma people.
'Know your rights!' - LGBT training: the aim of the series of training and public fora was to enhance the participants’ consciousness and capacity for advocating their rights and interests. A further goal was to improve those skills and abilities of the participants which are inevitably necessary for successful social integration and effective advocacy of interests: tension-free and open communication, contact making and conflict resolution, assertiveness.
'Age without limits' - chain of professional discourse days and public exhibitions: the ultimate goal was to formulate a more sophisticated view on older people in the mainstream public opinion. The most important outcome of the events was the successful depiction of the world of people above fifty in a brand new, different way. The exhibition managed to reach beyond stereotypes, yet it was consumable for the public. The main message reached over 20,000 people while local and national media was activated as well.

What do you think were the key ingredients in achieving these successes?

• Planning together with the target group helps identify relevant objectives.
• Introducing new methods of approach like artistic tools and other forms of innovation.
• Working together with the relevant social groups in the implementation period.

What problems do you think practitioners should look out for when delivering public legal education on discrimination and human rights:
• Always formulate a clear message!
• Always involve the most relevant target group for the training!
• Start with needs assessment to know what you are up against!
• Including aesthetic qualities is always a winning aspect!

What tips would you give to organisations wanting to evaluate their work in awareness-raising, outreach, education and community engagement:
Always involve some form of quality management, which should be updated with the horizontal aspects of equality, like gender mainstreaming and making all parts of the training accessible both physically and from the point of view of communication for persons with disabilities.

Are there any resources that you couldn’t manage without that you’d like to recommend to others, for example, research findings, materials, training etc:

• The fight against discrimination and the promotion of equality – How to measure progress done (European Commission publication)
• European handbook on equality data (European Commission publication)
• Fight against discrimination – Training handbook (European Commission publication)

Finally, if you had all the funding and resources you could wish for, what would be your dream public legal education project to tackle discrimination and human rights:
Combination of education, employment, social welfare and legal rights – as local as possible.

Croatia

Please briefly introduce yourself by describing your role and your organisation:
Lana Vego, human rights activist, working for Centre for Peace Studies (CPS) - a human rights and peace building NGO in Croatia established in the 1996 (during the post–war reconstruction of the divided communities) with the mission of promoting non-violence, human rights and social change through combining education, research and activism.

Please tell us briefly about your organisation’s work delivering awareness-raising, outreach, education and community engagement (what we call public legal education (PLE)) with the public to tackle discrimination and human rights issues.

Centre For Peace Studies Croatia TrainingWe mostly work through two clusters: education and public policy development. Through education CPS carries out programs of peace building education and also specific legal training (considering anti-discrimination), and through public policy development we are interested in security policies (promoting the concept of human security), asylum seekers' rights, combating discrimination and intercultural dialog.

2010 is the second year in which we are supporting the implementation of the Anti-discrimination Act (The Anti-discrimination Act is in power since January 2009).

  • Since the foundation of the CPS we have been conducting a one year peace building educational program called 'Peace Studies' for the general public (for adults), through which we try to educate for active citizens (20-25 people are enrolled each year after writing an essay and a short interview). This course is implemented only in Zagreb.
  • A number of 5 – 7 day peace training courses have been conducted over the years (for specific groups such as young people, young leaders and adults) and all over Croatia with the mission of empowering people to become engaged in their local communities.
  • We have conducted a project which consists of education of Croatian lawyers for European Court of Human Rights
    Seats on trams only for the wealthy
    'Seats on trams only for the wealthy'
  • And since the new Anti-discrimination Act is in power we have been implementing a number of specific legal training courses for different interest groups in touch with the Act (for judges, lawyers, NGOs, media and business sector)
  • We have had a number of awareness-raising campaigns (anti- discrimination campaign, campaign against violence among young people)

Were you familiar with the term ‘public legal education’ (PLE)? Do you use another term to sum up this kind of work?
We haven’t used this term before. Even though education programs within CPS are mostly oriented towards peace building, meaning that we work on empowering, education and networking of people active in peace building and civil society, through the last couple of years we have implemented a number of specific expert trainings. As Croatia is a candidate country for the EU we have drafted and implemented legislation concerning human rights and discrimination (we had similar legislation before but now most of the above mentioned legislation is set as a benchmark for EU accession and therefore taken more 'seriously'). This is why a need for educational activities that tackle specific issues such as discrimination and prohibition within the (new) national legislation was seen as necessary.

Can you please give us some examples of your best successes when delivering what we call PLE in the field of discrimination and human rights?
We have stayed in touch with most of the people that went through our training:

  • The lawyers that have finished our ECHR training are applying to the Court in Strasbourg with our support and with success.
    Croatia Public Demonstation Of Asylum Seekers Rights
  • Peace studies is one of the rare educational programs that combines topics such as human rights, non violent communication, dealing with the past, discrimination, human security. People who finished our Peace studies programme have became more active and initiated a number of activities concerning human rights protection (numerous public awareness raising activities through public gatherings, writing press realises: concerning the rights of asylum seekers in Croatia, Boal theatre ('theatre of the oppressed') and Living library (borrowing a person).
  • NGOs that went through our anti-discrimination trainings are now empowered to combat discrimination through their organisations.

What do you think were the key ingredients in achieving these successes?

  • The training is mostly through workshops; interactive and creative and experts conducting the training are people with an expertise and years of experience.
  • Peace studies is the only one of this sort in Croatia and these courses give participants a chance to come to their own conclusions, and encourage creative thinking and criticism (the trainers are mostly peace activists with a grass root experience of peace building during the war in the Balkans).
  • Concerning specific legal trainings for lawyers we were very good in preparation and identification of foreign and local experts conducting the courses.

Are there any resources that you couldn’t manage without that you’d like to recommend to others, for example, research findings, materials, training etc:
Training that is implemented in the form of a workshop has proven to be more efficient. Also dissemination of information and follow up is always gainful. Through out our public campaigns we have always done research before and based the campaign on those findings.

Finally, if you had all the funding and resources you could wish for, what would be your dream public legal education project to tackle discrimination and human rights:
The Croatian educational system is very poor on education on human rights, for example, there are no MA human rights studies in Croatia. That is why education about human rights has to be institutionalised and that’s when we as non governmental organisations will be able to implement public legal education project with more efficiency.

Finland

Please briefly introduce yourself by describing your role and your organisation:
Sinikka Keskinen, Ministry of the Interior, Legal Affairs Unit

The Legal Affairs Unit is responsible for certain co-ordination tasks related to the design and implementation of anti-discrimination policy, for example, equality planning, the implementation of a national system on monitoring of discrimination and co-ordination of national anti-discrimination campaign (Progress).

I’m the head of our Anti-discrimination Team and the Finnish representative in the Commission’s Governmental Expert Group, National Point of Contact for hate crime reporting etc.

Please tell us briefly about your organisation’s work delivering awareness-raising, outreach, education and community engagement (what we call public legal education (PLE)) with the public to tackle discrimination and human rights issues.
We plan and carry out various types of activities to promote diversity and prevent/combat discrimination: training, awareness-raising, policy design and recommendations, information sharing etc. Our activities cover mainstreaming of equality, measuring of discrimination and data collection, running of different national and transnational projects funded from both national and European instruments (Progress programme, Citizenship and Fundamental Rights programme, SOLID funds etc)

We work in close partnership with NGOs and umbrella NGOs representing different groups.

What do you think are the key ingredients in achieving success?
Practicality, learning by doing (securing funding to practice how to build, run and report on projects), taking a horizontal approach (several grounds of discrimination were involved) and forming broad-base partnerships.

What pitfalls do you think practitioners should look out for when delivering public legal education on discrimination and human rights:
Make sure to identify the audience and find the rights tools, methods and partners to work with.

What tips would you give to organisations wanting to evaluate their work in awareness-raising, outreach, education and community engagement:
To use various methods and sources of information for the evaluation; also feedback should be gathered on group-base, not just at a general level.

For more information on equality awareness raising work in Finland see the link on the right hand side:

Bulgaria

Please briefly introduce yourself by describing your role and your organisation:
Lilia Abadjieva, State Expert, Equal Opportunities and Anti-discrimination Department,
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Can you please give us some examples of your best successes when delivering what we call PLE in the field of discrimination and human rights:
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy carried out a number of successful trainings (youth workshops, trainings for the main stakeholders, workshops for civil servants, etc) in the field of discrimination and human rights under several topical projects.

What do you think were the key ingredients in achieving these successes?
The key ingredients are: strong political will, expertise, capacity building, and opportunities for sharing experiences and good practices at EU level.

What tips would you give to organisations wanting to evaluate their work in awareness-raising, outreach, education and community engagement:
To carry out an appraisal of similar events and activities of all the interested parties, using the peer review method.

Finally, if you had all the funding and resources you could wish for, what would be your dream public legal education project to tackle discrimination and human rights:
A project with a large territorial coverage focused on the interests and priorities of all the target groups.

March 2010

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