Members of the School Parliament organize a puppet show to promote inclusion and tolerance, Jordan. (Photo: @2014 UNRWA, Alaa Ghosheh.)

Making global citizenship education possible for refugees

All around the world we are witnessing an increased focus on global citizenship education (GCE). Global citizenship refers to a sense of belonging to a common humanity. And the values of that common humanity are underpinned by human rights. Accordingly the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East delivers this work through its Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance Education Programme.

American Foreign Service Association: National High School Essay Contest

This is the 19th year of this contest that encourages high school students to think about important international issues and learn about The United States Foreign Service. This year the spotlight is on a clear and present challenge: the growing number of refugees and internally displaced persons around the world. Contest deadline: March 15, 2017.

Refugee children from Syria at a clinic in Ramtha, northern Jordan. (Photo: Wikimedia commons / Russell Watkins/Department for International Development)

World leaders must do more to educate refugee children, say top academics and influencers

20 leading academics and influencers from across the world, have joined forces in an open letter to world leaders – asking that they do more to ensure refugees obtain an education.

TWO GIRLS, BOTH AGED 12, TACKLE A MATHS QUESTION AT A TEMPORARY SCHOOL IN NORTHERN LEBANON, SET UP BY UNICEF AND LEBANESE NGO BEYOND ASSOCIATION WITH THE HELP OF UK AID. (PHOTO: FLICKR, RUSSELL WATKINS/DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT)

Working Toward Peace in Syria with Education

Education could be the most powerful change agent for a lasting peace in war-torn Syria. Of the 4.9 million Syrian refugees and 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), over half of them are children, and one of the most important things stripped from them in this conflict is their access to schooling. It is imperative to reverse this trend, as education is crucial not only for the wellbeing of individuals, but as a tool for peace as well. While the prospect of solving many aspects of the conflict in Syria may seem impossible in the near future, improving access to education is a tangible, positive change that is within grasp.

No more excuses. Provide education to all forcibly displaced people

This paper, jointly released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Global Education Monitoring Report in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit, shows that the education rights of forcibly displaced populations are being neglected on a large scale. It calls for countries and their humanitarian and development partners to urgently ensure that internally displaced, asylum seeking and refugee children and youth are included in national education plans, and collect better data to monitor their situation.

Zacaria, Abir, who was pregnant at that time, and their one-year old son Yehia managed to escape Syria via unofficial routes. They arrived in Portugal in December 2015. Ferreira do Zezere, Portugal, February 2016 (Photo: © Ricardo Rodrigues da Silva)

Amnesty International: How personal stories can enhance the way we teach human rights

(Amnesty International) How to present the challenges faced by refugees to a young audience so they can relate to someone else’s experience? If you’re a teacher and if you’ve ever considered starting a discussion on refugee rights with your class, you may have wondered this. Amnesty International found out how a Human Rights Friendly School in Portugal uses personal testimonies to draw a more complete image of what it’s like to be a refugee.

UNHCR and World Taekwondo Federation partner on training in camps; programs include peace education

UNHCR signed an agreement the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) to support programs in refugee camps integrating sports and peace education. The WTF, together with the soon-to-be-created Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, will provide coaches and equipment for pilot programmes already launched in two camps for Syrian refugees in Turkey and Jordan. New projects will also bring taekwondo to refugees in Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Greece. “UNHCR is constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of refugees, and the agreement is one avenue to do that,” said Daniel Endres, Director of External Relations. “I thank the WTF for proactively volunteering their services to assist refugees with sports and peace education. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

(Image by E-International Relations Photo Unit)

Refugees as Contributors to Peace

Refugees have only too frequently been viewed as passive recipients of outcomes that are negotiated in distant arenas of power. They have throughout history only rarely been consulted or represented in peace processes, and peace-building initiatives have often marginalized them. Disregarding refugees’ interests may be outright destructive to peace processes – where opportunities for political participation are not guaranteed, refugees in exile risk becoming detrimentally politicized or militarized. Peace education programs for refugees in exile could enhance prospects of reconciliation and conflict resolution upon return. For example, returnees will be better equipped to reconcile with former community members and mediate conflicts during fragile post-conflict and reintegration processes. Indeed, on several occasions, UNHCR’s Executive Committee has emphasized education for peace and the promotion of a culture of peace.

Members of the School Parliament organize a puppet show to promote inclusion and tolerance, Jordan. (Photo: @2014 UNRWA, Alaa Ghosheh.)

Making global citizenship education possible for refugees

Ozlem Eskiocak Oguzertem, the Human Rights Education Programme Coordinator of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) shares the story of UNRWA’s efforts at introducing and integrating Global Citizenship Education (GCE) through its Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance Education Programme. “Global citizenship for all is a long-term endeavour. At UNRWA, we recognize our part in the evolutionary process of GCE and take action to engage refugees in this process.”