HUMAN RIGHTS IN A EUROPEAN COMMUNITY OF VALUES

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Impact Report on the HUMREV Project

17. 11. 12
posted by: German Team
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This time we used a different approach to find out what impact the project has left on people getting in contact with it. A survey with Google was created and sent to all partners to pass it on or publish it in the appropriate way. After roughly a month 51 people have responded and on this data the report is based.

62 per cent of the people answering are active members of the project. This also means that this time we also got feedback from people who are not within the inner circle. 11.8 % are parents or family members. The majority or people involved or connected with the programme are females (66.7 per cent). The quota for male participants during the last mobility in Germany was only a bit over 10% (4:35). So with the questionnaire we can prove that more male are interested in the topic then seen or ready to apply for a week abroad.

 

The teachers play a vital part in this project because 64.7 per cent stated that this personal contact, the invitation of the teachers, made them join. Fellow students (13.7 per cent) and displays (9.8 per cent) had not as much influence. This clearly shows that hanging up a poster and putting information online is not as affective as the personal contact and the shown commitment to the course by the teachers, but it helps.

One main aim of this project is to draw attention to the human rights and get more people involved in the fight for those rights. We can state now that this has been the course. No one stated that they lost interest. An incredible 76.5 per cent of the people doing the questionnaire stated that their interest in human rights has increased. Nearly as high, 70.6 per cent to be precise, stated a change of attitude among their friends not going to the same schools. So we motivated many people not involved in the project to become active, at least interested. Among colleagues and schoolmates the rise of interest was also over 50%.

According to the data, this project has encouraged people to look for extra information themselves and to start talking about human rights with other people. Even family and friends of the participants have undergone this change. The sharing of this new information within the classroom could be encouraged. There should be more room within the subjects for students to present the material they have found themselves.

Within the school life the greatest change has been noticed within the Humanities. Subjects like History and Political Studies went along with the course easily. In science-oriented subjects only 6 people stated that they have noticed a change. But this can be also seen as success because it wasn’t expected by many that subjects like Languages, Science, PE, Art and Music could and would contribute. This shows that schools should take more effect in combining humanities with other subjects. The human right to nature and water could be a project worked upon more within these subjects. We included it as a small topic and in one H-day, but it’s worth to be expended.

Displays, exhibitions and musical performances are still a convenient way to get more people informed, but the work and discussion in classes seems to be more thoroughly and impressive in the long run, e.g. reading the book “un-arranged marriage” as given by a student in the questionnaire.

Out of the four mobilities staged so far the one stressing the rights of people with special needs has changed the attitude the most - but the margins were small. From the comments on this question one gets the conclusion that we have trickered something off. More and more people are reading articles and consider human rights important. The knowledge has also increased a lot, extremely on topics like the right of people with special needs. This topic seems to be still in the closet, even though inclusion has been an issue within the EU. One participant stated that these mobilities made them understand the world around them and how things work.

A change of attitude was noticed at school or not at all. At schools Human Rights have claimed more time. Students asked for more material and time for discussions. And within the discussion and beyond they have shown more tolerance and openness in general and in discussions. We take it that we are on the right track to get people involved and open-minded. The best comment we got from a Polish student was that she stated that her attitude towards migrants had totally changed. She would try to get behind the scenes, listen to their stories and no longer just believe the news only focussing on criminal migrants. And she would tell family and friends about it.

58.8 per cent of the people taking part in the questionnaire stated they would like to get more information on how to get involved in the fight for human rights. We will include this in the next features.

So in general all schools are still very content and pleased with the impact this project has had on the schools’ communities and the participants in general. We have shown that we can influence the wider public with our project. The majority feels a change in attitudes, only 23.4 per cent stated their interest stayed the same. So we can once more say that the awareness of one’s obligation to know and protect human’s rights has significantly risen.

T. Hoffmann for the German team

Human Rights in a European Community of Values