4. Conclusions - Ngā whakamutunga
There is widespread recognition among civil society and the public and private sectors of the essential role of human rights education in achieving respect for human rights. It is acknowledged that human rights education extends beyond the provision of information to the development of values, beliefs, attitudes and actions that create a human rights culture.
Where New Zealand does well — Ngā mahi pai e oti nei i Aotearoa
- Working together to deliver human rights education is seen as valuable, with partnerships between agencies and sectors and collaborative efforts featuring strongly.
- Many organisations and groups offer human rights information, education, and resources. Initiatives can be found throughout the state and private sectors, and in communities and schools throughout New Zealand. Some of these positive initiatives are:
- schools that encourage positive learning environments by running programmes to increase respect for human rights (such as anti-harassment and bullying)
- resources to support the teaching of human rights in schools and education on human rights in the workplace
- human rights training programmes and resources developed by and for the public sector
- New Zealand Defence Force training of military and civilian personnel
- aspects of police training that incorporate human rights.
Where we need to do better — Kia piki ake te pai i roto i enei wahanga
- New Zealand does not have a fully recognised and agreed framework of human rights or for delivering human rights education, and there is no nationally co-ordinated or strategic approach. Rather, education is often initiated on an ad-hoc basis in response to perceived problems, and tends to have a narrow focus.
- Among the general population there is limited knowledge and understanding of human rights, their relevance to everyday life, and the relationship between the Treaty of Waitangi and human rights. There is also no agreed standard of what constitutes an adequate understanding of human rights.
- There is limited evaluation of the impact of human rights education, especially the measurement of its long-term effects.
- The Human Rights Commission is in transition from an organisation focused on anti-discrimination to one that promotes the wider human rights framework and harmonious race relations. As such, its current approach to human rights education is still being developed.
- The extent and nature of human rights education in the formal education sector is not known.
- There are several sectors that have a direct impact on human rights, in which there is a need to initiate or extend existing human rights education programmes. These include:
- the judiciary
- local authorities
- the media
- the business sector.