The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has recently launched its own digital online education programme to help New Zealanders develop their understanding of what human rights are, the impact they have, and why they matter.
The online Human Rights Education Programme, which is available to anyone to use, came about following an extensive review of the face-to-face training, which has been delivered to communities, businesses and government organisations in the past.
Special Projects Manager Dr Jill Chrisp says that the focus of the programme is to educate and inform as many New Zealanders about human rights as possible.
“The programme has been developed to provide world-leading human rights education, framing human rights in a uniquely Kiwi context – discussing the issues and stories that have framed the development of human rights in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Dr Chrisp says.
“Alongside the other work the Commission undertakes, providing this sort of programme online will ensure we can have more reach and impact. It is easy to use and provides the most comprehensive human rights learning environment in the country.
“The courses are designed to be engaging and participatory with different levels available to cater to a variety of learners – from the casual browser, to someone seeking a certification. The Programme has a virtual academy where students or organisations can sit courses together digitally and is mobile responsive so it can be access anywhere on any device,” Dr Chrisp says.
Different courses are tailored to different audiences. It begins with an introductory course that has a general audience – school and university students and teachers, public and private sectors, non-government organisations, parties before and after mediation of human rights concerns, individuals or groups. Other courses will be targeted to specific audiences such as the business and human rights course for the business sector.
“Through participating in the course, Law students in particular will be able to learn how to identify rights, differentiate between lawful and unlawful discrimination, learn about the milestones that have shaped the development of human rights in Aotearoa New Zealand, and see the real impact of human rights on the day to day lives of Kiwis
“They’ll also examine the rights and responsibilities that occur as we relate to each other, provided with an introduction to the human rights dimensions of the Treaty of Waitangi and learn about the Bill of Rights – in particular its intent, compliance function, and impact on legal proceedings.”
“Students will also be introduced to the international human rights system – what it is, how to engage with it, and how it impacts domestic law and policy,” Dr Chrisp says.
By combining three strands – human rights, education principles and practices, and digital experiences – the Commission’s Online Human Rights Education Programme:
- positions the Commission as a centre of easy to access human rights resources and education
- provides users with the ability to learn at times that suit them
- provides tailored and interactive learning modules that educate people about human rights, and the cultural and societal issues related to them makes learning about human rights more accessible
“Possibly one of the most exciting aspects of this programme is that it’s collaborative – people will be able to suggest improvements, new topics and issues, and share their experiences through the courses. We’re looking forward to seeing what people think!” Dr Chrisp says.
The online Human Rights Education Programme can be accessed here: https://humanrights.moodle.school/login/index.php