Repackaging the Human Rights Friendly Schools Initiative – Amnesty International

Repackaging the Human Rights Friendly Schools Initiative – Amnesty International


The Amnesty International Human Rights Friendly Schools (HRFS) initiative has been running in 30 countries since 2009. In alignment with Amnesty’s purpose of building a global culture of human rights, this model presents human rights at the heart of the learning experience, integrating them into four areas of school life: governance, relationships, environment and curriculum.

Amnesty International selected Community Works to improve, deepen, extend and repackage HRFS. The starting point was a three-day meeting between Amnesty Human Rights Education Programme staff from four countries as well as three teachers from Kenya. Maria Rodrigues from Community Works and Annette Schneider of the International Secretariat facilitated this meeting in Nairobi in December 2016.

To repackage this initiative, Maria drew from the outcomes of the Nairobi meeting, along with recommendations made during the 2016 evaluation of HRFS. Also, from remote consultation with Amnesty staff as well as with other individuals working with HRFS and related school activities in six additional countries. This process resulted in four main products and Ingrid Horton was in charge of their graphic design:

  • Operations Manual: Provides guidelines for Amnesty International entities to implement the HRFS model in a strategic way.
  • Toolkit: Contains the information and materials to support schools in becoming human rights friendly.
  • Pamphlets: Designed to spark conversations about HRFS with teachers, students, administrators, families and communities.
  • Poster: Created to raise awareness in schools about the HRFS approach.

These materials have been developed as guiding resources with enough flexibility to allow schools decide how to incorporate the initiative. Besides making HRFS more accessible to schools around the world, the consolidation of these materials has been a valuable process for Amnesty International’s team. It has fostered discussion about HRFS from a global perspective, bringing together different experiences, plans and ideas into one package to be used worldwide.

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