ITALY: Expanding Human Rights Education

2 April 2014


Italy is home to one of the oldest cities in the world, Rome. She’s famous for her historic landmarks such as the Coliseum and Leaning Tower of Pisa; leisurely gondola rides in Venice or taking the fast lane in one of the luxury cars such as the Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati. However, Italy also dazzles with fine opera, high fashion brands and generous Parmesan cheese meals complete with world-class wines. Following in the footsteps of the Renaissance generally agreed to have started in Florence in the 13th century, the YHR-Italy team has started a human rights renaissance of their own.

The purpose of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace.

The YHRI World Educational Tours 2006, 2007 and 2010 included Madrid, Milano, Padova, Rome, Sardinia, Sicily and Venice.

The “UNITED for Africa” campaign was launched in 2007 based on the award winning music video, UNITED. Their annual high profile charity concert includes Italian celebrities, famous football players, TV personalities and other VIP's resulting in YHR-Italy community outreach including building schools in Africa. In 2013 they opened their third school that was built in Ghana, Africa, where hundreds of kids now have the opportunity to go to school. Local dignitaries including the Director of Education as well as chiefs from nearby villages and the local traditional King participated in the grand opening ceremony.

YHR-Italy participated in the national “Adopt a Right” art contest, organized by the Italian Foundation "Marina di Sinigaglia" in cooperation with the Department of Education. The purpose of this contest is to promote human rights and raise general awareness on human rights issues.

Mayor Luciano Gavin of Grantorto proclaimed Youth for Human Rights Day for his constituents during a memorial service on November 10th, 2013, emphasizing the importance of Human Rights Education as a cornerstone for Peace.

In Puglia region in the south of Italy, our team launched an art initiative promoting human rights. Using drawings from these students, they created 9 different calendars.

Italian national and local press witnessed the unifying effect of sports at the “Human Rights Match” in June 2013, when the Human Rights Football team played against the football team of the National TV Artists. Hundreds of people attended and participated in the match.

The Latina group collaborated with our Italy team and hosted a football match between actors and journalists. In Naples they aired the YHRI videos at a conference to about 2,000 teachers. In Rome they did workshops for more than 2,700 students and almost 200 teachers. They received an acknowledgement for their contributions to the schools in the City Hall of Rome.

Congratulations to our YHR teams in Italy!

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Youth for Human Rights International is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 to teach youth about human rights and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace. Since its inception, it has grown into a global movement, including hundreds of groups, clubs and chapters around the world.