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IV Inter-American Report on Human Rights Education. Developments in national planning

Publicada en el 2006

Education is democracy's most prized asset. When a country develops national plans for education specialized in human rights, the quality of democracy improves markedly. Notwithstanding this fact, as of today, no country in the Americas can claim to have improved human rights education. Region-wide studies, precise assessments and testimonies all show consistently that the 19 countries of the region have invested almost no funds in developing national plans, and that the political will and determination to do so are nearly non-existent. Accordingly, and in line with region-wide declarations from the process of Ibero-American Summits -- unlike the process of Hemispheric Summits -- it is now common to hear the expression "debt-for-education swap," a term coined in San Jose (2004), and reiterated in Salamanca (2005).

The Ibero-American Summit process has shown that while all the countries are willing to sign a declaration on behalf of education, very few are willing to place their bets on the premise that human rights education is the ideal means to prevent family breakdown and counteract juvenile crime. Education per se is not the only answer to social decline. In fact, human rights education continues to lose ground and visibility as fewer and fewer budgetary resources are available for developing lessons on certain specific topics or even adapting texts that might be useful for the school program.