Commission proposes human rights courses in public schools

The National Human Rights Commission will submit a proposal to the cabinet of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that public schools across the Kingdom teach classes in human rights, democracy, and tolerance for other viewpoints, starting next year.

Human Rights Commissioner Prakairatana Thontiravong said the Commission has written and published a handbook for teaching youngsters about human rights and created lesson plans on the subject. The content is appropriate for youngsters from pre-school to secondary school levels.

Prakairatana said the book and the lesson plans were jointly developed by a team of education and human rights experts from various agencies and institutes. The book and plans will be released to the public next month so that anyone can access them.

The contents aim to guide young students on fundamental human rights, and how to practice democracy within the context of their families. It also encourages them to be open-minded and offers guidance on how to be tolerant of different viewpoints.

The Commission is also planning to unveil study courses on human rights for professionals in a range of fields and disciplines, such as law enforcement officers and company executives.

In October, Thailand’s cabinet approved a Nation Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, becoming the first nation in the Asia-Pacific region to adopt such a plan, and earning it widespread praise from the European Union and Western countries.

Books and courses alone, however, would not succeed in advancing human rights, the commissioner said. She stressed that an integrated approach to human rights education would need active participation from both the state and private sector to be successful.

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