Tolerance Seminar 2000 Overview and Programme

Tolerance, Respect, and Human rights

Second international seminar of the Transborder Initiative for Tolerance and Human Rights

19- 24 January 2000, Czech Republic

1. MISSION AND RATIONALE:

The second international seminar "Tolerance, Respect, and Human Rights" was organised by a recently formalised international group of teachers and students (registered under the name GLOBEA) in co-operation with HOST and several other Czech NGOs.
Building on the principles of justice, non-violence, and the observance of human rights, the co-operating organisations and individuals encourage tolerance and understanding among all people, regardless of their gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or socio-economic background. The seminar sought to provide a practical means for at least partly achieving that goal.
A primary purpose of this seminar was to provide a forum for teachers, educators and civic leaders to exchange information and experience, to expand their knowledge and broaden perspectives through exploring new concepts, approaches, and ideas that have worked elsewhere, which can be possibly adapted in tackling their own problem situations.
Another purpose of the seminar, and equally important, was - through personal contacts and informal discussions - to develop an active, continuing international network. Our aim is that the acquaintances made here and the conversations that ensued will lead to further interactions through letters, e-mail, or personal visits. Such a communications network allows for the extension of support and further information exchanges beyond the life of this seminar.
Thus, the mission of this seminar was twofold. First, the promulgation of case studies, research, strategies, studies, and any other information that enhance our ability to influence the educational and political systems in promoting tolerance and understanding. Second, to nurture a communications network among the participants that will encourage, sustain, and augment all our efforts in the months and years to come.

2. PROGRAMME

Total of 138 participants and observers from 21 countries took part in the seminar, out of which 80 were from the Czech Republic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2000

Reception given by the South African Embassy In Prague; Performance of Romani children from Predlice Primary School

Thursday, January 20, 2000

Key note addresses, Chaired by Prof. Vincent Parrillo

  • Prof. Vincent Parrillo, Fullbright lecturer at the Palacky University Olomouc: Negotiated Order: Proactive Steps That Prevent Ethnoviolence and Promote Intergroup Understanding
    Discussant: Prof. Joseph Wronka, Springfield College, USA
  • Ms. Zdenka Machnyikova, Office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities, OSCE: The Concept of protection of National Minorities in International Law
    Discussant: Prof. Joseph Wronka, Springfield College, USA
  • Ms. Josephine Verspaget, Chair of the Specialist Group on Roma/Gypsies at the Council of Europe: The activities of the Specialist Group on Roma/Gypsies concerning Roma and education and overview of the recommendations of the Council of Europe on this subject
    Discussants: Karel Holomek, Association of Roma in Moravia, and Ms Jana Hejkrlikova, Interministerial Commission for Romani issues at the Czech Government Office
  • Professor Nqabomzi Gawe, Ms Carol de Kock and Ms Liz Thompson, Technicon Natal and University of Zululand: Submerged Histories in South Africa: Racial Stereotypes and Fears
    Discussant: Ms Kim Feinberg, Foundation for Tolerance Education, South Africa
  • Ms. Lori Handrahan, Tolerance International, Kyrgyzstan: Gender and Ethnic Conflict: Lessons on Identity and Tolerance as Learned in schools

Friday, January 21, 2000

Education Policies for Roma Children in Europe. Panel organised by the European Centre for Minority issues (ECMI)

The aim of the ECMI panel was to evaluate the various models of education policy with an emphasis on those developed by Roma themselves, in order to contribute to the development of adequate education programmes for Roma children. The panel dealt with questions of integrated vs. segregated education, linguistic issues and also drew on practical experiences from several countries and attempted to identify the conditions which might contribute to the success of a given model. The panel was held under the auspices of the Czech Senate Vice-Chair, Mr Ivan Havlicek.

Chair: Ms. Farimah Daftary, ECMI Research Associate
Discussant: Ms. Josephine Verspaget, Chair of the Specialist Group on Roma/Gypsies at the Council of Europe

  • Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Institute for Language and Culture, Roskilde University, Denmark: Theoretical introduction and evaluation of the comparative performance of different models of minority education for Roma.
  • Ms. Miranda Vuolasranta, Advisory Board on Romani Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs, Helsinki, Finland: Review of the Romani language and its use in Finland
  • Ms. Helena Balabánová, Premysl Pitter School Ostrava: Education of Roma children in Czech Republic: Promoting good practice
  • Ms. Jana Hejkrlíková, Interministerial Commission for Romani Affairs, Czech Government: Need for Educating all children in Czechs schools
  • Ms. Dimitrina Petrovna, Executive Director, European Roma Rights Centre, Budapest: Current efforts of the ERRC in the Czech Republic to assist Roma children to fight policies of segregated education.

Saturday, January 22, 2000

Workshops

  • August Zemo, Facing History and Ourselves, Switzerland: "Education as a tool in the prevention of genocide"
  • John Andrews, Bill Waters, Northern Michigan University: "Role of Humor in Police work"
  • Karel Vanspringel, Pax Christi Flanders, Belgium: "How to use drama and role-playing in peace education"
  • Joseph Wronka, Springfield College: "Toward the Creation of Human Rights Action Alerts"
  • Kim Feinberg, Foundation for Tolerance Education, South Africa: "Universal lessons through history"
  • Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs, Jagellonian University Krakow, Poland: "Alternative Methods of Education in Overcoming Ethnic Prejudices"
  • Alison Closs, University of Edinburgh: "Inclusive and Co-operative Education "
  • Ina Navazelskis, Radio Free Europe, Prague: "Where stereotypes and the Media Intersect: How Tolerance is promoted or inhibited by journalists"

For more detailed information on workshops click here.

Closing remarks by Vincent Parrillo, and a short video "Getting Along"

Sunday, January 23, 2000

Trip to Terezin memorial

Monday, 24 January, 2000

Trip to Pribram schools and other educational settings
Roundtable on Education of Romani children in Pribram District


3. RESULTS AND FOLLOW UP

  • The participants have drafted the Globea resolution the aim of which is to contribute to implementing concrete policies and practices relevant to education of Romani children in the Czech Republic, as well as more generally to contribute to positive changes in education world-wide. In May 2000 the final was sent to such recipients as the UN, OSCE, the Council of Europe, the Czech Prime Minister, Czech Ministry of Education, and to other organisation that may contribute to positive social changes.
  • Many links and partnerships were created that resulted in further co-operation, e.g. between Czech teachers and their Polish colleagues, between Czech Roma and British Roma, etc...
  • The participants urged the organisers to continue in organising similar events.

 

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