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International Human Rights Education Conference

Human Rights Commission
Media Advisory
8 July 2004

International human rights education conference - Auckland, 11-13 July

Participants from over 30 countries will take part in a conference aimed at strengthening human rights education in New Zealand and the Pacific through the sharing of information, strategies, delivery styles and resources.

Living and Learning Together: the role of human rights education in strengthening communities in New Zealand and the Pacific will take place in Auckland from 11-13 July and is a joint initiative of the Human Rights Commission and the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Professor Katarina Tomasevski will be visiting New Zealand for the first time to attend the conference and will be giving the opening keynote address.

The conference marks the end, this year, of two International Decades - the UN Decade for Human Rights Education and the UN International Decade for the Rights of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

The conference comprises two parallel streams. These are formal education ranging from early childhood through to tertiary and life-long learning, which will focus on learning outside formal education including community development, the workplace, the media and day-to-day life.

Themes for the conference include: Indigenous Peoples; Community Development Frameworks; Community Development in Practice; Evaluating Human Rights Education and the New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights Education.

The conference is being held with the support of the New Zealand Ministry of Education, the NZ Agency for International Development (NZAID) and the New Zealand Baha'i community.

The conference will be taking place at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, 58 Waipuna Road, Mt Wellington, Auckland.

The details of the events are as follows:

Formal welcome by Ngati Whatua
Hon Phil Goff, Minister of Justice will be opening the conference
Dr Rangimarie Rose Pere will be speaking at the Powhiri
2pm, Sunday 11 July (Media should arrive by 1.15pm for briefing)
Orakei Marae, Kitemoana Street, Orakei, Auckland

Opening Keynote Address
Professor Katarina Tomasevski, United Nation's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education
9am, Monday 12 July
Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre

Keynote Address
Hon Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Samoa
1pm, Monday 12 July
Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre

Keynote Address
Dr Airini and Pale Sauni, Auckland College of Education
9am, Tuesday 13 July
Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre

Keynote Address
Jim Ife, Haruhisa Handa Professor of Human Rights Education, Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia
12.30pm, Tuesday 13 July
Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre

Biographies of speakers:

Professor Katarina Toma evski, UN Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education and founder of the Right to Education Project (www.right-to-education.org). She is Professor of International Law and International Relations at Lund University (Sweden) and External Lecturer at the Centre for Africa Studies (Copenhagen University, Denmark).

Professor Toma evski has graduate degrees in international law from Harvard Law School (LLM) and international law and international relations from the University of Zagreb (PhD). She has completed research on peace movements in Eastern Europe; disarmament and development; the conceptualization of the right to peace as a human right; and legal responses to terrorism.

Layli Miller-Muro, is the Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting women from human rights abuses through the provision of legal aid and social services (www.tahirih.org).

Previously, she practised international litigation and maintained a substantial pro bono practice. She has been an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice at the Board of Immigration Appeals.

She has a Masters degree in law and international affairs from the American University. She is recipient of the Feminist Majority Foundation Award, Africa's Children's Fund Award, 2000 Mentor Award, Voices of Courage Media Award, Agnes Scott College Young Alumni Award, Human Relations Award, and the Woodrow Wilson Princeton Community Service Award.

Professor Jim Ife is Haruhisa Handa Professor of Human Rights Education for the Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin University of Technology. He has a Master's degree from McGill University, Montreal, specialised in community planning, and a PhD from the University of Tasmania, awarded in 1984, on the subject of the determination of social need.

He was President of the Western Australian Branch of Amnesty International from 1991 to 1994, and President of Amnesty International Australia from 1994 to 1996. He served on the Human Rights Commission of the International Federation of Social Workers from 1996 to 2002, including 4 years as Secretary of the Commission. He was an accredited international observer at the independence ballot in East Timor in 1999.

He has been on the Board of the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors and is currently Patron of the advocacy group Human Rights WA, Chair of the Board of Gowrie Community Services, and a Board member of CASE for Refugees.

Dr Airini is General Manager of Pasifika Development at the Auckland College of Education. She has worked as a head of faculty and lecturer and as a researcher and curriculum developer in indigenous and European education.

During the past twenty years she has been: a school teacher; gained multiple degrees (including a doctorate, two masters and one teaching diploma); an educational systems analyst; a member of New Zealand's national curriculum taskforce; an advisor to the government on foundation learning, education research, and adult literacy and numeracy; a consultant on mental health promotion; a director of eight national projects in the fields of literacy, bilingual education and adult education; the founder of the first Pasifika bilingual education graduate studies programme in the Pacific region and a successful business development manager.

Biographical information on Hon Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Samoa and Pale Sauni, Manager of Pasifika Student Support and Community Liaison at the Auckland College of Education will be available at the conference.


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