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Meeting to seek ways of promoting tolerance and respect via the classroom


Experts and the representatives of ministries of education and pedagogical institutions from several European countries and North America will explore ways of promoting tolerance and mutual respect through education, at a meeting to be held at UNESCO Headquarters on 5 November. The event is organized by UNESCO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe.

Discussions will be based on a publication prepared by the three organizations entitled “Guidelines for educators on countering intolerance against Muslims : Addressing Islamophobia through education” and look at how its recommendations can be implemented.

Using concrete examples and good practice from several countries, the Guidelines help educators identify intolerance and discrimination against Muslims in schools, and provide suggestions on how to prevent and respond to these situations. They include practical information on rights-based, participatory approaches and the importance of opening spaces for discussions, media literacy and teaching about religions and cultures.

The Guidelines are intended for a wide audience including education policymakers and officials, teacher trainers, teachers, principals and head teachers, staff in teacher unions and professional associations, and members of NGOs, and are relevant for both primary and secondary education. They can also be used in non-formal education settings.

The 5 November meeting - “Globalization, diversity and social cohesion in educational settings” – is the second in a series of three such events. The first took place in Vienna last September and specifically focused on “Countering intolerance against Muslims though education for societies in transition”. The third and final meeting, scheduled at the beginning of 2013, will look at “Promotion of mutual understanding and tolerance in multicultural education settings.”

Useful links

Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims: Addressing Islamophobia through Education

UNESCO Human Rights Education webpage

Council of Europe

OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights: Combating Discrimination against Muslims


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