From January 2022 Baltic Human Rights Society (BHRS) cooperates with the Active Citizens Fund (AIF). During 2022–23 AIF supports BHRS’ core activities in the area of citizenship and human rights education with an aim to strengthen the democratic culture and active citizenship in Latvia. For this purpose AIF has granted the financing of 100 000 eur for the period of two years. AIF is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, donor countries financing the EEA/Norway Financial Mechanism.
Citizenship and human rights education are among the most effective tools in building democratic culture. The reluctance of society to engage in civic processes and the disbelief in the importance of the citizen’s own participation in strengthening democracy is often closely linked with lack of knowledge on democratic values, civic processes as well as practical ways to take action. Lack of knowledge further results in the lack of skills and attitudes. Educating society at large on civic rights and obligations, and strengthening the perception of the individual as a valuable member of society lays the ground for motivating civic participation, which further contributes to a plural, tolerant and solidary society.
With AIF’s long-term support BHRS will:
- Ensure free access to innovative citizenship and human rights education tools online for the entire society.
- Involve youth in the citizenship education activities.
- Carry out informative campaigns to enhance the understanding of democratic values and human rights of the wider society and decision makers as well as the importance to ensure access to citizenship education for all.
- Engage in the decision-making processes in the areas that affect citizenship education, by organizing public discussions, delivering classes to state sector employees and other NGOs, and participating in inter-sectoral working groups organized by the public sector.
Educating society and engaging members in citizenship education activities, as well as gaining structural support for this area at the state level will raise the number of citizens who know how to protect their rights and where to seek help in case of discrimination, and who believe in their personal ability to affect decision-making processes.