Increasing Democratic Competency and Human Rights Awareness among Young People

Project facts

Project promoter:
Partners Bulgaria Foundation(BG)
Project Number:
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
Donor Project Partners:
Human Rights Academy

More information


The analysis of the existing educational practices regarding human rights shows how fragmented and isolated they are and they are taught at school without the necessary engagement. The project aims at contributing to education in democracy and human rights among young people.  The activities include surveying the opinion of young people about human rights, development of an online platform with educational materials and other resources, holding human rights training sessions to boost the capacity of teachers, municipal officials, youth facilitators and student councils from 4 pilot municipalities in the country. With the support of the Norwegian Human Rights Network of National Museums, local museums will be taught human rights education tools. Youth initiatives will be implemented on community issues such as domestic violence, teenage marriages, discrimination, quality of the environment. The main project outcomes will be: a) Report about the opinion of young people about human rights issues; b) an inter-sectoral approach applied in human rights education in 4 communities in the country; c) a developed online platform with resources for human rights education; d) a Guide on human rights education for museums and other key institutions in the community; e) 4 initiatives in support of human rights organized by student councils; f) 3 three-day training sessions for school and university students for a total of 75 participants; g) 2 three-day training sessions for teachers, youth facilitators, museum and municipal employees for 50 participants in total. The target groups are teachers, educators and youth facilitators as well as public institutions such as municipalities and local and regional museums. Direct users of the project are school students and members of student councils in Varshets, Montana, Blagoevgrad and Gotse Delchev.

Summary of project results

The analysis of existing educational practices on human rights shows their fragmentation and isolation, as well as their insufficiently engaging teaching in schools. In 2010, the Council of Europe''s Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights was adopted by the Committee of Ministers, calling for their inclusion in curricula. A youth education program on human rights was established but few participated in these activities. In reality, a large proportion of youth have limited access to human rights education. Students from small towns rarely participate in programs organized by the NGOs, and the school does not sufficiently impart this knowledge. 
To respond to these challenges Partners Bulgaria Foundation and the Human Rights Academy, Norway, developed new approaches in human rights education aiming at improving young people''s understanding about human rights and democratic citizenship. Activities targeted around 1000 young people aged 14-19 from the towns of Gotse Delchev, Blagievgrad, Montana and Vurshets. Around 20% from young people have been from Roma origin. Activities included study of young people’s awareness about human rights. Training of students, teachers and key stakeholders from institutions such as local municipalities, museums and youth centers was conducted. Online platform in Bulgarian and English was developed providing online resources on human rights and democracy education. Local museums were engaged to contribute to human rights education by creating learning programs and providing space for youth democratic participation. Young people were empowered to design local initiatives to address important issues in their community. The project disseminated results and good practices through conference, workshops, local exhibitions and online campaigns. As a result, a report about young people’s opinion about human rights in Bulgaria was published and their voice disseminated. Young people’s awareness about human rights and democracy was improved and their local initiatives, e.g. combating discrimination and trafficking of human beings, have been widely supported by the local communities. The web platform with educational resources equipped teachers, museum workers and youth facilitators with interactive methodology and participatory learning methods relevant to the life experience of young people.

Summary of bilateral results

Human Rights Academy, Norway, have contributed in development of human rights education program which have been used in the training seminars and published in the web platform ( The content introduces young people to the full spectrum of human rights, helps them identify problems and seek solutions. Significant know how was transferred in relation to museums and human rights education. Experts from the International Federation of Human Rights Museums have participated in the capacity building program for key community stakeholders, bringing the examples of educational programs of Norwegian human rights museums and providing insights how local schools and cultural institutions can cooperate to increase young people’s understanding of democracy.

Information on the projects funded by the EEA and Norway Grants is provided by the Programme and Fund Operators in the Beneficiary States, who are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of this information.