RESOLUTION ON STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN COMBATING RACISM, XENOPHOBIA AND OTHER FORMS OF INTOLERANCE AND DISCRIMINATION

    1. Recognizing that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is at the core of the OSCE comprehensive concept of security, and reaffirming that such rights and freedoms apply to "all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion" as enshrined in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act,
    2. Celebrating the wealth of diversity among and within the OSCE's 57 participating States,
    3. Acknowledging in this context the positive contribution of migrants to the cultural enrichment of our societies,
    4. Noting with serious concern the continuing rise of discrimination and violence towards individuals with differing racial, ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds, particularly towards migrants, in the OSCE region,
    5. Concerned at the rise of nationalism, racism and extremism in political life as a result of the persisting economic recession and high unemployment, and at their influence in societies in general and with regard to migrants in particular,
    6. Reaffirming that such intolerance and discrimination represents a continuing threat to the fundamental human rights and democratic values that underpin security and stability in the OSCE region,
    7. Condemning these phenomena in their various forms in all participating States of the OSCE,
    8. Emphasizing the need to ensure effective implementation of existing OSCE commitments on combating racism, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance and discrimination, and recalling the Resolution on "Strengthening Efforts to Combat Racism and Xenophobia and Foster Inclusion" unanimously adopted on 6 July 2011 by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,
    9. Welcoming the efforts of the three Personal Representatives of the Chairman-in-Office on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination, as well as the work done by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to address these urgent issues,
    10. Recalling the various commitments of the international community to counter intolerance and discrimination that stress the role of education, including, in the OSCE, those deriving from the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the 1990 Copenhagen Document, the 1991 Moscow Document, the 2003 Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the 21st Century and the 2005 Ljubljana Ministerial Council Decision No. 11/5,
    11. Recognizing the essential role of education, particularly when targeted at youth, in promoting and enhancing democratic values, tolerance, mutual respect and understanding, inclusion, intercultural harmony, and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as in countering the rise of extremist political parties, movements and groups,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Calls upon the OSCE participating States to intensify their efforts in the field of education, in order to promote understanding and raise awareness of the causes, consequences and evils of intolerance and discrimination;
    2. Encourages the OSCE participating States to develop cultural and educational programmes aimed at countering intolerance and discrimination in order to foster mutual understanding among all cultures and civilizations;
    3. Urges participating States to develop, with reference to ODIHR's relevant materials and tools, national guidelines on educational work to promote tolerance and foster inclusion, and emphasizes within this framework the importance of equal access to education (and the value of intercultural education);
    4. Stresses the central role that education must play in States' integration policies, and the importance of equal education and employment opportunities in efforts to combat discrimination and safeguard social cohesion and stability, particularly so, in the light of the economic recession and cuts in public spending, inter alia, in this field;
    5. Calls upon participating States to increase efforts to counter racism, xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination, also through education, inter alia, by reviewing, as appropriate, educational curricula and textbooks in order to ensure that that they are free from prejudice and negative stereotypes and by introducing or further elaborating sections on tolerance and non-discrimination;
    6. Invites the OSCE participating States to consider developing educational activities in schools, including extracurricular ones, to raise awareness against intolerance and discrimination;
    7. Recommends that the OSCE participating States encourage educational authorities and the private sector, as appropriate, to develop educational materials, including textbooks and dictionaries, aimed at combating those phenomena;
    8. Reiterates its request for increased support for ODIHR's Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department's Racism and Xenophobia programme, inter alia, with a view to increasing the number of available educational materials and training programs for educators;
    9. Encourages the OSCE participating States to take measures necessary to ensure that all teachers and trainers are effectively trained and adequately motivated to shape attitudes and behavioural patterns, based on the principles of non-discrimination, mutual respect and tolerance;
    10. Suggests the development of guidelines on academic responsibility to ensure the protection of migrant and other students from intolerance and discrimination in the academic environment;
    11. Encourages the media, whose effect on the development of attitudes of youth can be significant, to avoid negative stereotyping and to refrain from spreading prejudices;
    12. Emphasizes that parliamentarians can serve as role models to youth, reaffirms parliamentarians' responsibility to publicly denounce intolerance and discrimination and to raise awareness of the value of diversity, and calls attention to the important role of politicians and political parties in promoting mutual respect and understanding.