Today I speak with Elizabeth Sumida Huaman and Tessie Naranjo about indigenous women and research. They have co-edited the latest issue of the International Journal of Human Rights Education, which was released last week.

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman is an associate professor of Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota. An Indigenous education researcher, her work focuses on the link between Indigenous lands and natural resources, languages, and cultural and educational practices in the North and South America. Tessie Naranjo lives in northern New Mexico and is an internationally recognized Indigenous community education, language revitalization, and arts advocate. She is a founder of the Pueblo Indian Studies Program at Northern New Mexico College where she served as faculty, and former co-Director of the Northern Pueblos Institute.

Citation: Huaman, Elizabeth Sumida & Naranjo, Tessie, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 179, podcast audio, November 4, 2019.

Will Brehm 2:55
Elizabeth Sumida Huaman and Tessie Naranjo, welcome to FreshEd.

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman 3:00
Thank you for having us, Will.

Tessie Naranjo 3:01
I am glad to be here.

Will Brehm 3:03
So, let’s start by talking about colonization – a big topic. In your new co-edited volume, in your introduction, you call it a “strategy of imperialism that has left an indelible mark on colonized lands and people.” What sort of narratives has colonization constructed about indigenous peoples and lands?

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman 3:25
I can address that. We talked about this a little bit in our introduction, but I think maybe one of the things that we can clarify is that we’d like to differentiate colonization as a set of actions or patterns that empires will use towards expansion of their empire, and oftentimes that’s bounded by time. So, there is a period of colonization, and then what we’ve seen around the world in different national contexts, is that there’s then a time of decolonization or post-colonization, often referred to as “independence.” I think what Tessie and I are referring to, and what our authors are speaking to, is a condition called “coloniality.” And so, there is an Argentinian scholar that Tessie and I use; his name is Walter Mignolo, and he talks about “coloniality,” which is the ongoing condition of colonial oppression and struggle that’s exemplified through four domains. So, these are four areas where indigenous peoples are encountering resistance and struggle. So, we think very closely about those four domains as: control of economy, which includes manipulation of land and natural resources; control of authority, which is the creation of institutions – political and legal institutions, as well as military; this creation of what is considered normative, so that oftentimes is heavily influenced by ideas of religion, as well as gender and sexuality; and then, this control over knowledge, which is oftentimes most clearly exemplified by the construction of education, and what constitutes knowledge. So, in our issue, we really think very closely about how indigenous peoples are speaking to, or speaking back to, conditions of coloniality in all of those areas. And all of our authors, I think, write about those areas in one way or another. So, they address, really, that entire system of domains, and they address coloniality as a whole, but taking up different lenses. So, one of the things that I think is really important for us to think about is not just how coloniality has left, or leaves us, in a condition where there is that, you know, as we might refer to, this mark on lands and peoples. “Lands” meaning the impact to our natural resources: you know, our earth, our water, our animals, our skies, and so forth. But then also peoples, meaning bodies and psyches. And I think what’s really critical is that our authors who put forth their work so lovingly, speak to that condition. They speak to coloniality in some way or another. And so, for example, we have one author, June Lorenzo, who is from Laguna Pueblo, who talks about this idea, counters this idea, that land and natural resources are only for human exploitation or for capital gain. And she writes about uranium mining in her own village of Paguate in Laguna Pueblo. And we also have authors like Robin Minthorn and Heather Shotton, who take up this idea. So, they would be countering this normative view of gender and sexuality. And primarily, this idea of women in leadership; they take up this idea that you know, women are not leaders because they are not visible, for example, or as visible as men. And they really challenge that.

Tessie Naranjo 7:25
Well, I was thinking about answering the question in terms of fences. I am from one of the pueblos in northern New Mexico, and I have enough knowledge about the history of our place. And I was thinking about when the colonizers came in, first the Spaniards, and then later on the white Americans. And the idea of fences became a part of our understanding. Reluctantly. And so, I was thinking of fences in terms of creating borders and boundaries, and I was thinking of how these fences psychologically make us feel less than.

Will Brehm 8:15
It is interesting. I mean putting up these fences and borders and boundaries and feeling “less than” when thinking about coloniality. And Tessie and Elizabeth, you both sort of mentioned issues of knowledge and even education. And so, you know, I want to ask a little bit about how coloniality has impacted the very meaning of research. So perhaps, Elizabeth, maybe you can start.

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman 8:44
Sure. So, in terms of how coloniality has impacted research, you know, Tessie and I are, we are community members, and we are educators, and we write as well. And we think. And we speak. I think that you know, but we also come from places. We come from very strong peoples and places that we have very strong connections to. And I think one of the ways that coloniality has shaped dominant understanding of research is to devalue those places, and to devalue our interactions as intellectual beings, as spiritual beings, with those places. So, there are wonderful scholars, some of them in our special issue. Others like Linda Smith, who is a very highly regarded Māori scholar, who has really informed our thinking around decolonizing research approaches, who do that work very well. And they help us to understand how research can be transformed by indigenous peoples. I think one of the issues that we encounter consistently as indigenous peoples is that our knowledge isn’t really knowledge – that what we know, and how we’ve managed to live in a particular place over time, isn’t necessarily something that is considered valuable. You know, it’s this idea that: well, maybe indigenous peoples didn’t really know that much about their environment, or they lived in a way that was haphazard, or they were lucky. When in reality, indigenous peoples have very strong systems and ways of interacting and of living and of thriving in places. And I think that that’s one of the key issues that we are interested in as community members is this idea that we, too, have had research for a very long time as indigenous peoples. We maybe didn’t call it “research.” There’s lots of different ways in our languages that we think about inquiry, and we think about knowledge production. But I also think that there are different reasons that we sought to understand, or to know something, and there were different uses for what we did learn.

Will Brehm 11:15
I mean, it is interesting, the idea that you know, this coloniality, the domain of the normative, as you were saying earlier, and how that has sort of narrowed the very meaning of what science is, to, you know, the scientific method or Western science. But, in fact, there’s so many other and diverse ways of knowledge, of inquiry, of what we might call research, very broadly. And, you know, your special issue really sort of draws out all of these different, diverse traditions of what research could be, and has actually been marginalized by this sort of normative stance of what modern research is supposed to look like.

Tessie Naranjo 11:57
Well, I was thinking about the community that I come from and the pueblo world, that I know more about than any other tribal group. And I was thinking about how we have our own way of researching, so that we understand our place and our land, and I was thinking that our methods are different from that non-tribal world. And I was thinking of how we are more circular in our thinking, we are more fluid in our thinking, and in contrast to the Western way of researching, which is, I don’t know if you call it regimented, but it’s different than the way that we understand how to do things. And I will give you maybe an example or so of how we have learned to live off the land. For example, the irrigation. We are a traditional agricultural people, and so how we learn how to grow corn and beans and squash is something that we learn through experimentation. And so, “researching,” if you want to call it that, has been very much a part of our lives. And in terms of, for example, the pottery making that is a traditional part of our lives: how we’ve learned how to mix clays, and how we’ve learned how to use the plants for coloring the designs on our pots, all of that is a researching. Our place, our land, so that we know what its resources are. Our methods are different, but it is researching, nevertheless.

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman 13:50
Will, you know, to speak to your point about the Western scientific method, I think Tessie really exemplifies that with her description of pueblo knowledge and living as agricultural people. I think that one of the things that is really disturbing that we’re seeing about the condition of the earth. And what we are seeing in terms of environmental catastrophe today is the distancing of our relationship from our respect and our regard for place. Our respect and our regard for natural resources and land as living beings. And I think that one of the things that, you know, Western science is not our enemy. Western science in many ways, scientists today, I think, are starting to wake up to, and have been, you know, at least for the last several decades. There are voices and people who are talking about. And they are naming it different things. So, they are calling it things like biocultural diversity, you know, or concentric ecology, for example. So, there are people who are understanding and delving more deeply into this idea of relationships. And I think that indigenous peoples, because of our relationships and our regard and our exercise of values, we don’t just talk about the values of respect or the values of love for the things around us. We have ceremonies, we have activities, we have daily things that we do as community members and as individuals, that put those into practice. And I think that people are seeing the importance and the value of that, and certainly, our authors are seeing that. So, for example, we have Danelle Cooper and her coauthors, her wonderful professor-mentors, who have really shaped a beautiful submission that highlights a couple of different sacred places, one of them being Mauna Kea in Hawaii. And we see there the tension between Western science and this drive to build, you know, super telescopes and more telescopes, and things that can really help humans to explore the universe in ways that assume that indigenous peoples didn’t have the capacity, or the technology, to do that. And I think we are talking about different purposes and different uses of technology, different definitions of technology. And I think so much of it comes back to purpose: Why do we seek knowledge? Why do we think about science the way we do? What is the ultimate goal for us? And for many of us who are really attempting to reclaim those connections to the beautiful things around us, and to appreciate the gift of life that we’ve been given, the purpose is to sustain life and to live a life of values and quality where, you know, children and communities and all the creatures can flourish. So, I don’t know that it’s necessarily a clash of Western science because Western science can be used as a tool of and as a resource for us. But it is: what is the purpose, you know? And I think that you know, those of us who were colonized by the Spanish – and there were many communities that were colonized by the Spanish back in the 1500s – you know, we joke about the Spanish being some of the very early colonial researchers. They were very early anthropologists, and they would ask questions, you know, there’s lists of questions that you can see in the archives. What were the questions that they would ask of community members? You know, they would ask questions like … and they knew, they knew that we had a relationship with place. So, for example, our mountain deities are called Apus, and so they would say, “Okay, we know this Apu. You know, the Quechua people, for example, believe that this Apu has a wife and children and so forth. We know that you know, the Quechua people believe that these mountains are families.” And they would ask the question, “Well, okay, what is the name of this Apu? Who is his wife? You know, who are his children?” And then they would say, “And where are his treasures?” And we can see a very early and primitive approach to science, a primitive approach to social science, a primitive approach to inquiry, that is material gain based. And I don’t think that you know, indigenous peoples today – what our authors, especially the authors who are participating in this special issue – are really interested in, is reclaiming our connection. For the purpose of, not just survival, but of really honoring our existence, and the existence of the things that are in creation.

Will Brehm 18:58
I mean, I love that idea of sustaining life rather than exploiting and advancing economic gain in anyway. I mean, you know, it is a very different purpose, as you said. So, Elizabeth, could you talk a little bit about why, in this special issue, you and Tessie basically situate indigenous women at the center of this conversation, in a way. Can you speak a little bit about why that is the case?

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman 19:22
Sure. So, Tessie and I were very interested in promoting and supporting a special issue that involves indigenous women because we are indigenous women. And we do research, we interact with community members, we work with institutions that serve indigenous peoples. And we do that from our own experience. And I can speak for myself to say that I began doing work with generations of Quechua  grandmothers – people from my own communities – and I was very interested in, “Well, if I’m having these kinds of experiences and thoughts as an indigenous woman, as a descendant of these women that I’m speaking with, what might be the unique lenses that indigenous women bring to the conversation? Are other women having these kinds of questions? Are they having these kinds of discussions? What feelings are coming up that might be distinct to indigenous women, particularly women who are from the communities where they’re doing the research, or who are serving the people that they hope their research will highlight in some way, uplift, bring forward?” So that’s one of the reasons why I became interested in working on this project with Tessie. And of course, I’ve held her in such high regard for so many years, and have heard the stories of her talking about her mother and her grandmother, and how she was raised by very important people, women who lived daily lives. And similarly, in my own family background, I was raised by people and had a grandmother, who is no longer with us, and aunties, who are people living daily lives in community. Experiencing certain struggles that in many ways are distinct, gender-based struggles for women in my community; I will only speak from my experience. And you know, these are women that, they are not necessarily scholars, they are not necessarily researchers. But in many ways, I think both Tessie and I wanted to pay homage to what we’ve learned from them as well. And to bring together women in this special issue that also come from somewhere, that also have aunties, that also have grandmothers, that also themselves are living daily experiences, and encountering struggles and challenges as women, and that they too have something to offer a broader conversation that is often very lofty – that’s considered very lofty, and academic, and intellectual – which is a conversation about human rights.

Will Brehm 22:22
Tessie, would you like to add anything?

Tessie Naranjo 22:24
Well, I’d first like to get started in my thoughts, and knowing that, in the pueblo world, our world is constructed with the feminine in mind, the female in mind. So, it is a natural understanding that it is the female who is a part of our beginnings. And so, I’ll start with that. And then, Elizabeth invited me to be part of this project; I did not know what I was getting into. But I was resistant, admittedly, because I thought it was too much for me, because I am pretty much, home is important to me, and I don’t stray too far from home. But in the reading, and the helping edit the articles that were submitted, I began to feel that I had the best opportunity to look at what other indigenous females were very passionate about in the work that they were doing to better the lives of their home communities. And I got all of this understanding in appreciation of the feminine through my great grandmother, who was born in 1867, and then raised my mother. Because my mother was raised by my great grandmother, who did not know how to talk English or any other language, except my language, which is Tewa. I have very much appreciation for the strength of the women in my family, as well as for the strength of women in all other tribal communities, and we are doing our part as individuals, whatever place we live at, and whatever our passion is, whatever fight, whatever cause we want to get involved in. I have been able to look at all of these, or read all of these, articles, and just I am so proud of the dedication of the females who have submitted their articles, showing that they are lifelong contributors to bettering the health of their communities.

Will Brehm 24:59
Recently, I guess, I have noticed a lot of talk about indigenous research through, or within, international organizations, like the United Nations. And I just wonder in your opinion, to what extent is the United Nations, and even places like the World Bank – I have seen them promoting ideas of indigenous research, as well. And, you know, what is your take on it? How does that all fit in? Is it helpful? Is it problematic in ways? You know, how do you see the sort of the international push, through international law and human rights groups, advocating for, and supporting, indigenous research and knowledge?

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman 25:41
So, there is undoubtedly value to international organizations like the United Nations, that are comprised of, and promote and highlight and create spaces for dialogue, that involve indigenous peoples and recognize indigenous peoples as actors in their own self-determination. There is absolutely a place for that. And I think there is a lot of tremendous work that’s been done by the United Nations. For example, the folks who worked on, including one of our authors, June Lorenzo, who worked on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And at the same time, I think that we have to recognize what era we’re in. So indigenous human rights, or indigenous rights, are considered to be third generation, the third generation of human rights discourse. So, the first generation, you know, in many ways, really focused on what we might think of as these very normative approaches to rights. So, the first generation was really about political and civil liberties. We also hear a lot about European constructions of rights in terms of male property rights; you know, that is very early on. And then the second generation of rights is really about social and economic rights, as well as equality for women and so forth. But I think it is very telling that indigenous rights are only recently, in many ways, being recognized as this third generation of rights. And I do think that many organizations, and lots of different bodies that are involved with bringing forward indigenous issues and struggles for self-determination, do very good work. But I think there’s conditions to that. I think that those organizations, or really any organization – it could be a grassroots community organization – really needs to have some sort of awareness and be very explicit around certain starting point questions. So, for example, what are rights? What are even rights? What is law, for example? How are those things conceptualized and named by indigenous peoples, representative of indigenous communities, at all levels? And how do those reflect principles that are embedded in indigenous languages? So, is that explicit in the work? I think another point that is really critical is that we also have to think about indigenous self-determination and the role that indigenous self-determination plays in those organizations, which refers to the ability of people to decide how they want to live their lives. And is that an explicit part of the conversation. As well, in any organization, are there clear reporting of biases? Is there also another explicit conversation around power, for example? So, who speaks for indigenous peoples? Who represents indigenous peoples? What constitutes indigenous communities? And how are decisions made? What kinds of questions are being asked? What kinds of goals are being identified? So, I think that there is several different areas of consideration that need to be explicitly laid out if organizations are going to attempt to be less problematic.

Will Brehm 29:30
So, Tessie, I want to bring you into this conversation, and ask a little bit about this concept of land and place, and why it’s such an important concept in indigenous research and education.

Tessie Naranjo 29:40
Well, in thinking about that question, I was thinking about, we have a local tribally run school here in my community. And I go to visit the community school every once in a while, and I love what is happening in the school because the children are learning about who they are and what their place is. Knowing how to appreciate their place, and knowing what it means to have a place, and have an appreciation for that. I was thinking about my mother. I would ask her the question, “What is important, Gia?” And Gia is “mother” in Tewa. She would tell me, “Children,” and I didn’t appreciate that as much as I do in my older age, but it was a very profound response to that question, although I didn’t think so at the time. But it is about kids. It is about children that you teach so that they can move forward and pass on the information so that, as they become adults, they can then become the leaders within the community. So that children, I would say, like by mother, children are probably the most important persons to guide, so that they can then maintain the village as they are growing up, when they grow up. That is what I can say about response to that question. But it is very important, I think, to pass on the knowledge of any community in whatever way you can: Who you are. Names of places in your land area. What your name is, for example. Like in the school, everyone has their tribal name. I can give you example of my tribal name and what it means to me because it talks about place and land. My name is Pae Ojegi in Tewa. I was born in January. My great grandmother, that I talked about earlier, took me to greet the sun and to name me. But we have a deer dance in the wintertime. The deer were passing from the mountains, and these, of course, are humans, dressed with horns on and sticks to emulate the deer coming to visit us in the village. And so, as they were coming by, she looked at the deer passing by, and she said to my mother, “We shall name this Pae Ojegi. Pae Ojegi is “deer with frost on its horns,” and I have loved that name all of my life because it represents the time, the cycles that we live, continuously – we live according to the seasons. And because I was given my name, Pae Ojegi, I am always reminded, whenever I see a deer, for example, the importance of that moment when the men dressed like deer were entering the village. This is a long example to talk about what the children in the small grade school are trying to learn. They are trying to learn about place and land. And they can learn it through names and other things that we are able to teach so that these kids one more time, as my mother said, can pass the knowledge from within our community and pass it forward.

Will Brehm 33:38
So, Elizabeth Sumida Huaman and Tessie Naranjo, thank you so much for joining FreshEd. It really was an honor and a pleasure to talk today. And congratulations on your latest special issue.

Tessie Naranjo 33:49
Thank you, Will.

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman 33:50
Urpillay sonqollay, Will. Really appreciate it and thank you so much to our authors and their families and their communities.

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Controversies over school policies that impact transgender students have increasingly made headlines in the United States for the past few years. What legal protections do transgender students have in schools? And how have the Obama and Trump administrations interpreted the law in this regard?

My guest today is Suzanne Eckes, professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at Indiana University. She has written about the various legal cases involving transgender students.

Citation: Eckes, Suzanne, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 177, podcast audio, October 21, 2019.

Transcripts, Translation, and Resources:

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Today we take a critical look at human rights. My guest is Radha D’Souza. Radha has a new book entitled: What’s wrong with rights? Social movements, Law, and Liberal Imaginations

In our conversation, we discuss why there has been a proliferation of human rights since the end of World War II and how these rights have actually furthered the interests of the transnational capitalist class.

Radha also discusses education as a human right and the challenge it has for social movements and unions such as Education International.

Radha D’Souza teaches law at the University of Westminster, London.

Citation: D’Souza, Radha, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 120, Podcast audio, June 25, 2018.

Will Brehm 1:59
Radha D’Souza, welcome to FreshEd.

Radha D’Souza 2:02
Thank you, Will, for having me on this program. I’m delighted to be here today.

Will Brehm 2:07
How are human rights commonly understood today?

Radha D’Souza 2:12
Commonly, people when they speak about human rights, they have in mind a set of claims that they can make about certain basic needs for human life. For example, it could be civil and political rights: right to fair trial; right not to be tortured; and these kind of rights are called civil and political rights. Or they may be social economic rights: rights to education, rights to health, rights to housing, those kind of rights. Or they could be Cultural Rights: rights of indigenous people, and so on. But the key thing about rights in popular imaginations is that rights are universal, that every individual has them by virtue of being human. That is why they understand it as human right.

Will Brehm 3:12
How many rights are there?

Radha D’Souza 3:15
When the United Nations was established at the end of World War Two, in 1945, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enumerated about 28 rights; there was a list of 28 rights. Today, it is estimated that international law recognizes more than 300 rights, so human rights have proliferated phenomenally in the last 70 years.

Will Brehm 3:46
Why? Why has there been a proliferation of human rights?

Radha D’Souza 3:50
Well, we can see if we look at the history of rights that the prefix ‘human’ was added only after the so called New World Order was established after World War Two. Now, why does that order need this expansion of rights? Earlier, before the World Wars happened in the 19th century, 18th century and so on, rights were largely confined to nation states, they were only available to citizens against states. But after World Wars, we find that capitalism changed in its fundamental character; it became transnational, it became monopolistic, it became finance driven. And these kinds of expansion of capitalism and intensification of capitalism required a proliferation of new types of rights. And that is why we see all sorts of new rights. Most of them are international in character, and most of them are rights that actually meet the needs of transnational monopoly, finance, capitalism.

Will Brehm 5:18
Could you give an example of a right that meets the needs of transnational financial capitalism?

Radha D’Souza 5:28
Okay, let’s look at the proliferation of rights, the ways in which rights have proliferated. We have all sorts of rights now, you know, rights to surrogacy, rights to land, indigenous people, including a right to happiness. Now, if you look at the UN General Assembly, it adopted a resolution in July 2011 called ‘Happiness: A holistic approach to development.’ Now, you might wonder what happiness has got to do with transnational monopoly finance capitalism, right? And can happiness be legislated at all? I mean, can people demand from the state a right to be happy in the same way as they can demand from the state right not to be tortured, for example? But when we actually — and it may on the face of it sound a little strange that we have a right to happiness, which is now part of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 — but when we start looking behind these rights, we can see that there are a lot of important organizations like EU commissioners, European Union commissioners, who are advocating for this right; the OECD, the Organization for Economic [Cooperation and] Development, has published guidelines on measuring subjective well-being for national statistical offices for the use of bureaucrats, etc.

Who’s driving this new right to happiness? On the one hand, we see large corporations are trying to de-unionized workers, deny them collective bargaining rights, which they always had. On the other hand, these very same corporations are also introducing what they call work life balance programs. Now, these work life balance programs have led to a large coaching industry which has about 47,000 employees and estimated to be around $2 billion US dollars a year. So one of the things that the right to happiness provides for people, or underprivileged people in developed countries, is the right to tourism. So now you can straightaway see the link between tourism industry and the right to happiness. And similarly, you have in the social, the economy… the SDGs or the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Now these goals were established as successor to the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Development Goals set out about eight goals to achieve basic needs of people. So the goals like, for example, primary education, eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal gender equality, the goal to reduce child mortality and so on. Now, these goals where we know that it’s questionable whether they have been achieved at all. But regardless there was an eighth goal, which was to achieve Global Partnership. And this is the only goal in the Millennium Development Goal 2015 that was actually achieved because it was about establishing private public partnerships and induct global corporations, trust funds, private foundations, and so on into the very heart of the UN’s work.

Now, following on from that, we need to ask, if the Millennium Development Goals were not achieved, why do we need Sustainable Development Goals? And why do Sustainable Development Goals 2030 include the right to happiness? Right, and then you can see a whole lot of big players, for example, the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, the Clinton Foundation and so on taking up many of these development projects. And how do they plan to deliver on it? They deliver on — now because poverty has not been eradicated women are not equal. There’s no universal primary education yet. So instead of addressing those, now we have a new goal: let’s try to make people happy. Because people can obviously be happy even without anything, right? Because even slum children now are very happy when they kick footballs on streets, for example. There is momentary happiness, and it takes attention away from the fact that even if slum kids are happy, playing football on the streets — probably with a torn ball — and still feel happy, maybe questions of education, housing, health, you know, don’t really need to take center stage, or we don’t need to give it as much importance as we’ve been doing so far. So it kind of deflects attention from all of those things. And I think that is really one of the problems.

How does it deflect attention? Because the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 has led to this whole indicator industry, if we can call it that. How do we measure happiness? mathematical methods, you know, with a complete array of methodologies, multiple disciplines, including psychology, religious studies, sociologists, Development Studies, all getting together to list a number of factors, which, if they exist, we can say the person is happy. And that completely changes the meaning of happiness. And instead those indicators become ways of measuring, you know, development and saying, ‘Okay, these kids in the slums are happy playing football.’ So maybe, you know, they are somewhat developed. And that completely skews the whole thing. And I think it takes us away from the reality that as human beings we live in this community, whether we are rich or poor, and happiness is an attribute of being human. And regardless of our social status or conditions, we will always seek solidarity with other human beings and that will always bring us some level of happiness.

Will Brehm 12:55
So, are you saying that the the human right to happiness that’s embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals actually furthers the interests of a transnational capitalist class?

Radha D’Souza 13:10
It does. It does it at several levels, because at the level of poverty and all those basic needs, as I’ve just said, there is no need to deliver on them. So, there is no need to feel guilty because rich people are also unhappy, poor people are unhappy, rich people are happy sometimes. So, there is no need to give it the kind of primacy that we have given it all these years. It operates at the level of corporate management and so on, because of this work life balance, so that employees are driven to work more and more and the technologies have increased the intensity of work and yet, you know, there is no sense of solidarity because the trade unions are gone, communitarian life of employees are gone, entire towns have been dis-established. So, all those other social factors which give people some kind of social identity, solidarity, and so on is taken away. So the corporations need to step in and and do something about it. So instead of returning their communities in lives, they take over even their most personal lives by making, you know, work life balance a corporate goal and creating an industry coaching industry around it.

Will Brehm 14:45
Has capital been interested in rights before they were human rights? So you said human rights sort of came around post World War Two and sort of proliferated as transnational capitalism sort of grew globally. Before World War Two, the idea of rights, were they also connected to capitalism in any way?

Radha D’Souza 15:11
Absolutely. I said that the prefix ‘human’ was added to rights after World War Two. And before World War Two, say in the 17th and 18th centuries, rights did not have the prefix ‘human.’ When people talk about rights, it included property rights, as well as human rights. And rights are absolutely instrumental in establishing capitalist societies. Now, if we look at pre-capitalist societies, pre-capitalist societies were land based societies. Land was the central organizing principle for the social order and as land based societies, people and nature were united. This does not mean that there was no exploitation or whatever. I mean, serfs were exploited, etc. But their connection to nature was…their lives were embedded in nature. They were not disconnected from nature.

What capitalism, in contrast, is a commodity based system, so it’s commodity producing system. And that means that everything in capitalism needs to be commodified, bought and sold, exchanged and so on. And one of the first commodifications we see is commodification of land. So capitalism is establish by commodifying land, and when land becomes private property, and land becomes alienable, that means people can buy and sell it, which could not, was not, possible in the feudal system. Then people are displaced from land, because to get clear title, you have to buy it, sell land without the people. And when people are displaced from land, you have labor, a free labor market.

So you have two kinds of markets. One is the land market and the labor market. And these two are absolutely foundational for capitalism and commodity production, and a system based on commodity production. Now, rights are the means that actually reorganized society. They reorganize our relationships to nature, our relationships to each other, the capitalist and the worker, our relationship to land and forests and water and so on, and our relationships to each other in society, on the basis of rights. So capitalism kind of transforms, you know, property, a land, which is a social relationship between ourselves and nature into a thing, a commodity, and it transforms labor, which is an inherent property of being human, we have always worked and we can only live by working and that labor is transformed into another kind of commodity. And I think rights are the ones that established the system and rights establish in right bearing individuals. And each right bearing individual is right bearing because they have something to give and something that they need and can receive. And this is basically the basis of capitalist systems. And capitalism works on contracts. Because to produce commodities, to exchange commodities, individuals need to be able to arrive at contractual relations. And all contracts presuppose the existence of at least two right bearing parties. And that is the relationship between commodity production contracts as social relationships and rights as the concepts or the other basic idea that establishes right bearing individuals that can enter into contractual relations. So there is an absolutely inalienable, intrinsic relationship between rights and capitalism.

Will Brehm 19:48
On this show, I’ve spoken with a lot of people who do research on education privatization, the ways in which education has become commodified in so many different parts around the world. Do you think rights and human rights, since since education is a human right, as you said earlier — have rights played or furthered the commodification of education in your opinion?

Radha D’Souza 20:14
It has because, look, education has always historically, has always been central to social reproduction. Because what education does is reproduces the social order, it trains the next generation to take over the reins. This is not being or what capitalism does. This turns that into an education and education becomes an investment. And as an investment, it becomes meaningful only if it can produce returns. So education then loses its meaning as a way of, understanding the social order and how we can continue our social life. It becomes an individual personal investment. And with the right to education, we also see education itself becoming an industry in so many different ways. If you look at the internal management of educational systems, they are very much run like corporations. If you look at the disparities, they mirror the larger capitalist societies, you know: those with education and those without education, those who use it to make capitalism more profitable are the ones that go very high up, and those who use their education for social justice or to improve things in the world, you will find that they are not making much money out of their investment. But also the methods used. For example, we have these huge organizations, educational companies, you know, who produce databases who produce various kinds of technologies, they’re making money out of it. Let me give you a very simple example. Now, I work for a University. The University pays me a salary, but when I write something, I can’t give it to people free of charge to read. And because there are journals, academic journals, there are publishers and they all claim that they have a right to make money out of it, even though they have not spent anything on my work. So it’s a strange situation. We are in a position because I don’t need the money because the university’s paying me a salary. And education companies, I’m not doing anything, they’re only charging readers exorbitant sums of money $35, $40, to read an article for what, for doing nothing, because the technology is now so freely available that I can let anybody who wants to read my articles, but I’m not allowed to do that.

Will Brehm 23:25
And this comes back to the issue of having rights to commodify, in a sense, articles and books — very essential features of higher education.

Radha D’Souza 23:37
Yes, it is absolutely central to that, because education is about passing on our knowledge to others, and learning from others. So why do we need to pass on knowledge to others? And why do we need to learn from others as educators? Presumably there is something called a social good, presumably there is something called future generation, and we want the societies and the world to continue. And that is why this exchange of knowledge, both accumulated knowledge from the past and new knowledge is necessary to solve problems, just iron out difficulties, and to see how we can continue human life in the future. But this purpose is taken away. When education becomes a commodity, human life gets a backseat, social well-being gets a backseat and education becomes a product which has to be sold in the market. And increasingly, research is linked to corporations linked to government, social policy, to international organizations, and all of that, where it is designed to improve their productivity. But as social beings, we need a critique of society, constantly reviewing our practices, evaluating our practices, and, and trying to make improvements in our social life for society to continue. What education as a commodity does is exactly the opposite.

Will Brehm 25:23
Seeing education as a social good is something that organizations like Education International would most likely advocate for. Education International being the global federation of teacher unions around the world. But Education International also supports the human right to education. They sort of see that as one of the justifications for what they do. And so the question I guess I have is: to create education as a social good, can human rights help in that cause? Or is it actually just sort of undermining it because human rights have become sort of helping the political agenda of the global capitalist class?

Radha D’Souza 26:08
That’s a good question, Will, because I think one of the things I do in this book is to examine what the disjuncture between property rights and human rights does. Because that’s where we started this conversation. In the 17th and 18th centuries, rights included property rights, as well as human rights and in fact, rights, property rights and labor rights were very closely tied. And the justification for property rights was really about labor theories. You know,  John Locke, for example, he says, he asks how can we call a piece of land mine and he says, because I labor on it, and therefore add value to it. So anything that we add value to through our work becomes property, my proper, private property, and so labor and property rights or social rights and property rights were entwined in the traditional thinking, or what we call enlightenment thinking, the European enlightenment. But after World War Two, we find that the property rights are disassociated with human rights. And I think this is the problem that we have today.

And your question is really an example of this disassociation. Because when people think about human rights, they think about, oh, children need to go to school, or, you know, people need — must have the right to go to a university or whatever. But they forget why the education industry wants human rights to education. See, and when…we see the property relations and education as a property, intellectual property, as is a post World War, you know, it has really expanded as a transnational, right, we see the industry itself, we see copyrights and all these kind of rights to my thoughts, which has become a form of property, because ultimately, that’s what it is, my thinking has become somebody’s property. And we don’t make the connection between these two things when organizations like this union, that you refer to, Education International, when they demand human rights, they’re only thinking about what we want from rights. But what I say is, you should also question why they want rights, why does the education industry want rights? Why do research foundations want rights? And why do corporations want intellectual property rights and so on. And when we start to ask why they want rights, then we start to see the connection between property rights and human rights. And this is what has been severed in the last 70 years. And that is why people continue to imagine that if they demand human rights, that somehow they can achieve it. But it only becomes an aspirational statement when it is not linked to the realities and how rights actually operate in the world. And that’s that’s the crucial point.

Will Brehm 30:07
I’d like to ask a personal question about how you navigate the space of academic publishing, because you just said that your thoughts become property. And we’ve been talking a little bit today about the academic publishing industry and how it’s, it’s very, it’s commodifying an essential part of higher education: books, articles. And you just put out a book and I think it’s published by Pluto Press.

Radha D’Souza 30:38
That’s right.

Will Brehm 30:38
How do you navigate signing contracts with publishers and knowing that your thoughts and your hard work is literally going to be the property of some other entity?

Radha D’Souza 30:52
It’s a difficult to navigate, especially at an individual level, because — and this is where the reality that we are social beings, we live in a social setting, and we can only change the world collectively becomes so important — because at an individual level, what is my option, either I publish, or I don’t publish. And even there, there is a lot of gatekeeping that happens. I mean Pluto is amazing; is one of the few, you know, radical book publishers around Left really remaining. But generally, if you look at the other big publishing names, they decide what they will publish and will not publish. And that will depend on the market that will depend on their judgment of your ideas. Say, I have an amazing idea, which is a radical idea. Or I write a piece of literary work, which is completely, you know, new genre, for example. If the publishing industry does not come on board, and some publisher does not agree to publish my work, I cannot communicate with the world. And in order to communicate with the world, then I’m under pressure to tailor my thoughts, to tailor my thinking, and my style and, you know, genre, to whatever is marketable. And that makes the gatekeeping a hugely problematic thing for our rights to intellectual freedom, you know, rights to knowledge, to conscience, all of those things. And I think the journals, it’s even worse because with journals, there are gatekeeping, gatekeepers who will decide, you know, you have not cited x or y or z and therefore, your article is unpublishable, or you’re right your ideas are too radical, therefore, they will not be publishable and it is through this kind of gatekeeping, that we are unable to produce knowledge that addresses the real problems of the real world and the people who are really in need of solutions.

Will Brehm 33:16
So, in your book, you argue that the 21st century needs a new counter social philosophy. What does that look like in your opinion?

Radha D’Souza 33:27
You see, all problems of the modern world are, in one way or another, related to three types of questions that we have: questions about human relations to nature, questions about human relations to each other, and questions about our inner lives, you can call it emotional life, psychological life, spiritual life, whatever you want to call it. Now, in ancient times, philosophy helped us to understand these relationships, helped us to understand our place in the world, our purpose in life, the meaning of life and our actions. What are the long term effects of what we do or don’t do.

Capitalism dismissed these questions as irrelevant, it undermined philosophy. The European Enlightenment thinkers for example, separated philosophy from science and philosophy was a useless part of knowledge and science became the useful part of knowledge. And then a series of separations followed: the separation of Natural Sciences from Social Sciences, separation of law from ethics, separation of society or sociology from law, and so on and so forth. And I could expand. Some European Enlightenment thinkers, like Liebnitz for example, fantasized about transforming all knowledge into an ideal kind of mathematical formula. Now, today, with computing, we see this fantasy being realized, because all computing is ultimately about mathematics. It’s about combinations of zeros and ones. I may be oversimplifying it here, but that’s what it is. Everything can be reduced to numbers, happiness can be measured, intergenerational equity is reduced to the technical definition of 30 years, and so on. But as a result of this, we no longer have any way of knowing our place in the world: Why are we here? What do we want to do? And we have no way of understanding the world around us. Therefore, I say we need to return to these big questions about human life. These are not useless kinds of knowledge, because they don’t produce marketable value, or they don’t produce returns on investments. We still need to understand how to make sense of our actions. And therefore I say, we need to find ways of restoring the three relationships that I talked about: relationships between nature and society, between people, and between ethics and aesthetics. And only a counter philosophy that puts these questions at the center of our knowledge production can help us get out of this terrible mess that we’re in.

Will Brehm 36:43
Well, Radha D’Souza, thank you so much for joining FreshEd it really was a pleasure to talk and a lot of thoughts and more questions are coming in my mind right now. And and I hope audience members will just have so much to think about going forward.

Radha D’Souza 36:58
Thank you so much, Will, it was a pleasure talking to you.

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Today we discuss human rights education with Monisha Bajaj. Monisha, has recently edited a book entitled Human Rights Education: Theory, Research Praxis, which was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

In our conversation, we discuss the origins of human rights education, its diverse range of practices, and the ways it has changed overtime.

We also discuss the challenges to human rights education today.

Monisha Bajaj is a Professor of International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco.

Citation: Bajaj, Monisha, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 72, podcast audio, May 8, 2017.


Will Brehm  1:45
Monisha Bajaj, welcome to FreshEd.

Monisha Bajaj  1:57
Thanks so much for having me, Will.

Will Brehm 2:00
So, what is Human Rights Education?

Monisha Bajaj 2:04
Sure. Well, a very basic definition of Human Rights Education is any teaching and learning that happens to impart values, notions, knowledge about human rights among learners. And human rights, most basically, are legal and ethical frameworks for human dignity. And they’ve existed for many, many, many years, in many traditions, in many cultural backgrounds but they were most kind of concretized after the Second World War, as nations came together in the wake of two world wars, looking at the horrors of the Holocaust, and the ravages of what happened there -trying to create a shared moral, ethical, legal framework for individuals, communities, nations living in peace and in dignity.

Will Brehm  2:52
And that framework -that moral, and ethical, legal framework- was through the United Nations?

Monisha Bajaj  2:57
Yeah, so the United Nations came about -the ideas for it had existed through the League of Nations and other proposals that had existed before World War Two. But after World War Two, as nations recovered from many different things on many different continents that were happening, the proposals really moved forward in terms of creating the architecture and the structure for the United Nations. And through that there was a proposal for a Universal Declaration of Human Rights that would codify some basic human standards for living together. The basic principles for which every human would be entitled to.

Will Brehm  3:35
And so human rights as a framework through the United Nations, that was in the 1940s, 1950s, but when did the Human Rights “Education” first emerge?

Monisha Bajaj  3:46
Sure, so actually, Human Rights Education as I mentioned, you know, you have these traditions and cultures where notions of human rights emerged for many years and education about rights and basic values of human dignity have existed in many cultures historically and through the years. But again, at this codification in 1948, through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -through these 30 articles of this kind of milestone document that’s been translated thousands of times, all around the world- there is Article 26 that fundamentally in Part 1 says that everyone has a right to education. And notably, in Part 2 of that says that education should be directed to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. So, there was this awareness and the individuals who debated this document, there were three years of debates and, you know, arguing over language and getting the right terms and the right notions and the phrasing and the types of principles that would be in this document. There was a lot of debates about individuals who were educated that participated in the Holocaust. So, people who were medical doctors who were experimenting in awful ways on individuals: torture, murder, atrocities, and the Nazi indoctrination of youth through education during that time -during the Nazi regime. So, there was this perspective that it’s not just access to education, which is Part 1 of Article 26, but education for what? Education towards peace, tolerance, friendship among nations, the strengthening of fundamental freedoms, respect for human rights. So HRE has actually existed -since in that kind of formal form- since the creation of the document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Will Brehm  5:28
And who are some of the main proponents of Human Rights Education?

Monisha Bajaj  5:51
Sure. So, in that kind of debating, there were people from different nations. There was a lot of strong support from women from India and from the Dominican Republic, who are delegates in drafting this document for inclusive language around gender. In terms of education, a lot of the Latin American countries pushed the economic, social and cultural rights into the document. Obviously, some of the drafters that we know about were Rene Cassin of France. Different individuals who were leading philosophers and theorists of that time, Charles Malik of Lebanon -other individuals. And so, these debates were happening among this group of individuals. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the council that drafted the declaration, but she didn’t actually participate in a lot of the drafting of it, which is a bit of a misconception that a lot of individuals have -that she was the main drafter of the declaration. So, these were all kind of leading scholars, philosophers, intellectuals of the time that had come together through this platform of the drafting committee to put in what they saw were the most important rights that each individual should have across societies. What’s interesting about that drafting committee, a lot of individuals bring up the cultural relativist critique. And actually, the strong support for the kind of universalism was from nations of the global South. The few that were involved at that time who had already become free -if we think about the period of 1948 a lot of the countries of Asia, South Asia, at least in Sub-Saharan Africa, were still under colonial rule. And a lot of the colonial powers didn’t want the universal language to be in there. Because that would mean that then the colonies that were under their rule would have to be entitled to these rights that they weren’t at that time giving them. So, there’s this misnomer, I think, right? Or this misconception these days that cultural relativism is something that global South nations are arguing for. But at this time in the 1940s it was actually the reverse: That European powers were arguing for cultural relativist language so that they could maintain you know, their power over the colonies that they had that were very lucrative for them. But a lot of that history is very hidden.

Will Brehm  7:40
So, when did it change to the critique being that cultural relativism was what the global North was doing?

Monisha Bajaj  7:47
Yeah, so that -there’s a really interesting book, it’s a long answer to that question but I would point any listeners towards this book by -I think the first name of the, I can’t remember the first name of the author, but the last name is Burke, and again, the name of the book also escapes me- but it’s a I think it’s something on Decolonizing human rights or something like that. And it talks very extensively -it’s about a 200-page book- about every debate through the process of drafting the declaration. And then how different nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, different representatives from there, switched the debate on cultural relativism to then be a debate about the western imposition of values in order to be able to resist some of the universal framing around the 60s and 70s that was coming out about bringing attention to nations that were not abiding by some of these standards and advancing human rights for all people in those countries.

Will Brehm  8:44
Yeah, I know in the 90s a lot of Asian nations, when they came together during the Vienna Conference, they explicitly stated that human rights should not be used to pressure nations into a universal direction. They kind of made this very interesting balance between, on the one hand, they recognized human rights as universal but at the same time, they didn’t want nations -particularly a Western nations- to pressure Asian nations into following a certain direction of human rights. And it makes me realize that this difference between cultural relativism and the universal notion of human rights I mean, its intention and obviously, as you’re saying changes over time, depending on which nations are advocating for the different sides.

Monisha Bajaj  9:36
Yeah, I mean, I think the history of that debate is a really productive area to look into because it’s so complex and it’s so interesting to look kind of from the 1940s to the present who is on each side of that debate and how that’s shifted over time and even within nations to look at who argues for each of that. I know in my own work my I know we’re talking right now about this new book, but in my previous book on Human Rights Education in India, I looked at kind of the different definitions of Human Rights Education that people have. And it definitely was a lot of individuals who had a bit more privileged status that were arguing for cultural relativism and that these notions can’t be imposed on us. We have Asian values, or we are not like those nations that want us to be like them. Whereas the communities kind of at the very bottom, particularly Dalit rights activists and organizations that I work with -Dalit is considered formerly called “untouchable” groups. A lot of the organizations that were advancing Human Rights Education were Dalit rights organizations. And what they were saying is that, “we do want these universal notions because then what it can allow us to do is advocate for rights that we’ve been denied for thousands and thousands of years”. And the individuals who were arguing for cultural relativism were individuals who would then be upset or disrupted by a change in social relations that had privileged them for a very long time. So, I think it’s also very fruitful to look within nations to see how different structures are arranged and when groups who are some of the most marginalized begin to use human rights framing and language, how then the cultural relativist critique comes from local elites that don’t want any disruption of the privileges and benefits that they’ve had for a very long time.

Will Brehm  11:15
Right. So, it can be particular interests domestically, can latch on to some of these international ideas to push their agenda forward.

Monisha Bajaj  11:23
Yeah. And who is attending the UN meetings where they’re arguing for cultural relativism? For example, in the declaration that you mentioned, in the Vienna conference, the individuals who represent nations are often from elites, right? So, when there’s not the parallel tracks for NGOs or civil society or social movements to be part of those conversations, only one side of the story often gets put forward. So, it would be interesting to see -I think the World Conference against Racism in Durban in 2001 was a very interesting conference where many NGOs, social movements, civil society groups were present alongside the government representatives, and particularly around Dalit rights and the human rights framing, as well as other issues globally. You had a very sort of tense conference where even government actors walked out of the conference because of the strong presence of civil society that were basically telling them when the government of certain countries would say, No, the situation is like this. The civil society actors would say, “No, it’s not. We are living this, we are working this”. And so, you had both voices and it was very difficult for governmental actors to be able to spin a story that wasn’t countered by anyone else because you had a strong presence of civil society there.

Will Brehm  12:39
Yeah. So, let’s switch or let’s change gears to this: How Human Rights Education is actually practiced. Is this something that we see civil society and NGO organizations practicing? Or are governments actually practicing it as well?

Monisha Bajaj  12:56
Yeah. What I think is really interesting about Human Rights Education is you have a sort of “from above” approach and a “from below”. And then a lot of kind of grassroots, transformative education, social justice education, you only have the “from below”, which is kind of empowerment education, trying to reach marginalized groups, bring some sort of Freirean-inspired consciousness raising education in order to empower them. With Human Rights Education, you have that. You have a lot of grassroots movements. This was particularly true in Latin America, during the time of authoritarian rule. A lot of organizations were working with communities to bring in Human Rights Education to build a political base for movements to overthrow authoritarianism. You see that in many different contexts. At the same time, from the 1990s forward, you have a very strong intergovernmental legitimization of human rights discourses and Human Rights Education, particularly through the Vienna Conference on Human Rights in 1993. That was the first big World Conference on human rights after the fall of the Soviet Union where in the declaration that come out of the plan of action that came out of this conference, there were many paragraphs devoted to Human Rights Education being a priority. That awareness about human rights. Through that declaration, there was also the creation of the UN Decade for Human Rights Education, which was 1995 to 2004. So, you have this very strong intergovernmental movement at the same time that you have this very vibrant sort of grassroots movement and it looks different in both those places. So, the way governments talk about Human Rights Education may be putting a paragraph in a textbook, or kind of doing it so that they look good in the international community. Whereas grassroots movements are really trying to bring about individual and social change through working with marginalized groups to advocate for their own rights and demand sort of more dignity and basic freedoms. So, you have this interesting dual movement happening, and maybe there are other levels as well, but it also allows grassroots movements to draw on that global framework to bring legitimacy to what they’re doing. And you see a lot of groups -I see this in my work in India, as well as in other places where I’ve done research- where groups that we’re framing their work on education or consciousness raising around a particular right like the right to land or the right to be free from caste discrimination or gender, that they start using human rights more broadly to frame the issues that they’re working on because it does link to this global framework and this global discourse that then all of a sudden they can make claims on the nation-state because the nation-state has said that they agree to these kinds of global values and norms. So, you see a lot of reframing in the 1990s of individual social movements and NGOs that are working in different areas to a broader human rights lens because funding, legitimacy, networks and different ways of accessing these global goods can also be available by reframing into a human rights lens. And it’s not that what they were working on isn’t human rights. It’s just that all of a sudden there’s this kind of more pan-human rights perspective that individuals can link their own demands and struggles into.

Will Brehm  16:11
So why are nation-states -at this at these intergovernmental agencies and conferences- why are they adopting the language of human rights? Even if it’s only, like you said, a paragraph in a textbook. What is the reason for this global convergence in a sense at that intergovernmental level?

Monisha Bajaj  16:33
There are many scholars who’ve written on this, and I think -it’s not an area that I focus on squarely in my work. But we do have some chapters in the book that do talk about this kind of shift towards the kind of more individual rights in the global kind of economy. You see, this rise of neoliberalism to some extent has opened up the space for this discussion of individual rights. I would say it has a lot to do with kind of how the movement, particularly this kind of Cold War period, where it was very much the First World, the Second World, the Third World. Different groups were focused on different rights. So, the West and the global north was definitely kind of more on political and civil rights. Whereas you see the kind of Soviet nations more focused on economic-social rights, not necessarily cultural rights in that regard. But you see this kind of emergence of political and civil rights as sort of this framework that then becomes to frame a lot of the post-Soviet period. So, it is this way that human rights originally kind of gets in these documents and gets to this kind of international community through the political and civil rights. But as more people enter this space and start using the whole expanse of the human rights documents and frameworks that you see more attention to economic, social, cultural rights coming in as well

Will Brehm  17:53
Since the end of the Cold War -and maybe since the Vienna conference in the early 1990s- has the practice of Human Rights Education changed to today in 2017?

Monisha Bajaj  18:06
Yeah, definitely. So, I would say that -so you have this document in 1948 where Human Rights Education is clearly stated as a fundamental right, you know, a kind of social good that’s in this universal declaration, but not much action on it, or very disparate, different movements towards Human Rights Education. Until really there is this kind of global convening, this focus on Human Rights Education that comes out of the Vienna Conference, and then through the decade -that was like an interagency decade for Human Rights Education across UN agencies- there was then coordination and movement for individuals who are doing different things and may not even know about each other. If you think about the early 1990s, there wasn’t even the internet as easily available that really comes about in the late 90s, early 2000s. So, this decade really allowed people to coordinate and say, “hey, I’m doing this over here. Hey, I’m doing this over here, hey, let’s connect, let’s get together”. And through that coordination of action plans, nation-states then had an incentive because they were being required to submit action plans of what was happening, they had to take stock nationally and say, “Hey, what’s going on in our nation? What can we report that will make us look good about what’s going on in Human Rights Education”? So, it was also a chance for this kind of connection horizontally across the globe, at the civil society level. And I know in the case of India as well, which is where a lot of my research has taken place, government actors got interested in what civil society was doing, because they could use it as a way to show the UN agencies what was happening. Whether or not they were actually involved in it or not, but they could kind of take some credit for actions and show up at events that NGOs were putting on -there was a creation of a National Human Rights Commission at that time in India, for example. So, it was a chance to kind of take stock, connect and also move different initiatives forward because of this kind of international -I wouldn’t say comparison but this kind of focus that then everybody wanted to rally around and show what they were doing.

Will Brehm  20:06
Is Human Rights Education fundamentally different today than it was in the 90s? Or do we see similar trends happening?

Monisha Bajaj  20:14
Yeah, so I would say it is different. So, you see this kind of exponential growth in the term Human Rights Education being used. Initiatives that are specifically on Human Rights Education. So, whereas before the 90s, you probably had very disparate, very kind of Amnesty International was working in that space. Some individuals and organizations were but after the 1990s, you see a lot of individuals who had been doing education -maybe citizenship education or agenda rights education- using Human Rights Education as a frame. Sort of repackaging, maybe expanding the focus of what they were doing to include other rights and then just a monumental shift in pedagogies, practices, publications, textbook reforms, pedagogical reforms. So, the proliferation of initiatives and activities and NGOs that were working in this space after the 1990s till the present day. And what we see now, I think, which is really interesting is just different approaches. So, some of my previous work has also kind of looked at different ideological bents to Human Rights Education. So, I’ve kind of conceptualized some different areas of Human Rights Education for global citizenship, Human Rights Education for coexistence, where different groups whether those ethnic groups, religious groups have been in conflict, bringing initiatives for Human Rights Education that addresses that. And then Human Rights Education that is rooted much more in sort of analysis of asymmetrical power relations that really seeks to bring about transformative learning and action that will address some of these inequities locally and in some instances globally. So, you have a proliferation of initiatives with very different ends. So you might have someone calling what they do Human Rights Education that is very different even in the same nation-state as another group that is using the term Human Rights Education and working with a very marginalized group, and doing something that looks totally different than something that’s happening 50 miles away in a privileged, urban, private school that is sort of doing Skype chats with individuals in other countries and trying to bring about global citizenship. So, you definitely have sort of this proliferation of the term and the perspectives of Human Rights Education, but with very different definitions of what that means as you get down into what they’re doing, what rights they’re focusing on, and what approaches they’re taking to impart learning around human rights.

Will Brehm  22:35
So, I mean, this makes me wonder, what is the value of using the term Human Rights Education if it can mean so many different things?

Monisha Bajaj  22:44
Yeah, I mean, I think the value of using it is very similar to the value of kind of any social justice efforts, right? It allows for people to congregate around this banner of Human Rights Education and address different issues of basic dignity, social justice, critical analysis, but the way that people take up that movement will always be very different. And I think that’s where scholars and practitioners can be in dialogue. I think what’s interesting about Human Rights Education is because it’s a fairly new field, and it’s very grounded in both practice and scholarship. There’s one listserv that is extremely vibrant, that’s coordinated by the US based NGO, Human Rights Education Associates, that started kind of in the late 90s, early 2000s with a few dozen people. When I wrote my book on Human Rights Education in India a few years ago, it was about 8,000 people on the listserv. I’m on this listserv now. I think the latest I looked up its 16,000 people on this listserv from 170 different countries. And it’s an extremely active space for people to share what’s going on, what they’re doing, perspectives, insights, government efforts, feedback on the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training that came out a few years ago. There were several conversations about what should go into that. It’s very rare in other intergovernmental spaces, that you would have such an active civil society participation in the drafting of a declaration or in the discussions about the everyday kind of practice. So, I think being a field that’s relatively new and relatively small, more or less, it allows for this very vibrant and dynamic space where people can contest the definitions or bring in new ideas to it. But it also means that we can’t think it’s all the same. It’s not a monolithic whole. The way individual’s kind of think about Human Rights Education is shaped by where they’re positioned, their social location, what their goals are through the project. And that’s why I think this book is really, you know, it’s meant to be a very introductory textbook on you know, what is Human Rights Education, who’s in the space, what are the different perspectives that exists there and kind of teasing out some of these different conceptual and theoretical perspectives that infuse the way that we think about the field

Will Brehm  25:00
Are there any examples of the outcomes of Human Rights Education? Like, “this is a great outcome of this particular initiative or practice of Human Rights Education”.

Monisha Bajaj  25:14
Yeah, so the area of sort of, I mean, I think research contributes to that. But definitely the area of evaluation is very contested. Because, as with any sort of educational program, it’s difficult to say this is the concrete outcome of this. But there have been studies that look at kind of prejudice reduction, there are three kind of large buckets that Human Rights Education focuses on: So, one is the cognitive. So greater awareness, knowledge about human rights history, standards, norms, maybe they’re domestic rights that everyone has access to. The second bucket would be kind of the affective, attitudinal. So, how does Human Rights Education affect the way that individuals interact with each other? This kind of emotional or attitudinal behavioral area. Is there actually less bullying because Human Rights Education is happening in a school? Is there greater inclusion among different social groups in a school or educative community? And then the third bucket is action-oriented. And that’s one of the trickiest areas to assess because a lot of school children don’t have a lot of time for social action. But Human Rights Education also takes place in a lot of non-formal education learning spaces where there are adult learners, it can happen in community-based spaces, it can happen in after school spaces. So, these are areas that different scholars have looked at. So, what is kind of the content, what are the sort of affective, and what are the action-oriented components that learners -whatever age they are- develop and incorporate into -and even educators- as they learn about Human Rights Education, what are they taking up and doing with this information? I look at that some in my book on Human Rights Education in India. Schooling for Social Change, is the name of that book. Other scholars have also done that, and we have, you know, chapters by about 20 different authors in this new book Human Rights Education: Theory, Research and Praxis, that gives short chapter snippets of what they’re looking at. One of the really interesting chapters that we were excited to include in this book is by Oren Pizmony-Levy and Megan Jensen, where they look at a professional development Human Rights Education program for individuals who work with people who work with refugees who are claiming asylum based on persecution of their gender identity or sexual orientation. So, this was a really important chapter to include because a lot of human rights frameworks, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, doesn’t identify sexual orientation as an area that you have to be free from discrimination of. And as we move from the 1940s forward, more declarations and conventions and international frameworks have incorporated some around sexual orientation, but it is a very sort of contested area when you think about the different nation-states and different laws that criminalize activity. So, this was an important chapter to include and they present some evidence of a training program done by an organization that really does show how individuals who participated, in a quantitative measure, reduce prejudice towards individuals of different sexual orientations through participation in this professional development. So, there are these ways of sort of evaluating. It could be that long term, there are kind of reversals to old ways of thinking, but there are different methodological approaches in the field and some attention towards addressing, “Okay, what are the outcomes and how do we assess these outcomes so that we are moving towards greater respect for human rights through Human Rights Education?”

Will Brehm  28:52
I want to bring the conversation all the way to today when where Marine Le Pen did not win the French presidency, but she came in second and earned more votes than her father did. And in a way she exemplifies this rise of nationalism and ethnocentric thinking -at least in Europe and maybe in the US where Donald Trump won the presidency- and we see this new anti-global talk and discourse and much more nationalistic and I wanted to in your sense: Do you think that this sort of discourse that we see in Europe and in America is going to affect Human Rights Education?

Monisha Bajaj  29:41
So, I see it as not only Europe and America. I mean if we look at the Philippines what’s going on with the leader there. India you know there’s been a tremendous cracking down on descent, revoking of human rights organizations sort of national permission to operate by the Prime Minister there right now. I think it’s a global trend. So, I just want to say that it’s not just the United States and Europe, even though that’s what we get most of the news about. It is really a global trend towards this kind of authoritarianism. In my opinion, it definitely makes Human Rights Education more necessary than ever. So, if you see Human Rights Education as a political and pedagogical project, we need more consciousness raising, critical thinking, critical media literacy, we need it more than ever. And the way I kind of give a quick definition of Human Rights Education sometimes is that space where cosmopolitanism meets Paulo Freire’s ideas. So, I think there’s this beautiful merging of this cosmopolitan thinking, that we are kind of global citizens, that we do have these shared moral, legal, and ethical frameworks which we see in human rights. But that individual consciousness raising has to happen at very local levels with very kind of tailored approaches to the communities that you’re involved in. So how individual communities link to that global, ethical framework and what’s needed to get them to think in perspective, or in relation to that is very different. So that consciousness raising that political, pedagogical, participatory education that happens has to take into account how people are situated in relation to this global. And right now, I think this move towards authoritarianism and this very kind of “rise of nationalism”, is related to a very sophisticated explanation that these kind of charismatic leaders who tend towards authoritarianism are able to give, which is that your economic woes and your hardships are because of “the other”. So particularly with Brexit, there was a very strong propaganda, whatever effort, towards blaming immigrants for the economic hardships when in reality if you take a structural lens on what’s happening is that manufacturing -a lot of the industrial jobs that individuals were in- moved overseas long ago. But the way that the kind of right-wing efforts were able to pin that answer, when people were asking, “Why is my life so hard?”, they were able to pin that answer on individuals who looked different and this kind of rise of multiculturalism through the European Union and migration that had been facilitated to that. When that actually, structurally, was not the reason why people’s lives were harder. It was the collapsing global economy and the rise of neoliberalism and factories moving to where wage labor is the cheapest in places like Bangladesh or Cambodia or Haiti. So, there’s this very sophisticated, I would say political education by the Right to give answers to these kinds of questions that we human rights educators really have to counter with correct and clear analysis that includes critical thinking, critical media literacy, historicizing the situations that individuals find themselves in but I think some of the ways that Human Rights Education operates is so grassroots. It’s very difficult to counter such sophisticated and well-funded campaigns on the other side.

Will Brehm  33:10
Well, Monisha Bajaj, thank you so much for joining FreshEd, it was really great to talk today.

Monisha Bajaj  33:15
Thank you so much for having me.

ويل بريهم: مونيشا باجاج، أهلًا بيكي في برنامج فريش إيد
مونيشا باجاج: شكرًا جدًا لاستضافتكم لي يا ويل
ويل بريهم: إيه هو تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟
مونيشا باجاج: تمام، التعريف الأوّلي لتعليم حقوق الإنسان أن هو أي تعليم وتعلم بيحصل عشان ينقل القيم والمفاهيم والمعرفة الخاصة بحقوق الإنسان بين المتعلمين. وحقوق الإنسان، بشكل أساسي، هي الإطار القانوني والأخلاقي لكرامة الإنسان. وهي موجودة من سنين بعيدة جدًا وفي ثقافات كتيرة، لكنها لم تصبح بالأهمية دي غير بعد الحرب العالمية التانية، لما اجتمعت الدول بعد حربين عالميتين وشافت أهوال الحرب النووية وويلات ما حصل فيها، وحاولوا يعملوا إطار أخلاقي وقانوني مشترك للأفراد والمجتمعات والدول عشان يعيشوا في سلام وكرامة.
ويل بريهم: وهل كان هذا الإطار القانوني والأخلاقي من خلال الأمم المتحدة؟
مونيشا باجاج: نعم، ما حدث هو إن الأمم المتحدة جابت الأفكار إللي كانت موجودة قبل كده من خلال عصبة الأمم، وكمان بعض المقترحات إللي كانت موجودة قبل الحرب العالمية الثانية. لكن بعد الحرب العالمية التانية، ومع تعافي الدول من أمور كثيرة كانت بتحدث في قارات مختلفة، أخذت المقترحات دي خطوة حقيقية للأمام ساهمت في وضع المبادئ التأسيسية والهيكل التنظيمي للأمم المتحدة. ومن خلال هذا تم اقتراح إعلان عالمي لحقوق الإنسان وإللي فيه وضعت معايير إنسانية أساسية للتعايش المشترك. المبادئ الأساسية إللي يحق لكل إنسان إنه يحصل عليها.
ويل بريهم: هذا معناه إن حقوق الإنسان كإطار تم وضعه من خلال الأمم المتحدة في الأربعينات والخمسينات من القرن الماضي، لكن متى ظهر “تعليم” حقوق الإنسان لأول مرة؟
مونيشا باجاج: تمام، في الواقع كما قلت، ظهرت مفاهيم حقوق الإنسان في تقاليد وثقافات مختلفة من سنين، كذلك التعليم عن حقوق الإنسان والقيم الأساسية للكرامة الإنسانية كانت موجودة تاريخيًا في ثقافات كثيرة عبر السنين. لكن مرة تاني، في تشريع سنة 1948، من خلال الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان- ومن خلال بنوده الثلاثين إللي بيحتويها كوثائق مهمة، وهذا الإعلان تمت ترجمته آلاف المرات في كل أنحاء العالم. ينص الإعلان بشكل أساسي في المادة 26 والجزء الأول منها على أن لكل شخص الحق في التعليم. وخصوصًا في الجزء الثاني من المادة وبينص على أنه ينبغي أن يتم توجيه التعليم إلى تعزيز الاحترام لحقوق الإنسان والحريات الأساسية. لذلك فإن هذا الوعي كان موجودًا، والأفراد إللي ناقشوا هذه الوثيقة على مر 3 سنين كانوا بيتناقشوا بخصوص اللغة المستخدمة، وبيحاولوا الوصول للمصطلحات والمفاهيم والصياغات والمباديء الصحيحة إللي كانت ستحتويها هذه الوثيقة. وكان هناك جدل كبير بخصوص الأفراد المتعلمين وإللي شاركوا في الهولوكوست، أو محرقة اليهود، مثل بعض الأطباء إللي عملوا تجارب طبية مروعة على الأفراد من تعذيب وقتل وأمور فظيعة. وكمان بخصوص التلقين النازي العنصري للشباب من خلال التعليم أثناء حكم النظام النازي. علشان كدا كان هناك هذا المنظور وهو: إن الموضوع مش مجرد الحصول على التعليم، كما هو موجود في الجزء الأول من المادة 26، لكن التعليم بأي غرض؟ التعليم المتجه إلى السلام والتسامح والتآخي بين الدول وتعزيز الحريات الأساسية واحترام حقوق الإنسان. كان تعليم حقوق الإنسان موجود بالفعل من وقت وضع هذه الوثيقة، الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان.
ويل بريهم: ومن هم أهم المؤيدين لتعليم حقوق الإنسان؟
مونيشا باجاج: تمام، في هذا النوع من النقاش بيشارك ناس من دول مختلفة. فكان هناك مثلًا دعم كبير من النساء من الهند ومن جمهورية الدومنيكان، وإللي كانوا ممثلين في صياغة هذه الوثيقة بهدف الحصول على لغة شاملة تتناسب مع كل جنس. وفيما يتعلق بالتعليم، فكثير من دول أمريكا اللاتينية اهتمت بالحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والثقافية في الوثيقة. من الواضح أن بعض المشاركين في الصياغة وإللي نعرف عنهم كان منهم رينيه كاسان من فرنسا. كذلك كان هناك فلاسفة وأصحاب نظريات في ذلك الوقت مثل تشارلز مالك من لبنان وغيره. كانت المناقشات بتحصل بين هذه المجموعة من الأفراد. وترأست إليانور روزفلت المجلس إللي صاغ الإعلان، لكنها لم تشارك فعليًا في صياغة كتير منه، وهذا مفهوم خاطئ بعض الشيء موجود عند ناس كثير، لكنها كانت العامل الرئيسي في صياغة الإعلان. كان كل هؤلاء من كبار العلماء والفلاسفة والمفكرين في ذلك الوقت وإللي اجتمعوا مع بعض من خلال منصة لجنة الصياغة لوضع ما رأوا أنه يكون أهم الحقوق إللي لابد يتمتع بها كل فرد في المجتمعات. من الأمور المثيرة للاهتمام بخصوص لجنة الصياغة، أن أفرادًا كثيرين أثاروا فكرة النقد الثقافي النسبي. وفي الواقع، فإن الدعم القوي لهذا النوع من الشمولية كان من دول الجنوب وهي الأقلية إللي كانت مشاركة في ذلك الوقت وإللي بالفعل تحررت من الاستعمار. لو فكرنا في فترة 1948 فإن كثير من دول آسيا، وجنوب آسيا أو على الأقل في أفريقيا جنوب الصحراء الكبرى، كانت لاتزال تحت الحكم الاستعماري. وكثير من القوى الاستعمارية ماكنتش عايزة وجود اللغة العالمية هناك. لأن هذا يعني ان المستعمرات إللي كانت بتخضع لحكمها لابد أن تحصل على هذه الحقوق، لكنها ماكنتش بتاخدها في ذلك الوقت. علشان كدا، اعتقد ان فيه خطأ في التسمية. كمان هناك الاعتقاد الخاطئ في تلك الفترة بأن النسبية الثقافية هي أمر تنادي به دول الجنوب. لكن في الأربعينات كان العكس هو الواقع. كانت القوى الأوروبية نفسها بتدافع عن لغة النسبية الثقافية عشان يستمروا في الاحتفاظ بسلطتهم على المستعمرات إللي كانت مربحة جدًا ليهم. لكن كتير من هذا التاريخ مخفي.
ويل بريهم: متى تغير هذا لنقد فكرة أن النسبية الثقافية هي ما كانت تمارسه دول الشمال؟
مونيشا باجاج: فيه كتاب غاية في الروعة يجاوب على هذا السؤال باستفاضة وأنا أحب أوجه المستمعين إليه. هذا الكتاب كتبه واحد اسمه……..، الحقيقة مش قادر افتكر اسمه الأول لكن اسمه التاني بروك، وللأسف نسيت كمان اسم الكتاب لكني اعتقد إن اسمه “انهاء استعمار حقوق الإنسان” أو شيء شبه هذا. وهذا الكتاب يتكلم بتركيز شديد في حوالي200 صفحة عن كل الجدال إللي حصل أثناء عملية صياغة الإعلان. وبعدين بيتكلم عن كيف حوّلت الدول المختلفة،وخصوصًا السعودية والمندوبين المختلفين النقاش بخصوص النسبية الثقافية ليكون النقاش بعد ذلك عن تطويع الغرب للقيم علشان يقدروا يقاوموا بعض الأطر العالمية في فترة الستينيات والسبعينيات إللي تم وضعها لمحاسبة الدول إللي لم تكن تلتزم بمعايير حقوق الإنسان وتتيحها لكل الناس في تلك الدول.
ويل بريهم: فعلًا أنا عارف أن في التسعينيات كثير من الدول الآسيوية، لما اجتمعوا مع بعض خلال مؤتمر فيينا، أعلنوا صراحةً أنه لا ينبغي استغلال حقوق الإنسان للضغط على الدول لتسير في تيار عالمي معين. وبكده يكونوا عملوا توازن رائع بين اعترافهم بحقوق الإنسان كأمر عالمي من جهة، لكن في نفس الوقت ماكانوش عايزين الدول، وخصوصًا الغربية، تضغط على الدول الآسيوية لاتباع اتجاه معين لحقوق الإنسان. ودا دفعني إن أنا أدرك إن هذا الاختلاف بين النسبية الثقافية والمفهوم العالمي لحقوق الإنسان بيتغير من وقت للتاني بحسب الدول إللي بتدافع عن واحد من الجانبين.
مونيشا باجاج:نعم، أنا أعتقد إن تاريخ هذا الجدال هو مجال مثمر للبحث فيه لأنه معقد للغاية ومن الشيق البحث في الفترة من الأربعينيات حتى الوقت الحالي عن مين من الدول كان بيدعم أي جانب من جوانب الجدال، وكيف تغير هذا مع الوقت حتى داخل نفس هذه الدول لتحديد مين إللي كان بيدعم كل جانب من النقاش. أنا عارف إننا بنتكلم دلوقت عن كتابي الجديد، لكن في كتابي السابق عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان في الهند، أنا بحثت في نوع من المفاهيم المختلفة عند الناس عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان. وكان بالتأكيد معظم الأفراد إللي بيتمتعوا بمكانة مميزة بيدافعوا عن النسبية الثقافية وأنه لا يمكن فرض هذه الأفكار علينا. عندنا قيمنا الأسيوية يعني إحنا مختلفين عن الدول إللي عايزانا نبقى زيها. في حين إن نوعية المجتمعات إللي في القاع وخصوصًا نشطاء منظمة داليت الحقوقية والمنظمات إللي بتتعاون معاها، منظمة داليت تعتبر رسميًا مجموعة “محظورة”. كتير من المنظمات إللي كانت بتقدم تعليم حقوق الإنسان كانت من منظمات بتتعاون مع داليت الحقوقية. وكانوا بيقولوا احنا عايزين القيم العالمية دي لأنها هتخلينا قادرين على الدفاع عن الحقوق إللي اتحرمنا منها لآلاف السنين. والأفراد إللي كانوا بيدافعوا عن النسبية الثقافية شعروا فيما بعد بالإحباط والانزعاج بسبب التغير إللي حصل في العلاقات الاجتماعية إللي ميزتهم لمدة طويلة. علشان كدا أنا بعتقد انه كمان من المفيد النظر داخل الدول لفهم كيفية ترتيب الهياكل التنظيمية المختلفة ومتى بدأت بعض أكثر المجموعات المهمشة في استخدام لغة ومبادئ حقوق الإنسان، وكيف بعد ذلك جاء النقد النسبي الثقافي من النخب المحلية إللي لا تريد أي تعطيل للامتيازات والفوائد إللي تمتعوا بيها لفترة طويلة جدًا.
ويل بريهم: صحيح، فممكن تكون هناك مصالح خاصة على الصعيد المحلي وبتلتصق ببعض الأفكار الدولية علشان تدفع أجندتها لقدام.
مونيشا باجاج: طبعًا، ومين إللي بيحضر اجتماعات الأمم المتحدة إللي بيدافعوا فيها عن النسبية الثقافية؟ على سبيل المثال، في الإعلان إللي ذكرته، في مؤتمر فيينا، غالبًا بيكون الأفراد إللي بيمثلوا الدول من النخبة، صح؟ علشان كدا لما مش بيكون فيه مسارات موازية من المنظمات غير الحكومية، أو المجتمع المدني أو الحركات الاجتماعية علشان تكون جزء من هذه المحادثات، غالبًا بيتم طرح جانب واحد بس من القصة. علشان كدا هيكون من الشيق إننا نشوف هذا. أعتقد أن المؤتمر العالمي لمناهضة العنصرية في ديربان في عام 2001 كان مؤتمر مثير للاهتمام لأن العديد من المنظمات غير الحكومية حضرت فيه، كذلك الحركات الاجتماعية، ومجموعات المجتمع المدني إلى جانب ممثلي الحكومة، حضروا خصوصًا لمناقشة قضية حقوق داليت وتأطير حقوق الإنسان، وغيرها من القضايا الأخرى على الصعيد العالمي. كانت هناك نوعية من المؤتمرات المتوترة، وإللي انسحب منها حتى الممثلين الحكوميين بسبب الوجود القوي للمجتمع المدني، لما كانت حكومات بعض الدول بتقول “لا، الوضع عندنا كذا”، فكان ممثلو المجتمع المدني يردوا ويقولوا “لا، الوضع مش كدا، احنا عايشين بهذه الطريقة، وبنشتغل بالطريقة الفلانية. وهكذا، كان عندنا كلا الصوتين وكان من الصعب جدًا بالنسبة للممثلين الحكوميين انهم يختلقوا قصة لا يتم التصدي ليها لأن كان هناك حضور قوي للمجتمع المدني.
ويل بريهم: تمام، خلينا ننقل أو نغير الحديث لنقطة تانية: كيف تتم ممارسة تعليم حقوق الإنسان فعليًا؟ هل نرى إن المجتمع المدني والمنظمات غير الحكومية بتمارسه؟ أو هل الحكومات كمان بتمارسه فعليًا؟
مونيشا باجاج: تمام، الأمر إللي أنا بعتقد أنه شيق جدًا بخصوص تعليم حقوق الإنسان أن عندنا مدخلين “من أعلى” و “من أسفل”. في مدخل “من أعلى” هناك أنواع كتيرة من التعليم الشعبي، والتعليم التحولي، والتعليم عن العدالة الاجتماعية. أما مدخل “من أسفل”، فيوجد فيه فقط التعليم التمكيني، ودا بيحاول يوصل للفئات المهمشة، وبيستحضر نوع من التعليم المستوحى من الأفكار المنسوبة لفرير وهو فيلسوف وتربوي برازيلي ركز على رفع مستوى التعليم والوعي للناس بهدف تمكينهم من حقوقهم. مع تعليم حقوق الإنسان تجد الآتي. هناك حركات شعبية كثيرة، ودا صحيح على وجه الخصوص في أمريكا اللاتينية خلال فترة الحكم الاستبدادي. كتير من المنظمات كانت بتشتغل مع المجتمعات لنشر تعليم حقوق الإنسان علشان تبني قاعدة سياسية للحركات بهدف الإطاحة بالاستبداد. وتقدر تشوف دا في سياقات مختلفة عديدة. في نفس الوقت، من التسعينيات وما بعدها، هناك شرعية حكومية دولية قوية جدًا لخطابات حقوق الإنسان ولتعليم حقوق الإنسان، وخصوصًا من خلال اعلان مؤتمر فيينا عن حقوق الإنسان في سنة 1993. ودا كان أول مؤتمر عالمي ضخم عن حقوق الإنسان بعد سقوط الإتحاد السوفيتي وفيه تم الإعلان عن خطة الأعمال إللي نتجت عن المؤتمر، وكانت هناك فقرات كثيرة مخصصة لتعليم حقوق الإنسان كأولوية تساهم في زيادة الوعي عن حقوق الإنسان. من خلال هذا الإعلان، قامت الأمم المتحدة بتخصيص فترة عشر سنين لتعليم حقوق الإنسان، من 1995 لـ 2004. عشان كدا عندنا الحركة الحكومية الدولية القوية جدًا، في نفس الوقت إللي فيه الحركة الشعبية النابضة بالحياة دي؛ ويبدو الأمر مختلف بين هذين الاتجاهين. فالطريقة إللي بتتكلم بيها الحكومات عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان ربما تكون بوضع فقرة في كتاب مدرسي، أو أي حاجة زي كدا علشان يظهروا بصورة جيدة قدام المجتمع الدولي. في حين إن الحركات الشعبية هي فعلًا بتحاول تعمل تغيير على مستوى الفرد والمجتمع من خلال العمل مع الفئات المهمشة للدفاع عن حقوقها والمطالبة بنوع من الكرامة والحريات الأساسية. علشان كدا عندنا الحركة المزدوجة والمثيرة للاهتمام دي، وربما هناك كمان مستويات تانيةـ لكن دا برضه بيسمح للحركات الشعبية انها تستفيد من الإطار العالمي علشان تضفي شرعية على إللي بتعمله. واحنا بنشوف فئات كتيرة- أنا مثلًا بشوف دا في شغلي في الهند وكمان في أماكن تانية عملت فيها أبحاث. هناك مجموعات بتقوم بوضع إطار لشغلها على التعليم ورفع الوعي حول حق معين زي حق الأرض، أو حق الحرية من التمييز الطبقي أو الجنسي، وإنهم يبدأوا يستخدموا حقوق الإنسان على نطاق أوسع لوضع إطار للقضايا إللي بيشتغلوا عليها لأنها بترتبط بالإطار العالمي دا، والخطاب العالمي دا، وبكدا يقدروا يقدموا مطالبات للدولة القومية لأنها قالت إنها موافقة على هذه الأنواع من القيم والقواعد العالمية. علشان كدا انت بتشوف إعادة صياغة كتير في التسعينات لحركات اجتماعية فردية ومنظمات غير حكومية بتشتغل في مجالات مختلفة لتوسيع نطاق حقوق الإنسان لأن الدعم المالي، والقواعد، والشبكات والطرق المختلفة للوصول للسلع العالمية بتكون متاحة من خلال إعادة صياغة نطاق حقوق الإنسان. وفجأة أصبح عندنا هذا النوع من منظور حقوق الإنسان إللي يقدر الأفراد يربطوا مطالبهم وصراعاتهم بيه.
ويل بريهم: طيب ليه، الوكالات والمؤتمرات غير الحكومية دي، ليه بيتبنوا لغة حقوق الإنسان؟ حتى لو، زي ما حضرتك قلت، انها مجرد فقرة في كتاب مدرسي. إيه سبب هذا التقارب العالمي على المستوى الحكومي الدولي؟
مونيشا باجاج: فيه علماء كتير كتبوا عن هذا، وأنا أعتقد، إنه مش المجال إللي أنا بركز عليه بشكل مباشر. لكن عندنا بعض الفصول في الكتاب بتتكلم عن هذا النوع من التحول تجاه شكل من الحقوق الفردية في الاقتصاد العالمي. فتح صعود الليبرالية الحديثة إلى حد ما المجال لهذا النوع من المناقشات عن الحقوق الفردية. عايز أقول إن فيه حاجات كتير عايزة تتعمل بخصوص الكيفية إللي لابد تتعامل بيها هذه الحركة مع الفئات المختلفة، وخصوصًا في فترة الحرب الباردة، إللي بينقسم العالم فيها للعالم الأول والعالم الثاني والعالم الثالث. فئات مختلفة ارتكزت على حقوق مختلفة. فالغرب ودول الشمال بالتأكيد أكثر تركيزًا على الحقوق السياسية والمدنية. في حين ركزت الدول السوفيتية على الحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية، ومش ضروري الحقوق الثقافية. لكنك بتشوف هذا النوع من ظهور الحقوق السياسية والمدنية كنوع من الإطار إللي أصبح بعد كدا إطار لمعظم فترة ما بعد الإتحاد السوفيتي. هذه الطريقة إللي بتدخل بيها حقوق الإنسان في الأساس لهذه الوثائق وبتصل للمجتمع الدولي من خلال الحقوق السياسية والمدنية. لكن كل ما دخل ناس كتير لهذه المنطقة وابتدوا يستخدموا وثائق وأطر حقوق الإنسان بشكل كامل، كل ما هتشوف اهتمام أكبر بالحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والثقافية.
ويل بريهم: من نهاية الحرب الباردة وربما من وقت مؤتمر فيينا في أوائل التسعينات حتى الآن، هل حصل تغير في ممارسات تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟
مونيشا باجاج: طبعًا بالتأكيد، عشان كدا أحب أقول أن عندنا هذه الوثيقة من سنة 1948 وفيها تم الإعلان بوضوح على إن تعليم حقوق الإنسان هو حق أساسي، وكون إن هذا ورد في الإعلان العالمي هو أمر جيد اجتماعيًا، لكن لم يتم اتخاذ إجراءات أو خطوات كثيرة تجاه تعليم حقوق الإنسان. لما حصل الاجتماع العالمي تم التركيز على تعليم حقوق الإنسان إللي نتجت عن مؤتمر فيينا، وبعدها خلال العشر سنين إللي كانت عبارة عن عشر سنين مشتركة بين وكالات الأمم المتحدة بخصوص تعليم حقوق الإنسان، كان فيه تناسق وحركة لأفراد بيعملوا حاجات مختلفة وربما كانوا حتى لا يعرفون بعضهم البعض.  لو فكرت في بداية التسعينيات، ماكانش فيه حتى إنترنت متاح بسهولة زي أواخر التسعينات وأوائل الألفية التانية. عشان كدا العشر سنين دول بالفعل سمحت للناس بالتنسيق مع بعض وأنهم يقولوا لبعض “انتبه، أنا بعمل دا هنا، وأنا بعمل دا هناك، خلينا نكون على اتصال، خلينا نشتغل مع بعض.” ومن خلال التنسيق لخطط العمل، كان للأمم المتحدة بعد ذلك الحافز لأنهم مطالبون بوضع خطط عمل للي كان بيحصل. وكان عليهم إجراء تقييم على المستوى الوطني ويسألوا، “انتبه، إيه إللي بيحصل في بلدنا؟ وإيه إللي نقدر نعلنه يساعد في إننا نظهر بصورة كويسة بخصوص إللي حاصل في موضوع تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟” دي كانت كمان فرصة لهذا النوع من التواصل الأفقي العالمي على المستوى الاجتماعي المدني. وأنا عارف أن في حالة الهند كذلك، تم فيها اجراء أبحاث كتيرة، اهتمت جهات حكومية بما يعمله المجتمع المدني، لأنهم يقدروا يستخدموه كوسيلة عشان يظهروا لوكالات الأمم المتحدة إللي بيحصل. سواء كانوا فعلًا مهتمين ومنخرطين في الموضوع أو لا، إلا إنه يُحسب ليهم إنهم أخدوا إجراءات وأظهروا في الأحداث إن المنظمات غير الحكومية كانت بتدّعي حاجات مبالغ فيها. كان فيه ظهور للجنة قومية لحقوق الإنسان في ذلك الوقت في الهند على سبيل المثال. فدي كانت فرصة لإجراء تقييم وللتواصل وكمان نقل مبادرات مختلفة لقدام بفضل هذا النوع من التركيز الدولي، مش هقول المقارنة، لكن الكل أراد إنهم يجتمعوا ويظهروا إللي كانوا بيعملوه.
ويل بريهيم: هل تعليم حقوق الإنسان مختلف اليوم اختلافًا جوهريًا عما كان عليه في التسعينيات؟ واللا احنا بنشوف اتجاهات مماثلة بتحصل؟
مونيشا بجاج: أنا عايز أقول إنه مختلف. فاحنا بنشوف هذا النوع من التطور الهائل في مصطلح تعليم حقوق الإنسان وهو مُستخدَم. هناك مبادرات بشكل خاص في تعليم حقوق الإنسان. ربما قبل فترة التسعينيات كان فيه تباين شديد، وده نوع من الأشياء اللي جعلت منظمة العفو الدولية تشتغل في هذا المجال. كان فيه بعض الأفراد والمنظمات، لكن بعد فترة التسعينيات، بنشوف أفراد كتير من إللي بيقدموا ربما تعليم عن المواطنة أو عندهم أجندة عن التعليم عن الحقوق بيستخدموا تعليم حقوق الإنسان كإطار ليهم. نوع من إعادة التقديم ربما يتوسع في نطاق التركيز على إللي بيعملوه علشان يشمل حقوق تانية وبعدها يحصل تحول كبير في علم أصول التربية، والممارسات، والمنشورات، وإصلاح الكتب المدرسية، والإصلاحات التربوية. هذا موجود في كثير من المبادرات والأنشطة والمنظمات غير الحكومية إللي كانت تعمل في هذا المجال بعد التسعينيات وحتى اليوم. وده إللي احنا بنشوفه هذه الأيام، وإللي أعتقد إنه فعلًا شيق، وأعتقد إنه يقدم مداخل مختلفة. بعض أعمالي السابقة تبدو مختلفة بعض الشيء في التوجهات الأيديولوجية المختلفة لتعليم حقوق الإنسان. علشان كدا أنا عملت صياغة لبعض المجالات المختلفة مثل: تعليم حقوق الإنسان من أجل مواطنة عالمية، وتعليم حقوق الإنسان من أجل التعايش المشترك، في الأماكن إللي فيها فئات مختلفة سواء كانت فئات دينية أو عرقية بتعيش في صراع، وعملت مبادرات لتعليم حقوق الإنسان إللي بتخاطب هذا الأمر. كذلك تعليم حقوق الإنسان إللي بيتأصل أكتر في تحليل علاقات القوة غير المتكافئة وإللي بيحاول تحقيق تعلم تحولي بيعالج بعض أوجه عدم المساواة، محليًا وفي بعض الحالات عالميًا. إذًا هناك تزايد للمبادرات بأهداف مختلفة تمامًا. فربما نجد شخص يسمي ما يعمله تعليم حقوق الإنسان لكنه هيكون مختلف جدًا حتى في داخل الدولة الواحدة عن شخص آخر يستخدم مصطلح تعليم حقوق الإنسان ويشتغل مع فئة مهمشة جدًا تعمل أشياء مختلفة تمامًا عن أشياء بتحصل على بعد 50 ميل في مدرسة خاصة في مدينة قريبة تتمتع بامتيازات وبتعمل محادثات عبر الإسكايب مع أفراد من دول تانية وبيحاولوا يحصلوا على مواطنة عالمية. علشان كدا انت بالتأكيد عندك نوع من الانتشار لمصطلح تعليم حقوق الإنسان ووجهات النظر عنه، لكن مع تعريفات مختلفة لمعناه بحسب إللي بيعملوه والحقوق إللي بيركزوا عليها والأساليب إللي بيتخذوها لتوصيل المعرفة عن حقوق الإنسان.
ويل بريهيم: دا بيخليني أتساءل، إيه قيمة استخدام مصطلح تعليم حقوق الإنسان لو كان ممكن يعني أمور مختلفة كتيرة؟
مونيشا باجاج: أنا أعتقد أن القيمة من استخدامه متشابهة جدًا لقيمة أي نوع من جهود العدالة الاجتماعية، صحيح؟ لأنها بتسمح للناس انهم يتجمعوا حول شعار تعليم حقوق الإنسان ومعالجة القضايا الأساسية المختلفة مثل الكرامة، والعدالة الاجتماعية، والتحليل النقدي. لكن الطريقة إللي بيستخدمها الناس لعمل هذا دائمًا هتكون مختلفة جدًا. وأنا أعتقد إن هذه هي المساحة إللي فيها يقدر العلماء والممارسون أنهم يكونوا في حوار. أنا أعتقد أن الأمر الشيق بخصوص تعليم حقوق الإنسان هو أنه مجال جديد إلى حد ما ويرتكز إلى حد كبير على كل من النظرية والتطبيق. هناك مثلًا قائمة للتواصل الالكتروني حيوية للغاية، بيتم تنسيقها بواسطة منظمة غير حكومية مقرها الولايات المتحدة، وهي منظمة لتعليم حقوق الإنسان، وإللي بدأت تقريبًا في أواخر التسعينيات، وأوائل العقد الأول من القرن العشرين بعشرات قليلة من الناس. لما كتبت كتابي عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان في الهند من سنوات قليلة، كان فيه حوالي 8000 شخص في القائمة. أنا واحد من ضمن الموجودين على هذه القائمة الآن. أعتقد أن آخر عدد على القائمة وصل لـ 16000 شخص من 170 دولة مختلفة. وهذه مساحة نشطة جدًا للناس علشان يشاركوا بإللي بيحصل وبإللي بيعملوه وبوجهات نظرهم وبرؤاهم وبمجهودات الحكومة وردود الأفعال على إعلان الأمم المتحدة بخصوص تعليم وتدريب حقوق الإنسان إللي صدر من سنين قليلة. كان فيه أيضًا محادثات متنوعة بخصوص إيه إللي لابد للبدء في العمل بيه. من النادر جدًا في المجالات الحكومية الدولية الأخرى أن تكون عندك مشاركة نشطة مماثلة من المجتمع المدني في صياغة إعلان أو في المناقشات حول نوع الممارسة اليومية. علشان كدا أنا أعتقد أن كونه مجال جديد نسبيًا وصغير نسبيًا، أكثر أو أقل، فهو يتيح هذه المساحة الحيوية والديناميكية جدًا وإللي فيها الناس يقدروا يعارضوا المفاهيم أو يقدموا أفكار جديدة. ولكن هذا معناه أننا ما نقدرش نعتقد أن كل تعليم لحقوق الإنسان هيكون نفس الشيء. فهو مش مجرد وحدات جامدة متراصة. فطريقة تفكير الفرد في تعليم حقوق الإنسان بتتشكل من خلال مكانته، وموقعه الاجتماعي، وما هي أهدافه من خلال المشروع. لهذا السبب أعتقد أن هذا الكتاب فعلًا من المفترض أنه يكون كتاب تمهيدي وإللي فيه بتعرف، إيه هو تعليم حقوق الإنسان، ومين رواده، وإيه هي وجهات النظر المختلفة الموجودة بخصوصه، وكيفية استخراج بعض وجهات النظر الخاصة بالمفاهيم والنظريات المختلفة إللي بتغرس الطريقة إللي بنفكر بيها في هذا المجال.
ويل بريهيم: هل هناك أي أمثلة لنتائج تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟ مثلًا لو هتقول “إن هذا الأمر هو نتيجة عظيمة للمبادرة، أو تلك الممارسة لتعليم حقوق الإنسان.”
مونيشا باجاج: نعم، أنا أعتقد إن البحث العلمي بيساهم في هذا. لكن بالتأكيد مجال التقييم أمر فيه صراع. لأن، كما هو الحال في أي برنامح تعليمي، من الصعب أنك تقول كذا هو الناتج الملموس لكذا. لكن كان فيه دراسات بتبحث في تقليل التمييز. فيه 3 أنواع من الجوانب بيركز عليهم تعليم حقوق الإنسان: الأول هو الجانب المعرفي، إللي فيه بيحصل مزيد من الوعي والمعرفة بتاريخ حقوق الإنسان والمعايير والقواعد. ربما تكون هذه الحقوق حقوق محلية يمكن لكل فرد أن يصل إليها. الجانب الثاني هو الجانب السلوكي الوجداني. إللي بيبحث في، كيف يؤثر تعليم حقوق الإنسان على الطريقة إللي بيتفاعل بها الأفراد مع بعضهم البعض؟ هذا النوع من الجوانب السلوكية العاطفية. فهل فيه فعلًا انخفاض في نسبة البلطجة بفضل وجود تعليم حقوق الإنسان في مدرسة ما؟ هل فيه اندماج أكبر بين الفئات الاجتماعية المختلفة في المدرسة أو المجتمع التعليمي؟ الجانب الثالث هو الموجه نحو العمل. وهذا واحد من أصعب المجالات إللي يجب تقييمها لأن الكتير من أطفال المدارس معندهمش وقت كبير للعمل الاجتماعي. لكن تعليم حقوق الإنسان بيتم كذلك في كتير من أماكن التعليم غير النظامي إللي فيه متعلمين بالغين، فممكن يحصل في الأماكن الأهلية، أو يحصل في أماكن تفتح أبوابها بعد انتهاء وقت المدرسة. هذه المجالات بحث فيها علماء مختلفون. علشان كدا، ما هو المحتوى، وما هو الجانب السلوكي الوجداني، وإيه هي عناصر الجانب الموجه نحو العمل إللي المتعلمين، أيًا كان عمرهم، وحتى المعلمين بيتعلموها ويدمجوها أثناء تعلمهم عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان، إيه إللي بيعملوه أو بينفذوه بهذه المعلومات؟ أنا بناقش دا في كتابي عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان في الهند. التعليم من أجل التغيير الاجتماعي هو اسم هذا الكتاب. فيه علماء تانيين عملوا نفس الشيء، وأحنا عندنا فصول لحوالي 20 مؤلف مختلفين في هذا الكتاب الجديد “تعليم حقوق الإنسان: النظرية والبحث والتطبيق العملي” وإللي فيه فصول قصيره مقتطفة من المساهمين في الكتاب. واحد من الفصول الشيقة فعلًا وإللي كنا متحمسين أنه يكون في الكتاب كتبه أورين بيزموني ليفي، وميجن جنسن وإللي فيه بيبحثوا في برنامج تعليمي عن التطوير في مجال حقوق الإنسان للأفراد إللي بيشتغلوا مع أشخاص بيعملوا مع اللاجئين إللي بيطلبوا اللجوء بناء على اضطهاد هويتهم الجنسية أو ميولهم الجنسية. علشان كدا، كان هذا الفصل مهم بالفعل ويجب تضمينه في الكتاب لأن كتير من أطر حقوق الإنسان، وخاصة الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان، لا تحدد الميول الجنسية كمجال لابد أن يكون خالي من التمييز. واحنا بنتحرك من فترة التسعينات وما بعدها، تم إدماج اعلانات واتفاقيات وأطر دولية بعضها بخصوص الميول الجنسية، لكنها من الجوانب المتنازع عليها لما تفكر في الدول والقوانين المختلفة إللي بتجرم هذا الأمر. هذا الفصل هو فصل مهم موجود في الكتاب وهما بيقدموا فيه بعض الدلائل على برنامج تدريبي مهني قامت به منظمة بتوضح كيف أن الأفراد إللي شاركوا، في مقياس كمي، بيقللوا من تحيزهم ضد الأفراد إللي عندهم ميول جنسية مختلفة من خلال المشاركة في هذا التطور المهني. هناك وسائل للتقييم ممكن تتم على المدى البعيد. فيه نوع من الإنقلاب على طرق التفكير القديمة، لكن فيه مداخل منهجية مختلفة في المجال وبعض الاهتمام بالمعالجة، “طيب، ما هي النتائج وكيف نقيمها علشان نقدر نتحرك ناحية احترام أكبر لحقوق الإنسان من خلال تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟”
ويل بريهيم: ممكن ننقل الحوار لفكرة ثانية ونتكلم عن هذه الأيام لما ماري لوبان ما فازتش بمنصب الرئاسة الفرنسية، لكنها احتلت المرتبة التانية وحصلت على نسبة أصوات أعلى من والدها. وهي بتجسد بكيفية ما صعود القومية والتفكير العرقي، على الأقل في أوروبا وربما في الولايات المتحدة أيضًا، لما فاز دونالد ترامب بمنصب الرئاسة، واحنا بنشوف الحوار أو الخطاب الجديد المناهض للعالمية لكنه أكثر قومية، فأنا عايز أسألك عن إحساسك: هل تعتقدين أن هذا النوع من الخطاب إللي احنا شايفينه في أوروبا وفي أمريكا هيأثر في تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟
مونيشا باجاج: أعتقد أن مش بس أوروبا وأمريكا. يعني لو ألقينا الضوء على الفلبين وإللي بيحصل مع القائد هناك. وفي الهند إنت عارف أنه كان فيه اجراءات صارمة ضد التوريث، لكنهم ألغوا منظمات حقوق الإنسان ولابد وجود تصريح قومي من رئيس الوزراء هناك. فأنا أعتقد إنه إتجاه عالمي. علشان كدا أنا عايز أقول إن مش بس الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا، على الرغم من أن هذا هو ما تعلنه الصحف لينا. هو فعلًا إتجاه عالمي تجاه هذا النوع من الاستبداد. في رأيي، إن هذا بالتأكيد يجعل تعليم حقوق الإنسان أكثر ضرورة من قبل. فإذا رأيت تعليم حقوق الإنسان كمشروع سياسي أو تربوي، فنحن في حاجة لزيادة الوعي والتفكير النقدي ومحو الأمية الإعلامية، محتاجين لهذا أكتر من أي وقت مضى. تعريفي المختصر أو السريع لتعليم حقوق الإنسان هو “تلك المساحة حيث تلتقي العالمية بأفكار باولو فرير”. فأنا أعتقد إن فيه دمج رائع لهذا التفكير العالمي، وإننا مواطنون عالميون بنتشارك في أطر أخلاقية وقانونية ندركها في حقوق الإنسان. لكن لابد يحصل رفع لهذا الوعي الفردي على المستوى المحلي مع وجود نوع من الأساليب المصممة لتناسب المجتمعات إللي إنت بتشارك فيها. فكيف تتواصل المجتمعات الفردية بهذا الإطار الإخلاقي العالمي وما هو المطلوب لجعلهم يفكروا بمنظور صحيح أو له علاقة بهذا؛ هو أمر مختلف جدًا. علشان كدا رفع الوعي السياسي أو التربوي والتشاركي إللي بيحصل لابد أنه يأخد في الاعتبار موقع الناس بالنسبة للعالمية. في هذا الوقت، أنا أعتقد إن التحرك ناحية الاستبداد، وكذلك “صعود القومية” له علاقة بتفسير معقد جدًا بأن هذا النوع من القادة الكارزماتيين وإللي بيميلوا للاستبداد قادرين على إظهار أن مشاكلك الاقتصادية والصعوبات التي تواجهك هي بسبب “الأخرين”. علشان كدا، خصوصًا مع خروج بريطانيا من الإتحاد الأوروبي، كان فيه بروباجاندا قوية جدًا تجاه إلقاء اللوم على المهاجرين كسبب للصعوبات الاقتصادية، بينما في الواقع، إذا نظرنا بعمق على إللي حصل، سنجد أن السبب هو الصناعة. فكثير من الوظائف الصناعية إللي كانوا بيعلموا فيها الأفراد- انتقلت للخارج من فترة طويلة. لكن الطريقة إللي كان يتم الإجابة بيها على تساؤل الناس “ليه حياتي صعبة جدًا؟” كانوا قادرين على تعليق السبب على الأفراد إللي يبدو إنهم مختلفون، وعلى التعددية الثقافية من خلال الإتحاد الأوروبي والهجرة إللي سهلت لهذا. إلا أن هذا فعليًا لم يكن السبب الحقيقي لمشكلة لماذا أصبحت حياة الناس أصعب. عندك مثلًا انهيار الاقتصاد العالمي وصعود الليبرالية الجديدة وانتقال المصانع للأماكن ذات الأجور المنخفضة زيبنجلاديش أو كمبوديا أو هايتي. علشان كدا فهذا التفسير معقد جدًا، وأنا عايز أقول إن التعليم السياسي إللي بتقدمه أحزاب اليمين كإجابات على هذه النوعية من الأسئلة لابد علينا كمعلمين لحقوق الإنسان أننا نواجهه ونقدم له تحليل واضح وصحيح يشمل التفكير النقدي، ومحو الأمية الإعلامية، وتأريخ للمواقف إللي الأفراد يجدوا أنفسهم فيها، لكن أعتقد أن بعض الطرق إللي بيعمل من خلالها تعليم حقوق الإنسان هي القواعد الشعبية. من ناحية تانية من الصعب جدًا مواجهة  حملات معقدة وممولة زي دي.
ويل بريهيم: أوك مونيشا باجاج، أنا بشكر حضرتك جدًا لوجودك معنا في برنامج فريش إيد. أنا استمتعت بالحوار معاكي النهارده.
مونيشا باجاج:شكرًا لاستضافتكم ليَّ.

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