UNESCO Chair for Human Rights Education
The main objective of the UNESCO Chair is to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation activities in the field of human rights education.
For this purpose, UNESCO Chair provides education in the field of human rights (courses with human rights focus), conducts research and issues publications, cooperates with other scientific and research centers (e.g. Centre for Gender studies at Faculty of Arts of Comenius University) and tries to increase the general level of knowledge about human rights. An important part of the activities of the UNESCO Chair is the co-organization of Human Rights Olympics for secondary schools in the Slovak Republic, with the aim to support human rights education.
UNESCO Chair for Human Rights Education (hereinafter as UNESCO Chair) was established at Comenius University in Bratislava by agreement between UNESCO and University on October 26th, 1992.
UNESCO Chairs focusing on human rights topics emerged in connection with political changes in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of 1980s and in 1990s. Their primary role, reflecting the overreaching goals of UNESCO, was to help new democracies to develop via international intellectual cooperation on the basis of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. UNESCO Chair at Comenius University in Bratislava is the first of these institutions in Europe, as well as in the world.
The initiator and main founder of the UNESCO Chair was Professor Miroslav Kusý, the first post-revolution rector of the university (1990/1991). He was personally involved in the negotiations with UNESCO leaders. The agreement between UNESCO and Comenius University in Bratislava was signed by Secretary General Mr. Federico Mayor and Rector of Comenius University Juraj Švec. This agreement is unlimited in time and therefore it is still valid. It is an exclusive status, as other UNESCO Chairs in Europe and the world have temporary agreements.
After the establishment of the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of Comenius University in 2002, the UNESCO Chair was included into its organizational structure. In 2015 the Rector of Comenius University decided to transfer its structures under the Rectorate of Comenius University in order to serve the needs of all faculties of the University.