UNESCO Chair on Culture of Peace and Human Rights
In 1998 an agreement was signed between UNESCO and Burgas Free University for the establishment of the UNESCO Chair on Culture of Peace and Human Rights at the University. Since then it has been working actively in the field of human rights, democracy, tolerance, peace, civic education and culture through training of students, qualification of teachers and organization of international events for participants from Southeast Europe, Mediterranean and Black Sea Region. The Head of the Chair is Prof. Rumen Valchev who is also the Coordinator of the UNESCO Chairs in Europe.
The main objectives of the UNESCO Chair are:
- Training of students in the field of human rights, education for democratic citizenship, culture of peace and tolerance;
- Providing in-service teachers training and development of a nationwide programme for initial and in-service training of teachers in human rights and civic education;
- Organization of international events for participants from Southeast Europe, Mediterranean and Black Sea Region and especially youth meetings in the field of tolerance, culture of peace and human rights;
- Establishment of a Regional Youth Centre for Teaching Tolerance.
Activities of the UNESCO Chair on Culture of Peace and Human Rights
- Organization of university courses for training of students in Human Rights and Democracy, Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Mediation in Conflicts, Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding, Legislative Protection of Disadvantaged People.
- Development of in-service training courses for teachers in the field of civic education. A five-module programme of 120 hours for qualification of university lecturers has been developed, together with Open Education Centre.
- Organization of international events. During the years the Chair has organized youth seminars, training courses in the field of civic education, intercultural cooperation and human rights, Peace Summer Camps, Tolerance Youth Camps, various trainings, summer schools, international seminars in conflict resolution. Since 2001 International Olympic Games in Human Rights have been organized yearly with participating students from Europe, Asia and Africa.
- Publishing activity. Publications of the UNESCO Chair in the field of human rights: ‘Human Rights. New Dimensions and Challenges’, edited by Janusz Simonides, 2000, BFU; ‘Human Rights: Concept and Standards’, edited by Janusz Simonides, 2003, BFU; ‘Human Rights: Monitoring Mechanisms’, edited by Janusz Simonides, 2005, BFU. ‘Human Rights: International Protection. Monitoring, Enforcement’, edited by Janusz Simonides, 2006, BFU.