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Since 1989, PDHRE has worked in culturally diverse grassroots communities worldwide, to stimulate and facilitate dialogue and learning about human rights as a way of life, enabling women and men to discover human rights as a powerful tool for action, focusing on gender equality and nondiscrimination guided by the holistic and practical framework of human rights. PDHRE produced a unique range of written and audio-visual pedagogical materials to support critically needed economic-social transformation.


To help women and men belong in dignity and community with others, and to develop learning and related socialization processes as key strategies in responding to the fundamental challenge of societal disintegration, gender inequality and the gap between rich and poor. Moving from charity to dignity through knowledge and action.


PDHRE is an international NGO in Consultative Status with the UN, founded in 1989. In the last eighteen years it developed, organized and facilitated, in more then 60 countries around the world, training in human rights education and learning for societal development with a gender perspective.
PDHRE educators and human rights experts serve to energize, and motivate communities to embark on a life long process of holistic learning about human rights as relevant to people's daily struggles and concerns; and to recognize human rights as a powerful tool for action, and as away of life; encouraged to assume responsibility to eradicate poverty, violence and marginalization and move the prevailing hierarchal system to a horizontal human rights system where equality and lack of discrimination triumph.

To move power to human rights PDHRE is developing Human Rights Cities and Regional Learning Institutions.


To promote human rights, PDHRE is facilitating the development of Human Rights Cities; Regional Learning Institutions; and designing learning materials. A Human Rights City is a practical model that demonstrates the moral and political viability of the human rights framework. In self-selected cities, volunteer steering-committees design plans to have inhabitants: women, men, youth and children - in collaboration with local authorities - know, claim and fulfill their human rights. A large array of projects aims to conjure up critical thinking and systemic analysis that invigorate citizenry social justice actions, including participatory budgets and conflict resolution. In the Institutions, a new vocation is being developed: Human Rights Educators for social transformation and societal development. Community leaders are trained to work at the grassroots level to encourage people to assume social responsibility, to work towards the eradication of poverty, violence and marginalization and move the prevailing hierarchal order to a horizontal human rights system. To date 16 human rights cities and three regional training centers are at different levels of development. Training manuals and audio visual materials are constantly being developed to meet the needs of the communities to create a space for meaningful and lasting change.


In the HR City Thies, Senegal, children learning that "Education is a human right" realized that many of their friends did not attend school because they were not registered at birth. In three years, they collected 4312 names, registered them with the Governor, and lobbied for more school rooms and more teachers, and got it. There are hundreds of such examples throughout the HR Cities of how people who realize that they are owners of human rights take action to become agents of change.

The legal name of PDHRE is Decade of Human Rights, Inc.


The over all goals are to enable women and men to re-imagine their lives and discover their own ability to define the destiny of their community. Participating in the planning of their future, the comprehensive human rights framework provides them with the guideline to pursue their hopes. In pursuing its work in the field, PDHRE is constantly revitalized by actions being taken in the community to create a space for a peaceful and meaningful change as a result of internalizing the praxis of human rights.

PDHRE, to achieve the vision, mission of human rights has facilitated to date the development of more than 20 human rights cities around the world; researched and developed numerous publications on learning about human rights as a way of life at the community level; and trained trainers in local communities to apply PDHRE's methodologies, pedagogies and strategies in the context of grassroots action for economic and social transformation.

In the cities women and men take the critical steps towards having inhabitants and local authorities know, claim and fulfill their human rights—they Develop programs that enable them to change the laws, policies, resources and relationships in the city.The three pronged program to be undertaken includes:
-Strengthening and furthering the development of human rights cities;
- Developing the Traveling House of Learning as an extension of these cites in Africa and Latin America,
- Training trainers to support both these efforts and research, develop, and publish materials to further enrich the program.
moving charity to dignity guided by the holistic human rights framework


Shulamith Koenig - founder of PDHRE, People's Movement for Human Rights Education, recipient of the 2003 UN Prize in the field of human rights.

She is the Founding President of PDHRE, the People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning (formerly known as- People's Decade for Human Rights Education), which she had founded in 1988 with the goal of creating, in the words of Nelson Mandela, "a new political culture based on human rights," and to enable women and men alike to participate in the decision that determine their lives and live in community in dignity with one another.

To that end, Ms. Koenig has:
- as a strategy for human, social and economic development advocated and facilitated, in more the 60 countries, dialogue, and training to effect societal change through learning about human rights as a way of life, and enhance critical within a holistic human rights framework that leads to action for social justice.

-worked successfully to have the UN declare a Decade for Human rights educations and international public policy to enhance these learning worldwide.

- initiated the "Human Rights Cities" program being also accepted by UNDP -United Nations Development Program, now working to develop 30 human rights cities and train 500 young community leaders as human rights educators to strengthen democracy as a delivery system for human rights.

For more then 20 years she worked as an industrial engineer. With her husband Jerry they manufactured water saving products for irrigation and water systems. She has published numerous articles, training manuals, and supervised the publication of Passport to Dignity, a comprehensive volume in the human rights of women.


VIRGINIA DANDAN –PDHRE South East Asia, Philippines
PETER LEUPRECHT- Dir.Montreal Inst.f or Int.Studies Austria/Canada
ADAMA SAMASSEKOU – Former Minister of Basic Education, President PDHRE/ Africa,. Mali

KAMAL HOSSAIN - Former Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
BETTY REARDON - Prof. of Peace & HR Education, Teachers College, Columbia Univ. USA
STEPHEN MARKS - Harvard School of Public Health, Prof. of Health and HR
DANIEL SOLOMON - Labor law expert- USA.

UPENDRA BAXI - Philosopher of Law, writer. Formerly Vice Chancellor Delhi Univ., India/UK
WOLFGANG BENEDEK – Prof.for Int.Law and HR ETC, Graz, Austria, F
ANTU CHERU – Prof. of African & dev. Studies, Ethiopia/USA
IVANKA CORTI - Former Chair of CEDAW – Italy
SATYA DAS – Author and HR advocate, public policy consultant, Canada
CEES FLINTEMANN – Prof. Int. HR. and Law, Netherlands
RICHARD GOLDSTONE – justice of the Constitutional Court of SA, first Chief Prosecutor of the UN Int. Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda
IVA KAUFMAN - Public Media consultant, USA
WALTHER LICHEM -Former Dir.UN office of the Foreign Ministry of Austria, Former Amb. to Canada
ORLY LUBIN, Chair, Dpt. Poetics and Comparative Literature and Women Study Forum, Tel Aviv Univ. Israel
KATHLEEN MODROWSKI – Prof. Social Anthropologist, LI Univ. NY, USA
ARJUN SENGUPTA – Prof.of awaharlal Nehru University, India
DANILO TURK - Formerly SG of the UN on Political affairs. Amb.of Slovenia to the UN. Law Prof.
BURNS H. WESTON - Distinguished Prof. of Law Emeritus and Director, The Univ. Iowa Center for HR, USA


Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, India, Philippines, Canada, United States, Austria


526 West 111th Street
Suite 4E
New York, NY 10025
Phone: (212) 749-3156
EIN: 52-1480967

A Gift Card


Train One Person

Human rights workshop

Your gift will provide a 2-3 day human rights training session for one person. Every person must become a mentor and a monitor of human rights as a way to achieve economic and social justice, peace and human security. Human rights are a powerful tool to sustain actions for the community to have food, education, housing, health and work at livable wages. This can be...


Support Women

Human rights manual

Your gift will promote learning and dialogue through one training manual. Women Hold Up The Sky is a dramatic series of training videos about the Women's Convention and its relevance to women's lives. Along with the included training manual, these materials bring the Human Rights Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) alive for women and men around the world. CEDAW is the...


Transform Patriarchy

Moving to a HR System

Support a campaign developed to effect social and economic transformation, and promote a new political culture based on human rights. Through learning about human rights, women and men examine the patriarchal system, moving to embrace a human rights framework as the only way to achieve equality and overcome discrimination. Through dialogue they “discover," and analyze how universal oppressions of patriarchy work, particularly racism, nationalism and...


Give Youth Hope

Human rights training

Your gift will allow one youth to attend a local human rights training. This neighborhood workshop in a Human Rights city will educate youth and help them plan actions for change, to shape a decent way of life and a secure future for the world's youth. Imagine living in a society where all citizens have made a pledge to build a community based on equality...


Increase Awareness

One village workshop

Your gift will provide one workshop in a village or the participation of one person in an urban seminar, enhancing their knowledge about human rights at the community level. At these community workshops, women and men learn about the practical and holistic vision of human rights as a way of life, develop plans to claim them and be empowered to participate in the decisions that...


Protect Rights

One information packet

Your gift provides one resource packet about human rights, allowing someone to learn about important issues in a simple and friendly way.