Human rights education or education for human rights is a broad, interdisciplinary field, a values-related dimension of the curriculum and of educational life rather than a discrete ‘form of knowledge' or' realm of meaning'.

There is a great and constantly growing desire for change in the contemporary world; change that ushers in a renewed commitment to ethical and spiritual values, that resolves conflicts peaceably, employing dialogue and non-violence that upholds human rights and human dignity as well as human responsibility. We need change that educates and promotes the urgent need to care for the planet and its nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and that encourages peace, compassion, respect and warm-heartedness. The organizers believe that these goals can be achieved on the bases of increased awareness. During this conference let us widen our perspective to include the well being of the whole world and its future generations in our vision of prosperity and freedom.

The primary objectives of the third World Conference on Human Rights Education is to promote changes in times of transition and crisis. Although there are numerous conferences and other special study programs worldwide on human rights protection, this conference aims to concentrate on an integrated treatment of the various education systems and educational  issues of human rights protection, that is, with important matters relevant to changes taking place in the world process of transition and crisis.

The conference will have an interdisciplinary perspective.  In the opinion of the organizers the focal point of the debate will be on analysis of the impact of various forms of transition on the numerous aspects of human rights education.

The purpose of the debate is to focus on impact of different types of transition (of political, social, economic, cultural or demographic nature) on the sphere of human rights and international protection of human rights (on international, national as well as social level), and will cover both theoretical problems and practical researches  in  interdisciplinary perspective.

The organizers are convinced that the meeting will provide an important forum to consult on the strategy with actors from different communities engaged in human rights education.

Based on examples of best practice and the participants' experience, the Krakow forum aims at developing and taking steps to engage further in and initiate intercultural dialogue and co-operation in value-driven education and cultural practice (such as education for democratic citizenship and human rights education and the promotion and encouragement of cultural expression).

The treatment of the substantive regimens and their specific rights catalogues will be set against the background of the consideration of the philosophical, historical, political, economic and social aspects of human rights and  will include practical institutional matters such as complaint procedures as well as developments such as in the area of "New Rights". Practical and contemporary issues, such as the protection of human rights in situations of war or civil disorder will also be addressed.

In conclusion, we reiterate that this international forum is the third one to bring together contributors from all over the world to the debate about human rights education, this time with the main impact being put on promoting changes, taking into consideration process of transition and different aspects of crisis. We expect that this meeting will stimulate more international debate and discussion, and especially will encourage more worldwide research in exploring the relationship between the human rights education and regular changes taking place in the process of transition and crisis.

Bogusława Bednarczyk