Human Rights Olympiad – the European Citizen ́s Prize winner for 2020
26-th national competition of secondary school youth
Introduction of the Human Rights Olympiad Bratislava, Sept. 2023
The Human Rights Olympiad (HRO) is a prestigious national competition of secondary school students in the Slovak Republic in the area of the promotion and protection of human rights and democracy. The event is unique in its category not only in Europe, but over the world, as well. It uses innovative and modern elements of education, develops creativity, communication and presentation skills, techniques of argumentation, and helps young people to form their own opinion. It significantly contributes towards prevention and elimination of discrimination, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.
HRO is organised annually in three stages: school rounds, regional rounds and the national round. The content of HRO and the forms of its realisation are focused on knowledge, skills and attitudes of students in the area of human rights, principles of democracy and the rule of law. The competition is announced by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and guaranteed by OLYMP, civic association, National HRO Commission, UNESCO Chair for Human Rights Education at the Comenius University in Bratislava and Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Slovakia. Among the partner institutions were/are the UNIS Vienna, the European Parliament Office in Slovakia, the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia, the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, the Public Defender of Rights in the Slovak Republic, the Liberal Arts College/BISLA and others. The patronage of the HRO was provided by the former President of the Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska and in recent years by the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová.
The National HRO Commission makes an effort every year to acquire needed financial, material and personnel support of the partners, so that all rounds of the competition can take place up to the national level, which is a three days long competitive, professional and educational event accompanied by seminars and workshops. Substantial support has been provided in recent years by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic.
Each year, the HRO has a leading theme; the 24-th edition (2021/2022): “DIGITAL AGE: A THREAT OR A CHANCE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS?”; 25-th edition (2022/2023): “THE STRUGGLE FOR PEACE, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS CONTINUES” and the current edition (2023/2024): “HUMAN RIGHTS : THE DIKE AGAINST HATE”. One part of the competition usually takes place in English.
HRO track record
- 2 pilot/regional and 25 national competitions (school years 1996/1997 – 2022/2023);
- The majority of secondary schools every year; approx. 250 – 300 of them participate
in the regional rounds (in standard, non-pandemic mode);
- More than 4,500 young people participate in the competition altogether each year (in
standard, non-pandemic mode).
Chairperson, OLYMP, civic association and NATIONAL COMMISSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OLYMPIAD