Characteristic of the Human Rights Olympics
Human Rights Olympics (hereinafter referred to as “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 the expert panel of the National HRO Commission in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair for Human Rights Education at the Comenius University in Bratislava, OLYMP and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Slovakia. Among the partner institutions are, for example, the European Parliament Office in Slovakia, the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia, and the UNIS Vienna. 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.
Each year, the HRO has a leading theme. In the XX-th edition (2017/2018) the theme was “Athens School of the 21st Century: Democracy and Human Rights” and in the XXI-st edition (2018/2019) the theme was: “30-th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution”. We are currently realizing the XXII-nd edition (2019/2020) with the theme: “Challenges for Democracy and Human Rights in 21st Century Europe”. One part of the competition usually takes place in English.
HRO track record
- 2 pilot, regional and 21 national competitions (school years 1996/1997 – 2018/2019)
- HRO approaches the majority of schools every year; approximately 300 of them participate in the regional rounds.
- More than 4,500 young people participate in the competition altogether each year.
Chairperson, National Commission of the Human Rights Olympics firstname.lastname@example.org;