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European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy - ETC Graz

On our own account

In its board meeting on 5th March 2018, the ETC General Assembly agreed on the following resolutions:

The organisation ETC will become part of the UNESCO Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights on the Local and Regional Levels. For this, the statute of the organisation was amended accordingly and adopted with immediate validity. The board of the ETC was newly-elected. Klaus Starl will take over the position of Chairperson, together with Gerd Oberleitner, the incumbent of the UNESCO Chair for Human Rights and Human Security of the University of Graz, as well as Heidi Bassin. Renate Kicker will act as the Chairperson of the Fund for the Promotion of Human Rights on the Local and Regional Levels, together in the team with Markus Uitz. Wolfgang Benedek will take over the function of Chairperson of the ETC General Assembly. Beyond these changes, the budget and the activity programme for the work of the ETC within the UNESCO Centre was decided upon. The activity programme includes the following points: the agenda of the Human Rights City of Graz; the Human Rights Region Styria; cooperation with Human Rights Cities and Regions in Austria; capacity-development in South-East Europe; cooperation with European city networks; capacity-building in Arab cities; the training of local authorities in Africa; as well as cooperation with the global UNESCO Coalition for Inclusive and Sustainable Cities.



ETC Graz was founded as a Non-Profit-Organization and started its work in a backroom at the University of Graz in October 1999. On 10 December 2000, the International Day of Human Rights, followed the official opening and inauguration of the centre in the premises of ancient "Mozarthof". In 2010 ETC Graz moved into new university premises in Elisabethstraße.


ETC Graz is engaged both in a theoretical and practical manner in questions of the enforcement of human rights and democracy, with emphasis on human rights and human rights education, human rights at the local level, anti-racism and non-discrimination, democracy, the rule of law, good governance, South-Eastern Europe and Human Security.


The work of ETC is based on research, education, consulting and publications. The interdisciplinary approach, which is used by ETC, links all aspects of democracy and human rights on the levels of research and transfer of knowledge and attitudes. The thematic focuses Fundamental and Human Rights, Human Rights Education, Human Rights at the Local Level and Human Security are mirrored in the organisational structure of ETC.


The human rights education programmes of ETC vary from public lectures, discussions and workshops to professional training series for different kinds of audiences (e.g. teachers, judiciary, police, civil servants or health care staff).  ETC is also hosting an international summer academy which gives the participants from administration, science and civil society the possibility to advanced training, scientific and practical exchange and learning about good practices. Informal human rights education is enhanced through campaigns such as That's Right! and on-line materials such as the non-discrimination game Das Boot ist voll (The Boat is Full).


At the local level ETC closely cooperates with the city of Graz and the mayor’s office regarding the implementation of the Human Rights City process and the ECCaR obligations. The Human Rights Council of the City of Graz has its administrative office situated at ETC. In this framework the ETC coordinates and writes the annual Human Rights Report of the City of Graz. A successful educational project is the human rights platform Kenne deine Rechte (Know your Rights), made by the youth for the youth and on-line since 2010.


Besides lectures, workshops and training programmes ETC also publishes materials and books, for instance the manual on human rights education, Understanding Human Rights (available in 18 languages), scientific studies (lastly for UNESCO/ECCaR 2006 and UNESCO 2008), the Occasional Papers, the online-magazine Human Security Perspectives or the annual European Yearbook on Human Rights (co-editor). Most of the publications are available both printed and on-line. Additional material and exercises to the manual can also be found on the ETC website.