Skip to main content


EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.4 Raising awareness about global issues

Last update: 20 November 2020
On this page
  1. Formal, non-formal and informal learning
  2. Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues
  3. Information providers
  4. Key initiatives

Formal, non-formal and informal learning


Formal learning

In the context of formal learning, youths are often offered information about the climate, climate changes and sustainability in school. These topics are often part of the curriculum and taught in classes like geography, general sciences, physics, chemistry and biology. Human rights are sometimes discussed under the umbrella of history, philosophy and people and society. We have no information on the recommended learning time and the main learning objectives. It mostly depends on the teacher and the school in which way and how extensively the topics are discussed. Dutch schools are obliged to pay attention to the topic of citizenship, enshrined in the Act Active Citizenship and Social Inclusion (2006). However, there are still discussions if and how school can pay more attention to (global) citizenship. See Paragraph 9.7 for more information.


Non-formal learning

National Youth Council (NJR) brings different projects on global issues to schools. For example, the working group Young & Sustainable, described in subsection Informal learning, offers guest lessons at schools about sustainability. In the field of human rights and the rights of children, there are different organizations that offer guest lessons. These organizations work together in the Platform Human Rights Education and can help schools to integrate human rights in the school’s curriculum. The organizations Amnesty International, Anne Frank Foundation, UNICEF, Movies that Matter and HVO can provide human rights education at school, for example in the form of a guest lesson. The Liliane Fund can give a guest lesson about Children’s Rights and about disability. Amnesty International, Centre for global education (CMO) and UNICEF also offer information for students who want to write a thesis or give a presentation about human or children’s rights at school. There is no information about specific target groups for similar projects. Information about public funding is also unknown. We assume that some of these organizations are private organizations and some of them (like the NJR) receive government funding. Information about quality assurance mechanisms is unknown.  

  • Educator’s support

Some organizations within the platform Human Rights Education also provide human rights education trainings to teachers. The organizations that offer these trainings are: Anne Frank Foundation and Movies that Matter. These three respective organizations even organize a training day together. Teachers can also find information online at the website of the platform and the websites of the participating organizations. For example, UNICEF offers information for teachers about Children’s Rights in the classroom and methods to discuss this topic.


Informal learning


NJR programmes

  • World = U Food Tour. In 2017 and the beginning of 2018 a food tour travels through the Netherlands. Key questions during this tour are ‘How can we guarantee that everyone has enough food now and in the future? And how do we build sustainable food chains?’ There are three conferences during which youths between 16 and 25 years old discuss these topics with other youths and local entrepreneurs. They put their talent into thinking about solutions and actions for the food issue and discover how they can make a difference, both in their own neighbourhood and worldwide. The results of the Regional Food Tours will be presented at a national event in 2018.
  • Work group Young and Sustainable. This workgroup of NJR consists of about twelve young people between 18 and 26 years old. They develop guest lessons and projects for young people of all ages. Thus, they aim to reach all youths in the Netherlands and introduce sustainable development. The workgroup regularly participates in various events, workshops and seminars. In addition, there is extensive collaboration with other sustainable organizations and companies. To realize all its plans, the workgroup meets every two weeks in Utrecht.


Platform Human Rights Education

  • Websites of the organizations within the Platform: The websites of the organizations offer specific information for pupils and students. For example, the website of CMO offers information for primary and secondary education students.
  • Television broadcasting: The TV shows 'het Klokhuis' and Zapplive often pay attention to global issues. They specifically target young people. Klokhuis and Zapplive are part of Amnesty International and UNICEF and are broadcasted at public channels, meaning they are also supported by public funding.
  • Festivals, movies and actions: Amnesty International organizes multiple activities for young people per year. The International Documentary Movie festival Amsterdam, Movies that Matter and Amnesty organize the National Children’s Rights Day. The Liliane Fund focuses on the right to education for peers with disabilities in developing countries who are incapable of attending school (‘Wij trekken aan de bel’). Movies that Matter organizes a film festival, where education on global issues is part of the programme.


Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues

There are no youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues. There have also not been any campaigns on global issues for a broader audience, conducted or funded by top-level authorities since 2010.


Information providers


The Dutch government is responsible for the distribution of information on global issues, also among young people. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for development work and international cultural collaboration, and subsequently they are expected to provide information about these topics. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is likely to be involved in government activities aimed at global issues in education. There is no information on other public authorities responsible for providing information.

There are several non-public information providers where young people can turn for information. The organizations from the Platform Human Rights Education offer information for children and youth.

The foundation NCDO promotes global citizenship in the Netherlands through research, information and events on global themes and sustainability. For children, the foundation publishes SamSam. Samsam explains global issues to children, by reporting about their peers in other countries and making them visible. With reports, interviews and infographics (knowledge) and teaching assignments (attitude and action perspective) Samsam teaches primary school pupils. It is possible to subscribe to SamSam magazine and children can also get information and watch short videos on the website. For youths and adults, the foundation publishes OneWorld. is the largest Dutch journalistic website about the people and the world. OneWorld Magazine is published ten times a year. The main topics in OneWorld are sustainability and climate, migration and human rights. The OneWorld website offers articles about the different topics. NCDO also conducts research through Kaleidos. Kaleidos is a research agency and conducts research on global issues in the Netherlands. They investigate how the Dutch relate to the world and to global issues. NCDO publications can be found at the website.


Key initiatives  


Initiatives conducted by public authorities are unknown. The projects on global issues of the National Youth Council are described in 9.3. The Platform Human Rights Education, also described above, addresses fundamental human rights. The Foundation NCDO distributes information by SamSam, OneWorld and Kaleidos, described above. There is no information on other initiatives. In none of the described initiatives there is a specific target group within the youth population.