Role Of The Library As An Information Resource In Promoting Human Rights

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Role Of The Library As An Information Resource In Promoting Human Rights


This research studies the role of the library as an information resource in promoting human rights in Nigeria, Abuja specifically, three research objectives and one hypothesis guided the study.

Secondary schools in the Garki area of Abuja was selected for the study and 567 students and teachers made the sample size.

Libraries, both academic and non-academic serve as an information resource tool in so many ways, and this has various implications on societal improvement, human resource violation happens to be a recurrent decimal in the Nigerian society and this study shows the level of awareness of human rights in Nigeria, its implication and the role played by the library in it’s protection.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of Study

Human Rights can be defined as those basic standards without which people cannot live in dignity as human beings. Human rights are the foundation of freedom, justice and peace. Their respect allows the individual and community to develop fully.

Mubangizi (2004) stated that human rights are referred to by various names and phrases. These include fundamental rights, basic rights, natural rights and sometimes common rights. Although these phrases don’t mean the same thing, they are usually used interchangeably.

Hubbard (2001:27) defined human rights as universal moral rights that belong equally to all people because they are human beings. It has been stated that, one person’s right to swing his/her arm ends where the other person’s nose begins.

Fundamental and basic rights are these rights which must not be taken away by any legislation or act of the state and which are often set out in the fundamental law of the country E.g. bill of rights in the constitution.

Human rights are entitlements or legal claims one has by virtue of being human – against the state. Human rights are protected in the constitutions of the country; e.g International Bill of Human Rights, treaties or agreements that the government has signed which obliges them to ensure these rights and freedoms.

Historically, human rights principles have been in existence for ages, but it was not until the end of World War II that member states of the newly established United Nations agreed on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and set down for the first time a list of human rights and fundamental freedoms. These were considered by the community of nations to be minimum standards by which governments should treat their citizens.

Knowledge of human rights is important in order for the citizen to demand their rights; to respect and to defend their rights. Former President Nelson Mandela once commented that, human rights education is important in the campaign to develop human rights culture (Amnesty International, 1998:13)

1.2 Research Problem

Human Rights awareness is educational Socio demographical or psychological subject. It is not also compulsory subject but it indicates our whole life style, human life’s, culture of equalization, it also gives the way of’ practicing one’s right without hurting others. So that everybody understands the concept of Human Right and its implementation theme, to find out the awareness of the the people in Nigeria towards Human Right is very essential.

Into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) there are many articles, it is a need to understand every articles and its proper illustration, to enable to understand content with the help of awareness programmers the teacher can understand concept. UDHR, issues, Case of Human Rights awareness that way the present research is more essential for the teacher, every member of society. We must, therefore, to understand the role of human rights is empowering individuals and community. By protecting these rights, we can help prevent the many conflicts based on poverty, discrimination and exclusion (social economic and political) that continued to pledge humanity and destroy decade’s development efforts.

The fundamental role of library and educational resource in promoting human rights is to promote, protect and practice human rights whereby we promote understanding, compassion and tolerance.

It changes attitudes and it is the basis upon which a genuine and lasting respect for human rights is founded. A critical dimension of the Universal Declaration of human rights is its linking of rights with responsibilities. It is the responsibility of every individual and every organ of society to promote respect for human rights and to secure their Universal reorganization and observance.

All human being should towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ultimate goal of education for human rights is empowerment, governing people with the knowledge and the skills to take control of their own lives and decisions that affect them. Several United Nation development strategies have particular relevance for human rights. The human rights and sustainable development as inextricably linked complimentary and multi-dimensional to make a man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living. These rights are as permanent and inalienable.
I think there are one Institute namely Universities who are equipped to lead the way to afford the dignity and rights of human beings. The universities have an indispensable role in teaching and training the leaders of tomorrow by their rich and increasingly extensive experience in conducting training, disciplinary research and thereby overcoming traditional boundaries. By their fundamental nature, as engines of knowledge Universities have a major role to play in a world in which national boundaries are dissolving daily into ever smaller regional entities.

I believe, it is important to keep in mind the national policies for reform, the linkage between the human rights agendas and the development agendas. We will not enjoy development without protecting human rights; we will not enjoy human rights without development, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights. Human rights are social protections owed to everyone.

Human Rights are means to overcome the worst inequalities among humans based on the caste, race, religion or inequalities of power and wealth, gender inequalities and other forms of prejudices and discrimination. In order to understand human rights in its proper perceptive we need to understand, direct or indirect inequalities that are prevailing in our society. The principle of equality is a basic principle in the human rights philosophy.

By this research we can create a new education system which will be related to teaching all people alike without any discrimination of caste, color occupation race, sex, place, etc. also create awareness of fundamental rights & duties. The researcher has been working as Asst. Professor in Teacher Education College and has visited many higher secondary schools in Solapur and has an informal discussion with the people in Nigeria. It was found that teachers are not that much aware of Human rights in better context which is necessary for inculcating values among students so the researcher has set the following research question.

1.3 Objectives of the Research:

  1. To study the extent level of Human Rights awareness among people in Nigeria.
  2. To study the role of library as an information resource in promoting human rights.
  3. To study the reaction of people to human rights violation in the study area.

1.4 Hypotheses of the research:

H0 (1): There is no significant association between library access and human rights awareness (HRA)

1.5 Significance of the Research:

The Main purpose of the research and Human Right Awareness is that it has produced for a reliable set of finding about the state of human rights awareness among the people in Nigeria.

The present research is important and significant to strengthen the understanding of human rights awareness among the people in Nigeria. Through this research we can identify and address issues and challenges surrounding the realization of human rights.

This research is important for human Rights needs and fulfill the gaps of Human Rights Awareness the research is important to monitor and evaluate the impact of human rights interventions.

The research will important and help governments to lay the ground work for developing human rights policies and programmers by providing baseline which can be used further. Human rights abuses or violations on the part of completion, individual government or civilian body do not fall into the research preview.

1.6 Scope of the Research

In this the research the researcher has studied the extent level of human rights awareness among the people in Nigeria in aided and un-aided HSS in Abuja.

In this research researcher has studied HRA among both male and female the people in Nigeria from all faculties: Arts, Science & Commerce.

The researcher has compared the Human rights awareness among the people in Nigeria in HSS in urban and rural areas of Abuja.

1.7 Limitations of the Research:

In this research only the extent of Human Rights Awareness among Nigerian citizens has been studied; no other subjects & themes are considered for this research.

In this research researcher has not studied any other awareness of the people in Nigeria except human rights awareness.

In this research the researcher has not studied HRA among teacher from other disciplines and faculties expected Arts, Science, and Commerce.

1.8 Operational Definitions:

1. Human Rights:

Section 2(d) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, of Indian constitution, 1993 defines “human rights” as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India”.

2. Human Rights Awareness:

The the people in Nigeria perception that they have rights and that they have them because they are human beings irrespective of any social or other distinction. It also means the people’s ability to easily distinguish various aspects of human rights – to life, security, religion, expression, education, etc. – and that they understand the importance of these aspects in relation to human survival and dignity.”

3. Abuja:

According to Maharashtra state land and revenue code — 1966(MLRC- 1966) Solapur is one of the districts under the Pune revenue division in the state of Maharashtra.

4. Extent Level:

The Z-score obtained after administrating Human Rights Awareness Test and interpreted as Extremely High, High, Above Average, Average, Below Average, low, Extremely Low is called the extent Level of Human Rights Awareness among the people in Nigeria.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

Human rights are values we all share because they are about recognising the value and dignity of all people. In learning about human rights, we learn about ideals of respect, fairness, justice and equality. We also learn about standing up for our own rights and about our responsibility to respect the rights of others. Understanding human rights shapes our thinking and our actions because human rights are about real-life issues.

Strong libraries and information centers can play an important role in ensuring citizens know their rights, demand, and defend them.

5.2 Recommendation

  1. Libraries and information centers should provide copies of the constitution for people to read to understand their rights. For example in 2012 and 2013, the human rights and documentation centre secured copies of the constitution and distributed them to the University students so that they could read and know their rights;
  2. Libraries and information centres should work in collaboration with civil society to organize discussion forums in order to disseminate information on domestic violence. For example, the Legal Assistance Centre conducts a lot of research on gender based violence, but the research findings are disseminated through their website. One finds that not many women in rural areas will access such information due to lack of connectivity and ignorance in using technology. Such forums will popularize the dangers of domestic violence and create awareness of this evil practice in society.
  3. Libraries can make use of professionals like social workers from the Ministry of Gender or Ministry of Labor to organize workshop to sensitize the people on issue of child abuse. For example to sensitize people about the danger of child labour. The Labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRI) conducts a lot of research on labour issues which include the danger of child labour. The Ministry could work closely with libraries in order to sensitize people about the issue of child labour
  4. The use of posters and other illustrations to create awareness on the contact information on where to report if a person’s rights are violated
  5. The Office of the Ombudsman or Anticorruption Commission, can use libraries and information centres to publicize their work and also use the libraries to distribute their materials so that people can have access to them
  6. Libraries and information centre should have in stock all international instruments which have been ratified by their countries for the citizen to familiarize themselves. For example, the Human Rights and Documentation Centre provides all instruments to its users.
  7. Librarians and information workers must be involved in research in order to find
    solutions to problems. For example, the Human Rights and Documentation Centre was involved in a human rights baseline study on behalf of the ombudsman office. Such a study is important because it provides an insight on human rights perceptions by the sample, in order to provide the right materials at the right time.
  8. Libraries can assist job seekers to prepare CVs and seek employment; or providing
    materials for entrepreneur to improve their skills in order to reduce poverty in the country. As we know, a number of youth are unemployed, thus they are looking for different opportunities such as tenders from government; and other job opportunities.
  9. Libraries should provide internet services for the users to access human rights information. Libraries and information centres in the rural areas where youth need more access to HIV/AIDS information can subscribe to different databases providing information on HIV/AIDs or information on jobs availability. We know that our youth are technology savvy whereby they make use of their smart phone for example to access information which will assist them to make the right decision.

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