WCRRP has had several engagements with the UK government over the past two years on the potential of religious peace-building. We have acted as consultants for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on prevention of sexual violence in conflict, and have engaged with representatives from the Department for Development on development issues and religion. WCRRP members have presented papers at numerous conferences and symposia on their work throughout Europe.
Challenging segregated schooling in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Twenty years after the violent conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina ended, education is still highly segregated and fragmented. Children from different ethnic backgrounds are taught different curricula and they often do not share a classroom. As a consequence of the implementation of the Dayton agreement that settled the violent conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina the country has 13 education ministries (10 cantonal ones in the Bosniak-Croat Federation, one overall Federation ministry, one in Republika Srpska and one in Brcko District) that all share the responsibility of educating the next generation of children in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
This research project is still in its infancy and research questions, design, methods etc. are yet to be determined. What we can say at this stage is that the research will especially focus on how the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia can contribute to a historical record that can lay the foundations of a shared understanding of the violent conflict and the development of a curriculum in this area that reflects the diversity and complexity of the violent conflict. (Photo: the much fought over bridge in Mostar)
The implementation of the Prevent duty and its impact in primary and secondary educational institutions in north-east Hampshire
Since July 2015 all schools have a duty to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” when they exercise their functions in accordance with section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (Department for Education, 2015). This duty has become known as the Prevent duty. Though the implementation of the Prevent duty has only just become a legal requirement for schools it has already caused controversy. The Prevent duty has led to considerable confusion and nervousness among teachers (Ibid) and many schools are still unsure of how to implement the Prevent duty, whilst the ethics of Prevent measures have also been called into question. Concerns have also been raised about the suitability of the resources used for this training. WCRRP has decided to undertake a research project that analyses the
implementation of the Prevent duty and its impact in primary and
secondary educational institutions in North-East Hampshire.
The European Council of Religious Leaders
The European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL), part of the Religions for Peace network, brings together senior religious leaders from Europe’s historical religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, together with Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Zoroastrians.
WCRRP is currently working closely with ECRL to develop strategies that support religious leaders to take informed and cooperative action in times of crisis. Currently our partnership work is focussing on the migrant crisis, and in particular how to address issues of cultural and religious integration across Europe and the resulting rise in tensions between communities.
English for Peace
A three-week English language programme has been developed around WCRRP's themes and MA programme, to be launched in the summer of 2016 in collaboration with the University of Winchester's English Language Support Unit. The course welcomes anyone keen to advance their English language whilst learning about peace and democracy in a UK and wider context.
WCRRP leads a University of Winchester partnership with PeaceJam UK, to host an annual conference with Nobel Peace Laureates at the University. Young people aged 13-18 have the opportunity to come to the University of Winchester to spend two days with a world leader of peace and participate in workshops around current global issues, led by University mentors. In 2015 WCRRP welcomed Jody Williams from the International campaign to Ban Landmines. In March 2016, the University welcomed the Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum, an indigenous woman from Guatemala, who was awarded her Nobel Peace Prize "in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples".
Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter, Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum and WCRRP Director Dr Mark Owen at PeaceJam 2016.