PURCELLVILLE, Va., —Nearly two hundred homeschool leaders from over twenty countries will meet at the first Global Home Education Conference in Berlin, Germany, on November 1-4, 2012. Although Germany has been one of the most oppressive countries against homeschooling in the West, Patrick Meinhardt, a member of Germany’s Free Democratic Party in the Bundestag and the party’s education spokesman, is an integral part of the conference. This conference will highlight educational freedom as a “first-order human right” and help equip policymakers to guarantee homeschool freedom.
Meinhardt, who has stated that “homeschooling should not be restricted anymore,” will speak in favor of the right of parents to have more choices in their children’s education.
Jonas Himmelstrand, president-in-exile of the Swedish homeschool association, chairs the organizing committee and hopes the conference will draw attention to the human rights implications when a country bans homeschooling.
“Home education is one of the most urgent human rights issues in the democratic world today. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights makes it all very clear in Article 26.3 [that] parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children, but not all countries respect this right equally,” Himmelstrand said.
Michael Donnelly is the director of international relations at the Home School Legal Defense Association and the conference secretary.
“This is an historic event—we are gathering to engage policymakers and journalists to dispel outdated stereotypes of homeschoolers,” Donnelly said. “Research shows worldwide that home education works socially and academically. This conference will equip leaders from around the world to defend freedom.”
Patrick Henry College chancellor and HSLDA founder Michael Farris will speak at the conference.
“It’s critical to protect a family’s right to educational freedom from government intrusion. This conference is an important step in defending home education globally and deserves the attention of senior policymakers and journalists,” Farris said.
For more information about the Global Home Education Conference, visit www.ghec2012.org.
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Visit us online at www.HSLDA.org
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