The ethics education initiative was first announced at the UN Special Session on Children in May 2002. Next, the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children was established to discern the strategies for promoting ethics and values-based education in diverse educational settings as well as in the home. The first priority set by the Council was the development of a practical resource for conducting interfaith ethics education.
The result, Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education, was developed jointly with UNESCO and UNICEF in a series of rigorous field-tests in diverse socioeconomic, cultural and religious settings around the world. Learning to Live Together is a set of tools for educators and youth leaders around the world that employs a new interfaith and intercultural learning process to empower children and young people to develop a strong sense of ethics.
Learning to Live Together is designed to help children and youth to better understand and respect people from other cultures and religions and nurture a sense of global community. The manual uses interactive and experiential methodologies to develop innovative and critical thinking in participants, to nurture non-violent behaviors and to empower children and youth to become agents of change.
Through workshops involving children and young people from different religious and cultural backgrounds wherever possible, the new ethics program seeks to help youth to empathize with others, encouraging greater individual and collective responsibility and fostering a spirit of reconciliation. It provides a vehicle for youth to encounter and examine values with their peers from different religious, cultural, and social backgrounds, and to apply what they learn to the real challenges of their daily lives.