Lord Duncan McNair is passionate about making life better for all the people of Earth through education, and particularly education related to human rights. In 2015, 800 years after Magna Carta, Duncan founded Peaceful Planet Human Rights Education, a registered British non-profit organisation.
Peaceful Planet upholds the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and intends to operate according to its principles of fairness and inclusivity.
We provide education about human rights for the people of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa with an online human rights education course (Know Your Human Rights) written by Lord McNair. This course is currently available in English, Urdu and Azerbaijani and other languages are planned.
We also offer a pre-published secondary school course from Youth for Human Rights International with Teacher’s Manual, lesson plans and videos booklet so school children can learn about human rights in secondary school. These are available in Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Persian and Urdu. Versions of this material in Hindi and Bengali are in preparation.
Concern for the well-being of others runs in the family. Duncan’s grandfather, Sir Arnold McNair, was the British judge at the International Court of Justice at the Hague in Holland from 1946 to 1955. In 1952, he stood up for the rights of people in Iran when a huge British oil company in Iran (now called British Petroleum) refused to share the oil revenues from Iranian oil with the government and people. The country was led by its democratically elected Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadegh who nationalised the oil production. That means the government owned the oil production not a private company. the British tried to bring a case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague in Holland. Sir Arnold supported the Iranian position and the case was rejected.
Duncan’s father, Lord John McNair, inherited the title in 1977. While a member of the House of Lords, he supported the Bahai people in Iran after the Islamic Revolution, successfully prevented the people living in a beautiful forest area of the UK from losing their heritage and also helped to secure independence for many of the UK’s island colonies.
Duncan inherited his title from his father in 1990. He supported humanitarian and human rights efforts, and also spoke up for the environment and international development. Duncan was a member of the House of Lords till 1999 when the system for the House of Lords was changed. Since then, he has worked in public affairs and supported humanitarian programs. In 2014, he was asked to speak to an Iranian group in London about his grandfather’s role in the Iranian oil crisis of 1952. Sir Arnold McNair, as he was then, is still warmly remembered by Iranians for standing up for their rights. Peaceful Planet Human Rights Education was born from that presentation.