On Sunday, 27 April 2014, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights concluded five training courses taking place throughout the Gaza Strip. The courses aimed at raising awareness of 120 children from 35 primary and secondary schools on children rights and mechanisms of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Committee on the Right of the Child (CRC), and UN Resolution 1612.
Al Mezan implemented the trainings in cooperation with Gaza-based nongovernmental organizations, Yabous Society in Rafah, Culture and Freedom Thought Association in Khan Younis, Afaq Society in central Gaza, Tamer Organization in Gaza City, and Al Taghreed Society in North Gaza. The courses are part of Al Mezan’s efforts to enhance the use of treaty-based bodies and charter-based bodies’ mechanisms for children’s rights, particularly the UPR and shadow reports from NGOs, with the involvement of children in the process. The trainings were implemented with support from Save the Children.
The training sessions were led by young facilitators who were trained by Al Mezan, Mohammed Abu Nada, Alaa Al Hayik, Tareq Abu Shanab, Amer Al Quderi, and Basel Abu Warda. The trainings were on the Convention on the Rights of the Child; UN Resolutions 1612, 1379, 1822, and1998; UPR, Committee on the Rights of the Child; and mechanisms of reporting.
On the last day of the trainings, elections among the participating children were conducted to create national committees to coordinate work throughout Gaza’s districts. 12 girls and 10 boys were the winners of the election and a central committee, consisting of 22 students, was created.
It’s worth noting that these trainings are part of a wider effort aiming to raise awareness on children’s rights, promote the use of mechanisms for children’s rights, improve child contribution in reporting for the CRC and UPR, and confront violations of children’s rights with the concerned authorities.
Al Mezan and its partners will work towards raising the awareness of Palestinian society on children’s rights through the discussion of child rights issues in media.