Over fifteen days, participants of the 19th training course for University Students, held by Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) addressed various human rights themes and dilemmas, including The Right to Bodily Integrity, Freedom of Thoughts and Expression, the Rights of the Child, the Right to Fair Trial, the Right to Education, Freedom of Religion and Belief, the Right to Health, Freedom of Association, the Right to Housing, Women’s Rights, the Right to Work and other human rights. It also broached important issues such as Transitional Justice and International Human Rights Mechanisms.
On Friday September 14th 2012, CIHRS concluded the course which gathered 58 fresh graduates from both sexes, from various disciplines and originating from different Egyptian governorates. For over two weeks, students received several lectures and engaged in activities about human rights; they became familiar with the most prominent human rights convenes and international treaties, as well as the role of the State in protecting these rights and the obligations stemming from State ratification or signing of such treaties.
During the sessions, participants were involved in different debates of the most significant violations of human rights in the Egyptian society, particularly the Right to Creativity, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Belief and Freedom of Association.
Participants were divided into 6 working groups. Each group has selected a human right and raised ideas for defending and promoting this right among citizens; and organized field campaigns including clearly delineated objectives and specific strategies for raising awareness of these rights in the community, and how to bring pressure to bear on the authorities to guarantee and respect such rights.
The chosen rights were: Freedom of Religion and Belief, Freedom of Thoughts and Expression, the right to Bodily Integrity, the Right to Education, Women’s Rights and the Rights of the Child.
On the closure of the training course, the working groups presented their ideas in support of the right selected by each group. The strategies proposed were varied between focusing on awareness-raising aspects of these rights through documentaries or different publications, while other groups considered that holding seminars and educational gatherings in universities and residential areas was the best means to disseminate and raise awareness of these rights.
Since all the presentations were highly distinguished and received almost equal marks from the jury that monitored the proposals and ideas of the six working groups, CIHRS pledged to implement all these campaigns through its activities, and in collaboration with the forum of CIHRS Alumni Network, either individually or in communion with other human rights organizations concerned with these rights. The evaluation committee also proposed to develop the short films that have been produced by students with the assistance of experts in this field, in order to market them online and use them in the implementation of the campaigns.
Worth mentioning, that the training course began on Friday 31st of August 2012. It is the nineteenth summer training course on human rights for students of Egyptian universities and institutes. It has been organized by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Education Program since 1993 for nineteen successive years.
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