Early start on human rights awareness

Alexandra Sandels
2 Min Read

NGO aims to enhance human rights education in Cairo elementary schools through children’s stories

Domestic and international organizations recently launched training programs aimed at educating youth on human rights issues and international law.

“The children are our future and thus our hope. We need to educate them and teach them the universal principles of human rights and international law at an early stage in order to spur long-term systematic change, Mohamed Zarea, founder of the Arab Penal Reform Organization (APRO), told The Daily Star Egypt.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) will soon start its new long-term training program intended to foster a regional network of young human rights advocates and increase awareness of human rights issues.

Freedom House and the European-Mediterranean Human Rights Network have also launched programs in the past year that seek to better educate Arab youth on human rights issues.

APRO is putting the final touches on a project that uses children’s stories to educate children between the ages of 8 and 13 on the universal principles of human rights and international law.

The stories revolve around the life of a young boy, Ali, and his friends and their joint quest to learn more about human rights principles and law. Each story is up to six pages long and features both text and attractive drawings.

A writer for the popular children’s comic book “BolBol will pen the story while a known caricaturist will provide the sketches, Zarea said.

The stories will be printed in Arabic and English and distributed in both public and private schools in Cairo. The first 500 copies of the Arabic version are expected to be printed and distributed by the end of the year.

Zarea also said the minister of education had welcomed APRO’s initiative of printing and distributing the stories in schools.

The project is partly funded by USAID.

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