September 8, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) concluded its 20th training course on human rights for Egyptian university students, whose activities started on August 25 and lasted for 2 weeks. 42 participants from governorates such as Cairo, Alexandria, Daqahleya, Beheira, Minya, Assiut, and Sohag as well as the Nuba region took part.
The training course reviewed the philosophical basis of human rights, the most important international human rights conventions, the relationship between religion and liberties, and the evolution of the relationship between religion and the state from the time of the Caliphate down to the modern state, and the concepts of democratic state and citizenship.
Participants received series of detailed lectures on human rights which focused in particular on the civil and political rights, such as the right to life, the right to bodily integrity, the right to freedom of association, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly, the right to freedom of belief and religion, digital rights, and the right to a fair trial.
The training course also discussed social and economical rights and the related international conventions. Lectures touched on the right to education, women rights, the rights of the child, refugees rights, and the rights of disabled people.
Other topics that were covered included transitional justice, security reform, international human rights mechanisms, international humanitarian law, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Criminal Court.
During the training course, the participants visited a number of Egyptian human rights organizations, such as the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), Nazra for Feminist Studies, Andalus Institute for Tolerance Studies, and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) to learn more about the role of these organizations and their methods of work.
The participants chose the right to freedom of opinion and expression to be the focus of their final project. After 15 hours of workshops with specialized trainers, they produced four projects discussing this topic. The first group created a film to present the right, participating in a workshop on filming and montage and presenting two short films that clearly explain Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which deals with the freedom of opinion and expression.
The second group chose to present a stop motion short movie discussing the idea of accepting others and people’s right to express themselves and their thoughts, even if they differ from traditionally accepted norms.
The third group chose to present a narrated theatrical show on the situation of freedom of expression in Egypt during the period between the January 25 Revolution and now.
The fourth group chose to present a song that promotes people’s right to express their thoughts and opinions. The last group chose to use graffiti as a tool of expression, conducting a field survey with people on the street regarding how they view freedom of expression and painting their opinions one of the walls of the city.
The last day of the training was dedicated to the presentation of these activities to the group as well as to some trainers and human rights defenders. The organizers of the training also took time to discuss with participants the benefits of the training and to receive feedback from the participants regarding content, trainers, and lecturers.
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