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United Nations Sponsored Human Rights Training Camp Completes its First Session

August 24, 2005

BEIRUT: A human rights summer training camp organized by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and the American University of Technology (AUT) has just completed its first session. Held in coordination with Amnesty International and the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR), this is the first of a series of five planned annual programs. The goal of this session was "to create a network of key resource people and spread awareness on the daily human rights abuses that people seldom dwell on in their day to day lives."

According to the camp's coordinator Joumana al-Hassan, the first year was intended to provide a theoretical background on the subject of human rights.

Muzna al-Masri, the human rights education coordinator at Amnesty International articulated the proactive approach Amnesty is known for when she said "It's important to not only incorporate human rights into the curriculum of universities, but also to have universities operate by those human rights values."

Camp manager Dr. Iwona Safi announced the plan of the AUT to develop a web site that will enable participants to collaborate on human rights activities. She also said it was important for the participants to "go further and spread the message in their societies."

Murad Bustmy, a Palestinian student, completed the camp with the incentive to put this training into practice, saying "When I go back home I will send proposals to NGOs to teach what I've learned here and spread the knowledge and develop it further."

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