Today Tuesday 23 November 2010, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, with support from UNICEF, opened a series of awareness symposia on child rights and protection in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) at the Cultural Center at the Khan Younis Municipality in Khan Younis district.
The symposia target a group of Imams in coordination with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs.
This is the fourth series of symposia to be delivered under a project supported by UNICEF during the past three months.
Lawyer Mervat An-Nahhal, the coordinator of the ‘Child Rights Awareness for Religious Leaders in the OPT Project’ at Al Mezan, opened the symposia and welcomed the participants.
She thanked the Ministry and the participants for their cooperation.
An-Nahhal stressed the importance of spreading the knowledge of the legal standards and guarantees for child rights, as reflected in Palestinian and international laws.
She also highlighted the significance of the special care society must accord to children and their wellbeing; including through positive discrimination.
“All components of society must combat discrimination and violence against children and ensure the best protection for them; including protecting children from stigmas associated with HIV/AIDS”, she said.
An-Nahhal presented the purpose of the symposia: To introduce the participants to the basic concepts of child rights and to the protection mechanisms under Palestinian law; including with relation to HIV/AIDS related stigma.
On a later stage, the project will address the potentials for an effective role by religious leaders in furthering respect and protection of children in Gaza.