Human Rights Day 2014

Yarmouk Camp




“ Everyone should
   know about human rights “

Lina, Syria


Human Rights Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948. The day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of human rights.

On Human Rights Day 2014, UNRWA schools are hosting a programme of activities designed to raise awareness of human rights in practice. These include demonstrations of the UNRWA Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Toolkit, which is funded through a generous contribution from the United State of America, and presentations and debates by UNRWA school parliaments. Parents, teachers and local community members are participating to see how children are applying what they have learned.

Promoting Human Rights in the World’s Most Unstable Region

Op Ed by Caroline Pontefract, Director of Education, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency

Human Rights Day has a unique significance for over half a million children educated daily in hundreds of United Nations schools across the Middle East. It is a moment of hope and potentially of despair, when many of our students and more than 20,000 education staff will look at the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration and wonder why so many of them are denied to themselves and those they teach. We educate students living under blockade in war-ravaged Gaza, under occupation in the West Bank, in the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon and amid civil war in Syria. There are many challenges to ensuring these children receive the best education they can, but through dedication and a school environment that promotes their well-being and helps realize their full potential, they can succeed. Today is also a day when we join together and renew our commitment to work for the universal respect of human rights. It is a day on which we advocate for our own rights to be respected and pledge not to violate the rights of others.

Click here to read the full op-ed 


Going to the Polls in Amari Girls School     

Human Rights Day at UNRWA Schools 2014 

It’s election day at the Amari Basic Girls’ School in Ramallah. School parliaments allow children’s voices to be heard and are an integral part of the UNRWA Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance (HRCRT) education programme. The student candidates at Amari Basic Girls’ School are eager to advocate for their schools and communities. 

Knowledge is power and UNRWA students are building their resilience by learning about their human rights. Thanks to generous funding from the United States, Palestine refugee students of all ages explore their rights and responsibilities through fun educational activities such as art, dancing and presentations to their communities



A fluffy yellow die is thrown and a crowd of seventh-grade girls huddle around a giant Chutes and Ladders board, eager to see where the next move will take them. But instead of landing on a chute, or a ladder, the board piece lands on a white square that names a right – the right to freedom of expression.  This prompts the girls to discuss what this right means to them.

This Chutes and Ladders game is one of dozens of activities being held in UNRWA schools in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan today as part of Human Rights Day.


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