10 December 2019

This December 10, UNRWA joined the international community in celebrating Human Rights Day. This marks the commemoration of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This year, UNRWA schools across the Agency’s five fields of operations hosted special events, where students, teachers, parents and local communities celebrated and shared ideas on how to promote human rights within their communities.

In its 708 schools across the region, UNRWA continuously works to develop a strong understanding of and appreciation for human rights among young Palestine refugee students. Through the Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance (HRCRT) programme, implemented as part of the UNRWA education programme, UNRWA teachers and educators work to empower Palestine refugee students to exercise their rights, uphold human rights values, be proud of their Palestinian identity and contribute positively to their society and the global community.

Luna, a student parliamentarian from Gaza, says, "It was a beautiful day, especially with the participation of parents. There were many activities, such as plays, songs, activities from the HRCRT Toolkit and workshops for parents on the topic of diversity, which is the theme of this year's celebrations.”

Malek, a student parliamentarian from Jordan discussed how he and his friends were “very excited for today and worked hard to plan the activities and make sure all students are involved. We worked as a team, and each of us contributed with his skills and talents,” he recalled.

The Agency has implemented human rights and tolerance components in its educational programming since 1999.

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Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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