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Human Rights Education and Training

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Human Rights Education and Training

Raising awareness on human rights among the general public

In The former Yugoslav Republic of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a "human rights corner" was established at an elementary school in the multi-ethnic village of Dupjacani.  The OHCHR field office in Skopje reports that the corner was furnished with various human rights publications and books, and that activities such as an essay contest on the rights of the child were carried out.  OHCHR also notes that not all activities were implemented according to the proposal but concludes: "regardless of the deficiencies described above...the response to these human rights activities was overwhelming.  The interest and the awareness of human rights raised among the children as well as among the school's teachers was enormous and positive". 

Informing on children's rights

In The former Yugoslav Republic of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, one of the selected NGOs translated into Macedonian a simplified version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, prepared by "Defence for Children International". This was disseminated among 220 children living in 3 orphanages.  A subsequent lecture and discussion were organized for the children with a representative of the Helsinki Committee on Human Rights in the The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  An art contest was also organized with the winning picture being printed on T-shirts which all the participants received. The recipient reports that it was the first time most of the children had heard about human rights.

 In The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a local office was set up where citizens can report human rights complaints, as well as a series of publicity and education initiatives to promote the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  OHCHR Skopje field office reports: "the implementation of the project was highly efficient. The grant recipient maintained close cooperation with OHCHR Skopje and...actively sought and followed advice and information on substantive issues; informed and gave explanations on activity and deadline adjustments it needed to make; provide timely and up-to-the-point reports on the progress made."

Phase 2

1. The Women’s Organization of Sveti Nikole organized eight one-day workshops on women's rights and domestic violence involving more than 200 women from different villages as well as representatives of the local police and of the justice and social aid authorities. Printed leaflets and brochures were distributed. The local media were invited to report on the meetings and the TV channel MTV broadcast a 30-minute programme on the workshops on 24 February 2000. The NGO reported that Awomen expressed their need for more workshops on other subjects such as problems related to drugs, AIDS, alcohol, cancer, etc.@

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

2. The Civil Society Resource Centre established 10 human rights clubs in 10 schools throughout the country. The centres conducted training seminars, distributed materials (15,000 copies of the UDHR in Macedonian and 10,000 in Albanian) and organized conferences. Information on the European system of human rights protection was also provided. A total of 242 high school students participated in the project. The NGO representative reported: “The results are more positive than we expected... the motivation of young people to undertake concrete activities in their own areas has increased... Another long-term benefit is that new clubs are being established. Motivated by these clubs, young people from other schools in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia expressed their intention to set up clubs in their own schools.”

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. Ms. Margarita Matlievska organized an open competition for lyrics and music for the “children's hymn” and produced a CD containing the “children's hymn” and songs related to respect for children's rights in several languages. Copies of the CD were sent to intergovernmental organizations, embassies and NGOs present in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Allocated grant: US$3,000

4. The Association for Citizens’ Tolerance and Cooperation among Citizens of the City of Prilep (AGTIS) organized a general consultation on women's and children's rights. The meetings involved various actors from the private sector (human rights activists, lawyers, decision makers, etc) and from the public sector (representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Health, etc.). Representatives of the World Health Organization were also present. A questionnaire on domestic violence was circulated during the meetings. This cross-sectoral approach led to a more constructive dialogue between all partners on human rights issues at country level. The question of establishing an SOS-line for women and child victims of violence was raised and action was taken to that end.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

5. The Association of Women Senior Citizens (AVeteranki@) established a weekly working group for a period of three months involving NGO representatives, international NGOs, academics and representatives of the national authorities to address issues related to elderly people, especially their economic, social and cultural rights. People of the following origin attended: Macedonian, Roma, Albanian, Serb and Turkish. A constructive dialogue was established between the NGO representatives and the authorities, and research and assessment missions will be conducted through the regular working group established as a result of the grant-funded activities. The grant recipient also planned a picnic for elderly people on 8 May 2000, grandmothers’ day in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The situation of the elderly in the country is a subject of considerable concern because of their precarious living conditions and their status in society.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

Phase 3

Human Rights Awareness Raising on selected topics

Civic Tracks, based in Bitola, Macedonia, released a multimedia CD-ROM, collecting 34 international and regional human rights documents both in English and in Macedonian; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was included in Albanian, Vlahs, Turkish, Serbian, Roma and French, as an acknowledgement of the multi-ethnic composition of the country. Approximately 1000 copies of the CD-ROM were distributed to municipalities, libraries, police departments, courts, media and schools. The NGO also organized workshops for NGOs, workers and members of trade unions, high school students, representatives of local government and journalists.

Women’s rights, Violence Against Women and Reproductive Rights

TRUST Kumanovo, an NGO active in inter-cultural dialogue in Macedonia, organized 12 training sessions for women returnees from remote areas of the country. Issues such as daily discrimination, violence and hate speech were discussed, as well as strategies to overcome obstacles to a peaceful life for communities living in these villages.