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الخميس، 26 مارس، 2015

Minority Rights Training in Tunisia

Were written by: Ahmed AbdulKadhim Alaskari
Translated by: Bessadi Nourr

Within the programs aiming at the protection of the various minorities in the Middle East and at expanding the horizons of activists and defenders of human rights in most of the Arab countries,

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) has held a training session on the rights of minorities on 16-18 March 2015 in Tunisia.


The training started through addressing the work of the organization "MRG" and its history, and addressed the hate speech and its impact on communities and how it can affect life seriously, and then put forward the regional human rights mechanisms.
After that, the training moved toward the possibility of using media for advocacy on minority rights and the mechanisms dealing with this issue.
In the second day, the first part of the workshop was devoted to clarify provisions of international humanitarian law: what is important, what can be submitted to the states and how humanity can be protected in a time of war, etc. Then trainees were divided to three different teams to discuss their views on various issues and how they can be trained to recognize violations of human rights.


When we asked the trainee Ninson Ibrahim from Syria about the situation of minorities, she stressed that The situation for minorities is bad in many places over the world, they get harassed, treated unfair or not being acknowledged as an ethnical or religious group. But specifically in the ME the situation is unbearable. Genocides are going on and torture in many different ways. She continued saying: " I believe this kind of trainings are very valuable, mainly because it creates a platform for different minority representatives to meet and have a dialogue. And i think the content of the training was good. But I think more interaction amongst the participants in form of discussions would generate better understanding for each other ".


While the trainee Mina Gabriel from Egypt said that the importance of the subject of minorities is linked to the importance of minorities themselves. According to him, minorities, either numerically or ethnically, are not just human beings different from the majority in color, race, religion or doctrine, etc., but they are a source of cultural and social diversity that enriches any society. He said that diversity is a source of wealth, and the minorities in the Arab region were and still are an important factor for the transfer of other civilizations and cultures of the region, which is useful in getting to know others in a postmodern world that moves under the framework of globalization.
He added also that minorities are a factor of power for community cohesion and interdependence, and that political science tells us that societies renounce to minorities only during periods of the dissolution or crash of the states, and the best proof, according to him, is that what happened in the massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the final stages of its collapse. Then he followed by saying, as for the importance of training held by MRG in Tunisia, that it lies in finding a way to communicate between actors belonging to different minorities in the region, and that the objective of the training is networking among minorities. He thinks that the training has achieved its purpose since we are in touch between us, and the activation of networking is our responsibility as the scientific material obtained is very useful and important in the context of our efforts to activate the citizenship rights and design a better life for minorities.



The trainee Bassam Alalogi from Iraq addressed the importance of the subject of minorities in the Arab world to promote the rights of certain components of the community and to monitor possible violations by governments or by the laws and regulations of minorities.
He also stressed the importance of this training to look closely at the problems faced by minorities in other countries by listening to the trainees who are of different nationalities in addition to the practical application of the laws that have been studied in the session by the discussions taking place in the international law.




It is noteworthy that MRG offer in the first stage an online training to young for a period of thirteen weeks in order to develop their abilities and knowledge about international law and their impact on the international situation and what are the opportunities to contribute to the protection of minorities and the preservation of their rights.




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