This is the third year of the joint initiative of the Office of the Ombudsman of Turkmenistan, the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan, UNICEF, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Regional Office for Central Asia (OHCHR ROCA) in raising awareness among children from all over the country about human rights, child rights, and the rights of people with disabilities. In what is increasingly becoming a -standing tradition, the events were conducted in summer camps, where children from all over Turkmenistan enjoy a series of interactive sessions and games. Remarkably, this year OHCHR ROCA is supporting the camps within their Human Rights 75 campaign which is to commemorate the 75 th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The campaign seeks to increase the knowledge of the universality and indivisibility of human rights and empower people to know and stand up for their rights, especially among young people.
As in previous years, in addition to gaining new knowledge and skills, the children freely expressed their voices and shared their aspirations for the future.
The information sessions mainly focused on educating the children on the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as their basic principles. It included issues such as non- discrimination, ensuring what is in the best interests of the child, their health, development, participation, and inclusion, as well as the national legislation in the field of the rights of the child and persons with disabilities.
“I liked today’s event very much. I learnt a lot about human rights, child rights, for example, that every child has a right to learn, to have rest, to live in a safe environment and more. What I liked the most was to learn about rights of children with disabilities and that all children are equal,” – said Medine, a 10- year-old girl attending the session in “Nesil” summer camp.
In total, all partners visited five summer camps in Geokdere and more than 250 children from all over Turkmenistan took part in the sessions, where they expressed their opinions and readiness to share their new knowledge with other children. ///UNICEF Turkmenistan, 18 July 2023
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