Improving Human Rights through Education

It seems that there is an urgent need for a stronger human rights culture to be disseminated in Iraqi society, in light of the escalating violation of human rights in many social and political fields. Large segments of Iraq's population are denied fundamental rights to health care and education, and suffer from abuse, especially women and children.

Children in Iraq are often subject to domestic violence, and are often denied access to many fundamental rights on the level of basic care and protection.

Women are subject to violence and routinely denied the right to education and equal social standing. Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a study in March 2014, highlighting some of the threats to women's rights in Iraq.

The Commission on Human Rights in the province of Qadisiyah, 180 kilometers (122 miles) south of Baghdad, initiated the implementation of a human rights teaching program in primary school in February 2015. The program is designed to introduce primary school-aged children to some human rights that are stated in the UDHR, including the right to education, health care, work, housing and the freedom of movement. The program focuses on holding workshops for primary schools using modern methods such as screening films, documentaries and cartoons.

In a phone interview with Al-Monitor, Ahmed al-Attar, the director of the Commission on Human Rights in Qadisiyah, said that the human rights field is new to Iraqi society, and that the commission’s project is just the beginning of a long journey. He added that the commission looks forward to seeing these workshops turn into permanent courses on human rights at Iraqi schools, given the importance of teaching human rights at an early age.

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