UNICEF and Mofid University in New Partnership for Child Rights Promotion
In collaboration with religious scholars, UNICEF has joined forces with Mofid University in Qom to advocate for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The University’s Centre for Human Rights Studies (CHRS) and UNICEF signed a two year contract which aims to engage Shiite scholars in child rights promotion.
“The idea of Mofid University working in partnership with an international organisation is important because we can bring in the Islamic perspective,” said Grand Ayatollah Ardibili, head of Mofid University. “We have done a lot of work on rights’ issues in general so we know where the sources are.”
The main purpose of the contract is to support a comprehensive review of the CRC from a Shiite perspective and produce a manual to be used by scholars, religious advocates, and academics working with children.
This manual is an adaptation of a handbook produced by Cairo’s Al Azhar University which uses research papers, Koranic verses, Hadiths and Sunnas to provide guidance on children’s rights to such things as health, education and protection.
Upon completion of the manual, key messages will be developed for advocacy with religious leaders who are influential in Iranian society.
“It is UNICEF’s role in societies to stimulate national debate and engagement with children’s rights,” said Christian Salazar Volkmann, UNICEF’s Representative in Iran. “I hope that this collaboration with Mofid University will pave the way for an intensive and long term engagement with the religious community on the Convention of the Rights of the Child.”Mofid University will also look at the concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and suggest strategies to improve the shortfalls in their implementation.
The contract was signed at Grand Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili’s office in Qom, the centre of Shiite learning in Iran.