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MENA Masters on Child Rights reaches a successful conclusion

AMMAN, 19 December 2006 – A contingent of seventeen students from different backgrounds last week completed the third and final session of a UNICEF-supported Executive Masters Degree in Child Rights in the region; an initiative funded by the UNICEF National Committee in Switzerland and managed by the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR) with collaboration by the Lebanese University in Beirut.

Distinguished members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Dr. Hatem Kotrane and Dr. Kamal Filali provided substantial support in their roles as scientific supervisor and lecturer, correspondingly.

The 2006 Executive Degree list of students includes nationals from Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen, most of whom represent a number of governmental institutions and NGOs. Final assessment will take place in May 2007 following completion of their theses.

The Executive Masters Degree was prepared and developed on the basis of the need for enhanced capacity building on Child Rights and with the purpose to address the need for further investments in the training of professionals that will bolster the quality of technical assistance on child rights issues in the region.

The Executive Masters Degree is a part-time, two-year post-graduate programme that combines residential teaching and distant learning. Modules of the degree include a review of international legal instruments defending child rights, legal issues relating trafficking and sexual exploitation of children, juvenile justice and international adoption as well as standardized tutoring and orientation on child rights implementation including the right to education and monitoring strategies, among others.

"We are glad to see the programme shaping a new generation of professionals with specialized knowledge about the realities of the region's children in a globalising world. We are committed to the continued academic development of highly qualified individuals dealing with children's issues and applying a child rights framework to their daily endeavors", said today UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Omar Abdi. "In spite of the turbulence experienced this year in Lebanon, the Executive Masters was completed without major interruptions, largely due to the commitment and determination of the students and professors alike. This, alone, represents already a momentous achievement", he added.

Along with the Executive Masters, a training of trainers in child rights took place in early May 2006, involving 21 students from Jordan, the occupied Palestinian territories, Iraq and Syria. Financial and technical support for this event was provided by the UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa with funding from the UNICEF Swiss National Committee.


For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:
Wolfgang Friedl – UNICEF MENA-RO Communication Officer, Mobile No. + 96279 573 2745; e-mail: wfriedl@unicef.org
Trish Hiddleston – UNICEF MENA-RO Child Protection Adviser, Mobile No. + 96279 974 7678; e-mail: thiddleston@unicef.org




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