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"Exploring Humanitarian Law" handbook adapted for Harari region

28-10-2002 News Release

On 12 October, in Harar, Alain Aeschlimann, ICRC head of delegation in Ethiopia, presented a locally adapted handbook for the ICRC's "Exploring Humanitarian Law" programme to Ato Fuad Ibrahim, President of the Harari People's National Regional State.

The programme comprises five interactive modules introducing secondary school students to the basic rules and principles of international humanitarian law. By stressing the need to respect life and human dignity, especially in times of violence or armed conflict, it encourages young people to counter indifference and feelings of helplessness and to take an active part in community initiatives to promote solidarity and prevent or defuse violence.

After the project had been coordinated with the Federal Minister of Education and accepted by the Harari authorities, the ICRC, in close cooperation with the Harari Education Bureau, organized the training of teachers and set up a working group to translate the handbook from English into Amharic and adapt it to local needs. The modules are already included in the civic education course to be given to secondary school students in the region this year.

“We are very thankful to the Harari government for having understood the importance of teaching such topics to young people and for having decided to implement this pilot project for Ethiopia in their region " , Mr Aeschlimann said at the ceremony. " Now we are ready to work together with other regions. At the same time, we shall continue to promote humanitarian values among various sectors of Ethiopian society, including academic circles, the police and the armed forces.”

For his part, Ato Fuad Ibrahim expressed his thanks to the ICRC and all those who had been involved in the development of the project, which will now be extended to other parts of Ethiopia, starting this month with the Tigray Regional State.