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Celebrating human rights
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 06 - 12 - 2018

THIS WEEK the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), the European Union (EU) in Egypt and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) jointly celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Nesmahar Sayed reports.
Human rights are usually perceived as political rights, however, beside the right to freedom of expression and assembly — important in every society — much of the declaration is dedicated to social and economic rights, including the right to education, work, food and medical care, according to Ivan Surkoš, head of the EU delegation to Egypt.
NCHR President Mohamed Fayek added that the scope of human rights has expanded to include Sustainable Development Goals.
“Development is no longer only an economic goal, but also about enabling people to get their full civil and political rights as well as their economic, social and cultural rights,” Fayek said.
The celebration included the handing over of two mini-buses, equipped as mobile offices, to the NCHR. The busses will be used to raise awareness and collect complaints from the public in all parts of Egypt related to human rights. According to Fayek, the mobile units will in particular help solve the problems of citizens in remote areas.
“When these mobile offices bring the services of the council within reach of citizens in remote governorates, they will give concrete meaning to the universal principle of ‘leave no one behind',” Andreas Kuck, country director of GIZ in Egypt, said.
At the end of the celebration, a short film was screened to portray the council's activities during its Human Rights Week in Alexandria. Human Rights Week is an initiative by the council to raise awareness among citizens, public officials and civil society about human rights in all 27 governorates of Egypt.
Around 300 people and more than 100 public officials participated in the interactive events and workshops of Human Rights Week in Alexandria, Ismailia and Suez.


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