What about human rights?

| Spanish sLOVEnia

Today, August 20th 2019, marks the 19th day since the rescue ship Open Arms is waiting for an authorization to unload 109 people in the port of Lampedusa, Italy. The Open Arms is the boat from the Spanish NGO of the same name that is rescuing migrants from death in the Mediterranean. The people onboard are suffering strong problems of physical and mental health and some of them are even trying to jump off the ship to reach the coast by swimming. This is the result of the racist policies of the Italian minister Matteo Salvini and the connivance of the European Union.

The Mediterranean keeps swallowing thousands and thousands of people who are trying to live escaping from the terror that they are leaving behind. They think that they will find a welcoming environment in Europe, but instead Italy, Malta and Spain are closing their ports for these people violating international law and human rights. And still, what are we doing as citizens? How can we allow this? Why do we not wake up to this?

Motivated by these questions I went to the training course “What about human rights?” which took place in Poland between the 21st of July and the 1st of August. The organizers were motivated by the same questions and they are determined that something needs to be done, we can't remain silent anymore about all the violations of human rights that happen everywhere.

During the training course I gained a lot of knowledge on human rights issues like human trafficking, migration, gender equality, integration of people with special needs, LGBTQI+ issues… Knowledge is indeed essential to raise awareness, but it is not the only thing to take into account when you are trying to go further. So far we have the attitude, the knowledge but we are missing the skills.

The second half of the training course was devoted to project management. We learnt about how to choose an idea based on the human rights issue that we want to tackle, how to shape it, how to make an action plan, how to stay on track during the implementation, how to implement it, how to evaluate it, how to disseminate the results and, finally, celebrate the success of our projects.

The training course will have a second meeting in Poland on November 15th to 17th, where each participant will present that project that they have developed in their local communities. So now I have to go to work on mine, stay tuned to read more about how, when and where my project will happen ;).

What about human rights

Javi Hernandez Castro, ESC volunteer
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