Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS HUMAN RIGHTS IN MIDDLE EAST

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced over $597,700 to support the human rights of indigenous, poor and marginalised people in the Middle East.   
Senator Carr said Australia’s Human Rights Grants Scheme will fund projects to help reduce poverty by protecting and promoting human rights.
“This round of grants includes over $96,000 to the Lebanese Association for Civil Rights to empower a team of human rights defenders to educate victims in Lebanon,” Senator Carr said.
“This project aims to educate high risk youth and women victims about rights violations and to raise awareness of human rights in Lebanese communities.
“Another grant of $100,000 will go to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights to address human rights violations being perpetrated by police in Egypt
“This project will advocate for a comprehensive police sector reform strategy and against the reinstatement of the emergency law under any form.
“It also aims to end the use of firearms in dispersing demonstrations and provide torture victims with legal assistance.”
Other grants include:
$100,000 to St Andrews Refugee Services for a resettlement legal aid project in Egypt.
$99,971 to Medical Aid for Palestinians for monitoring and reporting mechanisms for human rights violations of marginalised Bedouin communities in the Palestinian Territories.
$97,888 to Jordan Media Institute for media training to expose human rights abuses in Jordan.
$73,848 to Development Iraq to collect data and produce a report on child labour issues in Iraq.
$30,000 to The Human Rights and Democracy Media Centre to promote concepts and principles of human rights within Sharia ’a college students in the Palestinian Territories.
Senator Carr said Australia is proud to be advancing human rights in the Middle East.
“The Human Rights Grants Scheme was established in 1997 and has proven to be an effective way for Australia to support human rights activities in all regions of the world,” Senator Carr said.
“In 2011-12, the scheme supported NGOs and human rights institutions to implement 41 projects across the Pacific, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
“We’ll build on these successes in 2012-13 with 42 projects scheduled to begin in 32 countries.”
Organisations selected for funding under the Human Rights Grants Scheme face a rigorous selection process.

Once shortlisted by Australia’s diplomatic missions overseas, organisations are selected by a committee which includes an independent panel of human rights experts.

The expert panel plays an invaluable role in identifying high quality projects which will support our goal of enhancing human rights for poor people through the aid program.
Further information is available at the Human Rights Grants Scheme website: www.ausaid.gov.au/business/other_opps/Pages/humanrights_scheme.aspx
Media contact: (02) 6277 7500

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