On the 12th of December 2021, CARD has named 364 high school students from Addis Ababa “New Generation of Human Rights Defenders (NGHRDs)” after successive training offered to them in ten batches.
CARD has been recruiting students from high schools in Addis Ababa based on their interest in human rights activism and offered them four sections of basic human rights training on the concept of human rights, freedom of exp, gender equality, freedom of assembly, and demonstrations.
After receiving the training, the students are encouraged to establish human rights-related clubs in their respective schools. At the festival where these students are named CARD’s New Generation of Human Rights, Daniel Bekele (Ph.D.), Commissioner of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, has done opening remarks followed by Madam Birtukan Mideksa, Chairwoman of National Election Board of Ethiopia, who have had a moment of question and answers with the students.
In addition, Civil Society leaders have shared their experiences with the NGHRDs. Ameha Mekonnen from Lawyers from Human Rights, Yared Hailemariam from the Ethiopian Human Rights Defenders Center, and Mahlet Zeleke from Women’s Economic Empowerment Africa. The civil society leaders explained the challenges and opportunities as well as the passion needed to lead civil movements in Ethiopia.
Selected members of the NGHRDs, on the other hand, shared to the audiences of the festival about their initiatives in their respective communities to spread the words of human rights. In the afternoon session of the festival, there was a question and answer competition on human rights, where three students were prized.
The program to create NGHRDs will continue every year with potentially increased reach outside of Addis Ababa.