Bokolmayo Refugee Camp Celebrates International Day of Human Rights


Bokolmayo Refugee Camp Celebrates International Day of Human Rights

UNHCR, 10 Dec 2011

Saturday 10 December saw the Bokolmayo refugee camp in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia celebrating International Day of Human Rights. The day marked the culmination of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. UNHCR and its humanitarian partners, together with the general refugee community and Ethiopian government officials, joined efforts to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document that asserts "all human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms".

To commemorate the day, different activities were organized by partners, and led by Save the Children US. Activities included a concert and performance by refugee singers which was attended and greatly appreciated by the refugee community.

Young people and children were central to Human Rights Day. They contributed with drama and song. With these songs children reached out to a wider audience and carried very powerful human rights messages. The day was intended to inspire a new generation of defenders to speak up and take action for human rights and to end all forms of discrimination and sexual and gender based violence.

During the opening ceremony, elected representatives of the refugee community in the camp, the Refugee Central Committee, Women's Association, Youth sports club, hygiene promotion group, and children from the Early Childhood Development programme courageously stood up to advocate for their rights. They emphasised that Human Rights Day presents an opportunity to involve and galvanise people of different origins and ages for the promotion and protection of human rights.

The celebration culminated in the afternoon with a men's football match and a women's volleyball match organised by the refugee youth. The result was a very successful public event which encouraged particularly the participation of girls in sports activities. The matches, of both girls and boys attracted hundreds of spectators from the refugee camp and the host community.