EU AND UNRWA WORKSHOP TO FOSTER NEGOTIATION SKILLS AMONG PALESTINE REFUGEE YOUTH IN LEBANON
26 May 2016
The opening session was attended by the Director of UNRWA affairs in Lebanon, Matthias Schmale; 20 students from STC North and South Campuses; UNRWA staff; teachers; and student counsellors.
Dr. Iman Khazaal, Legal Expert for the Arab Labour Organization, developed and conducted the sessions, which included an in-depth analysis of the problems related to the employment of Palestine refugees in Lebanon through three axes: the legal status of Palestine refugees in Lebanon, the status of Palestinian workers, and the surrounding environment. This was followed by practical applications of the analysis outcomes through role-play exercises, where participants took on roles of Palestinian graduates of medicine and law and were tasked with analyzing the underlying problems to their right to practise these professions in Lebanon.
Commenting on the event, Dr. Khazaal said, “The trainees are a brilliant promise for change and they deserve all the support to be empowered to explore the past in order for them to shape the future.”
On his part, the Director of UNRWA affairs in Lebanon said: “Finding employment is a critical part of a dignified life for young Palestine refugees, and this course is an impressive contribution to equipping them with the negotiation skills needed to navigate the very challenging environment here in Lebanon.”
Expressing his appreciation for the training, Ibrahim Ayman, a senior-year student majoring in Systems and Networks, said: “This experience raised my level of knowledge about who I am, what I am capable of and my rights as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon. I think every person should go through this experience because it is going to change one’s perception in a mature way.”
Samah Saadeh, another senior-year student majoring in Systems and Networks, also indicated: “It was mind-opening in shedding light on very important labour law-related issues affecting Palestinian refugees and practical tools that we had little knowledge about.”
The current workshop complements a three-day training on mediation skills that was organized in May 2015 as part of European Union-funded capacity-building interventions aimed at equipping Palestine refugee youth with the right tools to become powerful agents of change.
The European Union is the first contributor to UNRWA in Lebanon, and its contributions range from the reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared, to shelter and infrastructure rehabilitation in camps, to support to Palestine refugees from Syria, to education and training.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 81 million. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance .
For more information, please contact:
Public Information Officer - Lebanon Field Office
+ 961 (0)1 840 490
+ 961 (0)1 840 490