Palestinian Territory - In collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip, Euro-Med Monitor’s project We Are Not Numbers (WANN) organised several training sessions on humanitarian action, international humanitarian law, and the protection of journalists during armed conflicts.
The sessions targeted the 17th WANN cohort, which consists of 30 Palestinian youth in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon, Jordan, Türkiye, and the United States. Members received a week of intensive training from an International Committee of the Red Cross team. The training encompassed introductory lectures about international humanitarian law and the scope of its application, including the four Geneva Conventions and the two Additional Protocols, as well as the provisions safeguarding journalists as outlined in these agreements.
The training focused on the importance of promoting the principles of international humanitarian law to protect journalists during armed conflict, and the critical role of journalists and the media in shedding light on the victims of conflicts and humanitarian issues. “Our role in We Are Not Numbers is not limited to teaching young people how to write in English so that they can have a voice in the world,” said WANN’s Gaza Project Manager Enas Ghannam. “We also aim to raise their awareness by training them in various fields, including international humanitarian law, lobbying, and advocacy in order to defend human rights.”
“When you live in areas of armed conflict, you realise the value of every piece of information in international humanitarian law,” said Fatima al-Zahra’ Shaat, a participant (or “WANNer”) in the new cohort. “That is what made me most interested in the smallest details during this training.”
Mohammed Hamo, another WANNer, also shared his experience: “[The training] provided me with a wealth of information and broadened my understanding of the rights that journalists should have while performing their duties. This will allow us to convey our voices to the world while living under occupation and while avoiding risk.”
The sessions were part of a six-month training programme offered by WANN to enhance the capabilities of Palestinian youth living under occupation in human rights and journalistic writing, raise their awareness of human rights, and convey victims’ voices to the world. The project was launched by Euro-Med Monitor in January 2015, just a few months after the 50-day Israeli military attack on the Gaza Strip in July-August 2014; the military attack caused the deaths of 2,147 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were civilians, including women and children.
Through training young victims in journalistic and nonfiction writing, including poetry, and connecting them with English-speaking writers and experts from around the world, We Are Not Numbers aims to tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news about victims of violations. The stories and essays written by writers are edited by international mentors and posted on www.wearenotnumbers.org and frequently on several other international platforms.