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Establishing the first state of the art Human rights library in Egypt A cooperation project between the National Institutions for Human Rights in Egypt.

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Presentation on theme: "Establishing the first state of the art Human rights library in Egypt A cooperation project between the National Institutions for Human Rights in Egypt."— Presentation transcript:

1 Establishing the first state of the art Human rights library in Egypt A cooperation project between the National Institutions for Human Rights in Egypt and Norway (NCHR-E and NCHR-N) Presentation at the 72nd Norwegian Library Conference, March 19, 2010 “International projects of cooperation” arr. 51 Kristine Mesgrahl, Librarian

2 1. Partners and background Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (est. 1987 ) –Part of the University of Oslo from 1995 –An academic institution with focus on research, teaching and international projects –Role as National Institution for Human Rights in Norway (UN network) –Well established library (part of the University library) – Cooperation between the two institutions started as part of international HR network and dialogue Followed by several meetings, visits and reports evaluating cooperation possibilities Established the ground for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) December 2005 –Prolonged for three years in connection with the opening of the library in December 2009 The National Council for Human Rights in Egypt (est. 2003) –Much bigger than NCHR-N –Independent institution –Less focus on research more on practical HR situation in Egypt –Handles direct complaints on HR violations from Egyptian citizens –Role as National Institution for Human Rights in Egypt (UN network) –No formal library (a book collection) –

3 2. National Institutions (NHRI) NHRI established based on The UN “Paris Principles” Recommends that States establish an independent national institution for human rights, with the primary objective of assisting with consultancy, studies and information related to implementation of the internationally agreed human rights. UN Human Rights Commission Resolution 1992/54 and General Assembly Resolution 48/134,1993 As National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI), the NCHR-N and NCHR-E are part of a regional and international network of national institutions. The network is managed by an international coordination committee (International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights – ICC), which works closely with the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. For more information see: National Human Rights Institutions Forum: OHCHR: Paris Principles –

4 3. The MoU and the library project MoU Objective: –To facilitate joint projects to enhance respect for human rights in either country Project goals:  Contribute to the fulfillment of the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt’s goals and functions as a National Human Rights Institution  Collect, organize and disseminate human rights information  Serve as a national gateway to human rights information  Establish good network connections on a national, regional and international level

5 4. Target groups for the Library 1.The general public 2.Students 3.Researchers (Masters and PhD students etc.), journalists 4.Human rights institutions (both government, NGOs and CSOs) 5.NCHR-E researchers and staff 6.Interested parties who wish to be informed about the human rights situation in Egypt 7.Lawyers 8.Law drafters (some of whom are represented in the membership of the Council)

6 5. Application procedure Two visits and several meetings between the two institutions held in May 2007 –In Cairo at the NCHR-E –In Oslo at the NCHR-N and at the MfA Goal: a joint application In effect an application from the NCHR-N with appendixes from NCHR-E Application sent to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MfA) July 2007 –Including two project proposals total of 1,9 million NOK Election observation unit Support for library set up Approved October 2007 –Based on NCHR-E’s own prioritizing the MfA decided to support the library project –Total budget NOK 1,2 million –“The Ministry’s grants are lump-sum payments, and the Ministry is not obliged to provide further support for the project.”

7 6. Project timeline 200520062007 2008 May 3 -5 Dec 28 MoU 2007 Nov 29 MfA funding Visit to Cairo One week training in Oslo Visits to Cairo and Oslo Setting up the library 2008 2009 Visit to Cairo Oct Setting up the libraryProlongation of MoU May Final report to MfA Dec 3 Project application July 4 May 16 AprilMay Opening

8 7. Main activities  Setting up the library —Purchase Library equipment (shelves and technical equipment) —Convert to the ALIS, member of Egyptian Libraries Network —Recruit and train staff —Prepare list of core human rights literature —Build up a core human rights collection —Organize human rights information physically and virtually  Carry out training and cooperation visits  Establish networks

9 Spreadsheet instead of big project planning tool Report to NCHR-N from Egypt every three months, mail –Standardization on reports NCHR-N final report to MfA max ½ year after finalization Web page with information on the project E-mail and Facebook 8. Reporting procedures & tools of cooperation

10 9. Lessons learned Success factors –Standard contracts and reporting tools –Good contact between the involved parties –Correlation between different documents, actors and stages in the project –Cost control –Report along the way Small project + few people and good overview - vulnerable when people move, get sick, get transferred Tips: Use your connections - Dawson deal with UiO also for NCHR-E Talk to your network Learn from others’ experience Remember “Things take time” … on both sides – National holidays, weekends on different days (Muslim vs. Christian vs. Jewish) Possible illness and other obligations Travel – Pay close attention to and evaluate need for and length of visits – You might need visas – could be time consuming, expensive and complicated procedures Budget – make room for unforeseen costs – pay and airfare rise – variable exchange rates

11 10. Conclusion Two different types of organizations –Cooperation on “equal level” difficult No new projects will start under the MoU at present –Might support election observation training in future Further cooperation will continue through the participation of both institutions in the Arab-European Human Rights Dialogue conferences –The Dialogue is an result of an initiative made by the Danish HR institute after the incident of the Mohammad drawings More on the Dialogue: From NCHR-N: Important for Norway to participate in international projects to enhance cooperation and goodwill in both international and internal relations The direct value of this project to the common Egyptian is limited Part of the bigger picture – better access to information for the researchers in the council Will facilitate their work when they receive complaints from the citizens My views:

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