The Conference of European Churches (CEC) human rights summer school will be held next week in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Alongside specific sessions looking at the experience of women and children as refugees, the event will also explore human and organ trafficking, sexual exploitation, working conditions and pay, an equal level of education and progress in the work place, arranged marriages and female genital mutilation.
Running between 31 May and 4 June, the event will close with a visit to a refugee camp on the Saturday morning.
Mag. Elizabeta Kitanović is CEC’s executive secretary for human rights. Speaking ahead of the summer school she said that the rights of women and children – civil, political, social, economic and cultural – “are still very heavily violated” in many locations around the world.
“The participants of the CEC summer school on human rights will discuss theological approaches to women and children’s rights as well as international legal instruments and mechanisms that help the promotion and protection of these rights.”
She notes that in the Gospels the human dignity of women and men is equal before God.
“The role of women is visible in the history of salvation, and there is a special concern for widows, and those women who followed Jesus during his ministry as his most faithful disciples. The resurrection was first revealed to these women.”
CEC’s summer school on human rights “offers churches and church-related organisations the opportunity to train members on human rights issues” with its focus on the legal, societal, political, institutional and theological dimensions of the theme.
The theme is “Stand Up For Women’s And Children’s Rights” and this third annual summer school is being run in partnership with the School of Theology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,
Greece is an ideal location to discuss those rights as it has borne the recent brunt of the hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing into Europe over the past year as the first place of welcome for many of those fleeing the devastating war in Syria and other conflicts.
Those women and children on the move face a mountain of challenges and these will take centre stage at the summer school. Participants will learn more from theological, legal, and political perspectives and exchange best practices.