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South-Central Region
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South-Central Region




Thursday, October 30, 2003

 democracy training at human rights center


Hilla, Babil.  The International Republican Institute held democracy training at the Human Rights Center in Hilla on Wednesday, October 29, 2003.  About 75 people attended the session, which was sponsored by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI).


During training, the participants learned more about the rights and responsibilities under a democracy.  They heard that a democratic government entitles people to free speech, the right to congregate, the right to debate, and a free press.  Those present also learned about the responsibilities that come with a democratic government, such as the need to protect the freedoms of others, the  importance of being involved in the community, attention to the rule of law, civility when dealing with other people, and how to protect the rights of minorities.  Finally, the men and women learned about voting, elections, and how to get a democratic government to work for the people.  


The training was well-received by all those attending.  When asked why democracy training is essential, one of the participants said, “We learned why voting is important.”  Another woman described the healthy debates they had during the democracy training, saying “it is important to hear others opinions…the democracy workshops are opening new doors for us.” 


Last week, the Women’s Rights Center also held democracy training.  Learning about freedom and responsibility in a democratic society are essential as Iraqis move forward toward a democratic government.  CPA South-Central will announce other democracy training sessions in the coming weeks.


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