Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP, joined young people from Camden and Abu Dis this weekend at a human rights workshop in central London.
Jean opened the workshop on Saturday [20 June], which was organised by the Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association (CADFA) as part of a youth visit from the Palestinian town. 
The workshop came at the end of a week-long visit to the UK by eight teenagers from Abu Dis.  Alongside Camden secondary school students they took part in a project focusing on human rights, supported with a grant from Europe’s Youth in Action fund.
Jean spoke on the European Union and human rights, and sometimes controversial trade agreements, such as that between the EU and Israel.  Jean also emphasised the importance of listening to young people. She answered questions on refugee rights, Palestinian prisoners, and the work of the European Parliament on human rights.
Speaking after the event, she said:
“It’s vital that politicians and policymakers everywhere listen to the voices of young people and take their perspectives and concerns into account. This is one of the conditions of the EU’s Strategy for the Rights of the Child and, as I said on Saturday, I believe strongly that all young people, and not just those from the EU, should be protected and empowered by this important legislation.
“It’s easy to base our perception of the Middle East solely on the terrible news reports we are so used to hearing from the region, rather than thinking of the individuals who live there. That’s why this project is so important. Though the young people who took part come from very different backgrounds, they will have shared experiences common to teenagers all over the world. They also share an inspiring commitment to human rights and justice, and I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to discuss these issues with them.”
Jean Lambert is one of eight MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament. Jean was first elected in the 1999 European elections and was re-elected in 2004 and 2009.
 The Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association (CADFA) works in Camden to raise awareness of the human rights situation in Abu Dis, building links between individuals and groups and supporting projects in Camden and Abu Dis.
 Abu Dis is one of three small towns in the suburb of East Jerusalem divided from Jerusalem by the Israeli Separation Wall
 Jean has made consistent calls for an end to arms trading between Israel and the EU.
In January this year, following the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, Jean Lambert called for existing agreements between Israel and the EU to be re-examined. She also joined fellow MEP and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas in calling on Israel to repay the EU funding allocated to Gaza after the region’s infrastructure was devastated by the attacks.