An Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate is speaking to Bradford school children on the issues of human rights and conflict resolution in a series of seminars this weekend.

Dr Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer and women’s rights advocate, was the first Islamic woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

Dr Ebadi, a former judge, has spoken widely on the issue of human rights and democracy around the world.

She has been invited to speak at Bradford University as part of the PeaceJam education initiative.

Bradford is the only European city to host a PeaceJam event this year which aims to inspire young people to be active citizens and peacemakers and to choose non-violent solutions to their issues and problems.

Pupils will spend the weekend debating global issues with Dr Ebadi, working in groups with Bradford University mentors, doing voluntary work and designing their own peace projects.

Dr Ebadi said: “I first became involved with PeaceJam when I was asked to speak at an event in Nairobi in 2004.

“I very much liked the programme because I have always respected and have faith in youth. I would like to speak to the young people about Islam and the need for dialogues between different religions.

“Unfortunately throughout history religion has been taken advantage of and misused by some people and many people excuse themselves using their religion but if we really pay attention all religions share the same core values.

“The most difficult aspect of my work is dealing with people who are prejudiced. Such people believe they are the only ones who have certain rights and are not willing to listen to others. Those people don’t just exist within Islam but in all societies and religions.”

Dr Fiona McCaulay, of the University’s Peace Studies Department, said: “We are delighted to welcome Shirin to Bradford. We hope that her wisdom in conflict resolution will be something our young guests can take away and put into practice in their own communities.”