Training for Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Programme (HRDAP)
Geneva – 29 May to 9 June 2017
Geneva – 29 May to 9 June 2017
Human rights defenders play a vital role in pushing for sustainable human rights improvements. A free and vibrant civil society is essential to assist States to respect, protect and fulfil all human rights for all and to hold them to account when they fail to do so.
ISHR conducts regular training courses on the use of the main human rights mechanisms, including the Human Rights Council, the special procedures, the UN treaty bodies and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Program, Geneva, (HRDAP) equips human rights defenders with the knowledge and skills to integrate the system into their existing work at the national level in a strategic manner. The programme also provides an opportunity for participants to engage directly in lobbying and advocacy activities at the UN with the aim to effect change on the ground back home.
This programme consists of the following elements:
a) A compulsory online learning component, which takes place prior to face-to-face training sessions, and supports participants in consolidating existing knowledge and developing advocacy objectives;
b) Intensive training in Geneva, with the principal course hosted in June to coincide with the 35th session of the Human Rights Council and the expected dates of the 24th Annual Meeting of UN Special Procedures, focusing on ways to use international human rights mechanisms effectively and to influence outcomes;
c) Specific advocacy at Human Rights Council sessions and other relevant meetings, with regular feedback and peer education to learn from the experiences, including expert inputs from leading human rights advocates
This programme is directed at experienced human rights defenders in Non-Governmental Organisations or National Human Rights Institutions, who have existing advocacy experience at the national level and some prior knowledge of the international human rights system.
The objectives of the course fall into the following three broad categories:
a) Supporting human rights defenders:
- Develop human rights defenders’ advocacy skills and expertise.
- Enhance the ability of human rights defenders to engage strategically with the HumanRights Council, as well as to develop diplomatic and civil society networks;
- Improve the quality of NGO participation in the Human Rights Council, with a view to exert a greater influence on human rights foreign policy;
- Share tools and knowledge, which human rights defenders can use to ensure their voice is central in international human rights decision-making.
- Develop advocacy strategies for specific issues, and to ensure follow-up and action on the Human Rights Council’s resolutions;
- Increase human rights defenders’ understanding of the short, mid and longer-term opportunities provided by human rights mechanisms in Geneva.
- Explore and compare the benefits of engagement with the Human Rights Council, the special procedures, the OHCHR, the UPR and the treaty bodies, and examine how advocates can use them to bolster their work at the national level.
- Develop strategies and lobbying techniques to increase the potential of human rights defenders’ national and regional advocacy work.
c) Creating a peer group of human rights defenders working on a diverse range of issues, identifying best practice in advocating for human rights change, and exchanging lessons and experiences in conducting international advocacy.
Prior to attending the training and advocacy programme in Geneva, participants are expected to
Complete a short online learning component consisting of guided reading in preparation of the course and forum discussions;
Develop and submit a set of personal advocacy objectives for the visit to Geneva.
Prepare some advocacy tools/documents to support advocacy activities in Geneva.
The tuition fee is 3000 Swiss Francs (CHF), and the average cost of travel, accommodation, meals, per-diem and programme logistics administration is approximately 4000 CHF for the two-week period. ISHR relies on contributions from partner organisations and participants to be able to deliver HRDAP. While we may be able to offer a small number of scholarships to cover the full or partial costs of participation, and without prejudice to your eligibility for such a scholarship, we also consider whether and how much participants or their organisations are prepared to contribute to the programme in selecting participants and determining the number of programme places.