Geneva International Centre for Justice Human Rights Trainings 2014

Human rights education and trainings are means to great ends: they can help to prevent human rights violations and conflicts, promote equality and development, and enhance people’s participation in decision-making. A better understanding of the work and mechanisms of the United Nations can further show how civil society can engage with the various United Nations human rights bodies and thus lead to a real difference on the ground.

It is following the belief and desire to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights that GICJ regularly offers Human Rights Training Courses throughout the year, for periods ranging from few intensive courses with 6 hours of lecture each day, up to one or two week trainings including attending international meetings and conferences at the UN. Training are always adapted to the participants' level of knowledge—be it beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Lessons are taught in English or Arabic, a basic knowledge of English is however recommended.

Training sessions are usually scheduled to coincide with the relevant meetings at the UN, such as the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review, or Special Procedures and Treaty Body meetings. Between January and March 2014 GICJ organized three Human Rights training sessions for NGO representatives, lawyers and academics from Malaysia, Norway, the UK and Palestine.

During these trainings the participants had the possibility to attended discussions under agenda item 6 and 7 of the 25th regular session of the Human Rights Council as well as different meetings and conferences at the UN including side-events with UN Special Rapporteurs. At these occasions the training participants met with UN independent experts, representatives of the OHCHR, diplomats and journalists accredited to the UN.

According to the aim of the training, human rights were at the core of the lessons, supplemented by additional subjects related to human rights such as their application to diplomacy and international relations. Another focus was on the structure and functions of the United Nations system, its organs, agencies and programs including the work of the Human Rights Council, as well as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and UN Special Procedures.

In the practical part the groups learned how to prepare, submit and deliver written and oral statements to the Human Rights Council, how civil society can submit information to be included in the Universal Periodic Review reports, as well as how to engage country delegates to ensure that concerns are addressed by states in their recommendations. Participants additionally learned how to interact with the Special Procedures, which is essential to ensure that the work of the civil society and the UN is mutually reinforcing and beneficial.

In this part the participants attended several discussion during the sessions of the Human Rights Council, in particular the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) conducted under item 6 and the discussion of Human Rights in Palestine under item 7 as well as several side events on topics such as Human Rights and conflict or Human Rights in Palestine. Participants further had the possibility to meet with country representatives and various UN experts and mandate holders.

At the end of the intensive course, the participants received a Certificate of Completion.

Learn more

To learn more about GICJ Human Rights trainings click here. A sample schedule of a one week Human Rights training can be found here. To find a provisional calendar of the Human Rights Council and HRC-related meetings for 2014 click here.

Geneva International Centre for Justice Human Rights Training Courses

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GICJ, UNOG, ICJ, ICC and STL Training Workshop - 17 to 26 July 2016

GICJ & UNDP workshop - 22 to 26 February 2015

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