Are you a human rights defender keen to use the UN to push for change at home? If so, apply to the 2022 edition of ISHR’s flagship training the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP).
The International Service for Human Rights’ (ISHR) Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Program, (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 in lobbying and advocacy activities at the UN with the aim to effect change back home.
The objectives of the course fall into the following three broad categories:
- Supporting human rights defenders:
- Develop human rights defenders’ advocacy skills and expertise.
- Enhance the ability of human rights defenders to engage strategically with the Human Rights 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.
- Influencing the substantive outcomes of international human rights mechanisms in a positive manner, including Human Rights Council resolutions and the work of UN thematic and country specific human rights experts (the Special Procedures).
- 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.
Distance Learning Course (online, 4th April – 24th June 2022)
The HRDAP22 programme consists of the following elements:
- 12-week distance learning course
- Advocacy support and coaching
- Global community
- Support and advocacy accompaniment
Defenders will complete a 12-week distance learning course, which includes:
- Access to the new HRDAP Platform, where you can complete e-learning courses on each key UN human rights mechanism and on advocacy and lobbying strategies and access interactive learning materials and case studies on the ISHR Academy
- Take part in live Q&A sessions with human rights experts
- Receive advocacy support and coaching in order to develop concrete advocacy objectives to make strategic use of the international human rights system
- Build networks around the world, and learn from peers from a range of regions working on a range of human rights issues
- Receive support and advocacy accompaniment to conduct advocacy (remotely or plan for future in-person advocacy) during Human Rights Council sessions and other relevant meetings.
The 12-week course allows defenders to continue their vital work on the ground, while diving into the inner workings of each key UN human rights mechanism, and gaining first-hand experience from advocates and UN staff on how civil society can strategically engage in the international human rights space.
In order to complete HRDAP22, participants will be required to:
- Complete approximately 5 hours of work/week, which includes completing pre-reading resources, including ISHR Academy modules and pre-recorded webinars
- Take part actively and consistently in live webinars, Q&A sessions and forum discussions
- Attend and participate in individual and group coaching sessions, which will be held via videoconference
- Develop and submit a set of personal advocacy objectives by submitting short individual assignments every two weeks, as well as a final submission at the end of the course which will outline the defender’s “Advocacy Roadmap” (i.e theory of change).
- As the course will take place online, through online learning and communication platforms, participants will need to have a stable internet connection throughout the duration of the course. Please indicate in your application form if you anticipate having internet connectivity issues, and what solutions could help resolve these, which ISHR will evaluate and consider avenues to provide additional support.
- Defenders will receive a certificate of completion on the condition that they participate actively throughout the course and submit their assignments on time.
- This programme is directed at experienced human rights defenders in non-governmental organisations, who have existing advocacy experience at the national level and some prior knowledge of the international human rights system.
- ISHR supports, and promotes solidarity with and between, defenders working in the following areas or contexts, which they recognise as intersectional and interdependent:
- Equality, dignity and non-discrimination
- Environmental justice and sustainability
- International accountability for repression of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs)
- Transparency and rule of law
- Final decisions regarding participants will be based upon the following criteria:
- Match between applicants’ area of work/expertise and ISHR’s strategic priorities and/or the opportunities provided by the 50th and 51st Sessions of the Human Rights Council;
- Applicants’ knowledge of human rights and their experience and willingness to engage with the UN human rights system and integrate it effectively into domestic level advocacy;
- Applicants’ experience of carrying out advocacy at the national and/or regional level;
- Applicants’ advocacy responsibilities and role within their organisation;
- Applicants’ willingness to contribute to peer education in a diverse group of participants;
- Applicants’ demonstrated commitment to the principles of human rights, including the principles of universality and non-discrimination;
- Communication, language and organisational skills;
- The potential for a strategic partnership between ISHR and the applicants’ organisation;
- Whether applicants or their organisations have been recommended by a strategic partner.
- The course will be carried out in English. ISHR cannot provide translation.
- In identifying and selecting participants, ISHR will work closely with leading human rights organisations in each of the specific respective focus areas and across the world.
For more information, visit https://ishr.ch/latest-updates/hrdap-2022-apply-now-for-ishrs-training-for-human-rights-defenders/