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2-6 November 2020
Application start 27 January 2020
Application end 11 October 2020
Application end / With visa 9 August 2020
Fee: 1530 Swiss Francs

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The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council.

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The emergence of the United Nations (UN) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has brought new life into the measures taken at the international and national levels to hold states accountable to their international human rights and humanitarian law obligations.

The UPR has also generated a number of initiatives at national levels at a scale previously unrealised in the attempts to translate international human rights commitments into practice at the policy and field levels including improved inter-ministerial coordination; robust national civil society alliances; more rigorous work by UN agencies; new reporting and monitoring steps by national human rights institutions (NHRIs); more comprehensive training opportunities and human rights education; a better understanding of the links between human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the UPR and its functioning in Geneva. It will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level. Using examples of different stages of implementation, it will provide hands-on exercises to demonstrate the new pathways the UPR is opening for the realization of human rights.

This training is organized in collaboration with UPR Info.

Evolution of the Situation Related to the Coronavirus Pandemic

In the unlikely event that some participants cannot come to Geneva for the training course, they will be able to follow the course online, including the sessions taking place at the United Nations.

Programme

The course will cover the following issues:

  • Locating the UPR within the UN human rights system including the UN treaty bodies (TBs), the work of the UN Special Procedures and the thematic and country-based work of the HRC and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
  • The critical importance of the reporting process in the UPR – examples of national reports, compilations from UN sources and the compilation of the stakeholder’s reports (NHRIs and civil society reports)
  • Politicization of the HRC: Is there an impact on the content and functioning of the UPR?
  • The critical advocacy role of national governments, NHRIs, civil society, UN agencies, academic bodies, national parliaments, diplomats and the media.
  • The inextricable link between the UPR and the SDGs: what tools are available at the international and national levels to make this link; is a common reporting mechanism achievable; can there be synergy in the implementation of both these sets of obligations on the ground?
  • Economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights: has a balance been struck with the UPR? Do the implementation strategies at national levels redress the balance?
  • The development of tools and research methodologies, including data collection for the UPR
  • Examples of good practices, at the policy and field level: these examples will be used throughout the course to highlight the tremendous possibilities the UPR offers practitioners on the ground to play their part in implementing human rights obligations.
  • Visit to the UN Human Rights Council session to observe the UPR of Nepal

Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be:

  • Familiar with the genesis and evolution of the UPR, within the context of the UN human rights system
  • Knowledgeable about the advocacy strategies employed by national actors to identify issues to be raised at the UPR and to ensure implementation
  • Able to identify the distinct but also the collaborative role of various national level actors: national governments, NHRIs, civil society, UN agencies, academic bodies, national parliaments, diplomats and the media
  • Able to utilise the sophisticated tools (matrices) developed by various actors at the national level to monitor progress with the UPR recommendations
  • Able to demonstrate, in their own contexts, the many uses of the implementation examples used throughout the course
  • Able to identify the link between the UPR and the SDGs at the international and national levels
  • Able to draft impactful recommendations for the UPR

Methodology

The course will be conducted in a participatory training mode with a combination of illustrated lectures (using power points and short videos) and group exercises aimed at evolving practical documents to be used in the UPR process.

Audience

The training course is designed for staff of NGOs, research institutes, UN agencies (especially members with experience of fieldwork) and other national and international organizations, members of NHRIs and representatives of governments and academia.

Professors and Lecturers

The training course will be led by Miloon Kothari, a renowned expert on human rights and social policy, with extensive teaching and training experience on the UN human rights system and the UPR.

The course will include specific sessions by guest lecturers drawn from OHCHR, UN agencies, ambassadors from Permanent Missions in Geneva and Geneva-based NGOs including UPR-Info.

Certification

Participants who successfully complete the training course receive a certificate of participation from the Geneva Academy.

Fee

The training fee for this five-day programme is 1,530 Swiss Francs (30 percent discount for PhD and master students) and includes tuition costs, course materials, 5 lunches, and refreshments during coffee breaks.

It is payable as soon as your place has been confirmed. As places on the training course are limited, participation can only be secured through the payment of the fee. In case of cancellation by the participant, CHF 200 won't be returned.

All participants are responsible for their own travel costs to Geneva, including Swiss visa fees and evening meals (approximately 30 Swiss Francs per meal).

Accommodation

Participants may request an on-campus accommodation when applying. Due to the limited places available, accommodation is not guaranteed. Participants seeking on-campus accommodation are encouraged to request this as soon as possible.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted via the online application form.

If you encounter problems with your application, do not hesitate to contact us: uprtraining[at]geneva-academy.ch

Videos

Training Course on The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: What Participants Say

Zahid Hussain, Human Rights Advisor at the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office in Bangladesh tells about the UPR training course and what it will bring to his daily work.

Training Course on The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: What Participants Say

Atta Ui Mustafa, National Advisor at the Pakistan National Commission for Human Rights. He attended the 2019 edition and tells us about his experience attending the training course on The Universal Periodic Review and the United Nations Human Rights System.

Professors and Lecturers

Portrait of Miloon Kothari

Miloon Kothari

Independent Expert on Human Rights and Social Policy

Miloon Kothari is a renowned human rights and social policy expert with extensive teaching and training experience on the United Nations human rights system and the Universal Periodic Review.

Picture of Mona M'bikay

Mona M'Bikay

Executive Director, UPR Info

Mona M'Bikay is the Executive Director at UPR Info. She also worked as a human rights lawyer at a national and interntational level.

Location

Villa Moynier, 120B Rue de Lausanne, Geneva

Access

Public Transport

Tram 15, Direction Nations - tram stop Butini

Bus 1 or 25, Direction Jardin Botanique - bus stop Sécheron

Access for people with disabilities

Villa Moynier is accessible to people with disabilities. If you have a disability or any additional needs and require assistance in order to participate fully, please email info[at]geneva-academy.ch

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