During one week, 13 practitioners – including staff from NGOs and government representatives – explored the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the training course took place both in Geneva and online – with four participants in Geneva and nine online.
‘Despite the fact that most participants were online, we ensured the same level of quality and interaction as if they were all here at our headquarters. The diverse backgrounds of participants – coming from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe – allowed for rich discussions and interactions, notably during the group exercises’ underlines Dr Christophe Golay, Strategic Adviser on ESCR at the Geneva Academy.
The five-day course entailed a busy programme, which allowed participants to acquire the practical tools to include ESCR and the SDGs in their work.
Topics covered through interactive lectures and group exercises included the inclusion of human rights in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the relationship between the SDGs and specific rights like the rights to health, social security, education, water and sanitation, food and housing; gender equality and women empowerment; indicators and disaggregated data; as well as monitoring and accountability.
‘Our objective is that participants, at the end of the course, are familiar with both the human rights and SDGs frameworks and are able to integrate tools for implementing and monitoring ESCR and the SDGs in their work’ explains Dr Golay.
Participants could also exchange with United Nations (UN) independent experts – Léo Heller, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation, Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and Meskerem Geset Techane, member of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice – on their respective mandates and work on the SDGs.
‘For me, this training course served as a reminder of the value of integrating human rights and the SDGs in the work of national civil society organizations as they navigate economic, financial and health crisis in Lebanon.
The course provided a range of information on ESCR and the SDGs, and on how they both relate to development. The content of the course was very relevant to the work I do as a behavioural analyst. Additionally, what made the course unique is the presence of a multitude of experts working with the UN and other organizations and the fact that they shared their experience and knowledge surrounding human rights and the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic’ explains Rewa El Masry, Behavioural Economics Consultant for the NGO Nudge Lebanon.
UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
US Mission in Geneva
Three training courses – on the Universal Periodic Review (2–6 November), the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (23–27 November), and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants (7– 11 December) – are scheduled until the end of the year: applications are still open for the three of them!
They will also take place in Geneva and online, allowing participants who cannot travel to Geneva to follow them and interact with other participants and experts.
UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
The project aims at implementing the rights of peasants in 10 countries of the Global South: Philippines, India Nepal, Kenya, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Bolivia and Mexico.
Tijana Kukanjac is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She tells about her background, the programme and what it will bring to her career.
Dustan Woodhouse, Unplash
This training course will explore the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights, as well as with their implementation and enforcement mechanisms; and provide practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).
This project examined how IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the UN Charter, as well as from universal and regional treaties.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.