A Successful First Year for the GHRP Training Hub

16 December 2022

The new Training Hub of the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) offers regular training courses on issues related to international human rights law and the work of United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms. It also provides customized courses – on demand – for international organizations, NGOs, governments and National Human Rights Institutions.

‘With this new hub, we not only aim at building the capacity of various stakeholders to better resort to UN human rights mechanisms and implement their recommendations but also at becoming a central hub and federating structure for human rights training courses in Geneva’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

‘By generating increased visibility, this structure will constitute a new entry point for civil society and other interested partners to learn about and build capacity on the Geneva-based international human rights system, its use and impact on various policy areas’ he adds.

A Central Place to Build Capacity on UN Human Rights Mechanisms

In 2022, the GHRP Training Hub conducted seven training courses – two regular courses and five customized courses – in Geneva, online and in the field.

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

In September 2022, 17 participants – from NGOs, UN agencies, governments and academic institutions – attended the GHRP annual training course on the protection of human rights and the environment.

The course – which could be followed in Geneva or online – provided practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.

‘This is the best course that I have attended in the field of rights, law and environment in the last decade. I would highly recommend it to every practitioner working in the energy, environment, human rights and humanitarian fields’ says Sanjukta Mukherjee, Founder Trustee at the Sustainable Design Research Consortium.

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

In November 2022, 20 participants – from NGOs, UN agencies, governments and academic institutions – attended in Geneva or online the GHRP annual training course on the implementation of UPR recommendations at the national level.

‘Working with a UN organization, I will certainly apply the knowledge acquired during this course in my job. This would also help me to develop my career aspirations’ says one participant.

‘This was an excellent experience, with a diverse mix of participants, a varied programme and speakers with high-level expertise. The coordination prior to the course was very good, as was the coordination and logistics during the course’ adds another one.

Five Customized Courses

The Training Hub conducted five customized courses in 2022 on a variety of issues and for diverse audiences: UN staff in Syria, staff from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, academics from Asia and staff from the United Arab Emirates National Human Rights Institution. These took place in Geneva, Beirut or online.

‘These customized courses are tailored to the needs of partners and audiences and combine the Geneva Academy’s human rights' expertise with the network and outreach of the Geneva Human Rights Platform. Their design and content are elaborated in close coordination with the partners’ explains Felix Kirchmeier.

Partners

The Training Hub implements its various activities with the support of many partners, including UPR-Info, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Civil and Political Rights.

‘We are very grateful to our partners for their support, trust and involvement in this new initiative. We could never achieve what we have done without them’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier.

2023 Prospects

For next year, the training courses on the Universal Periodic Review and on the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment will take place in the fall.

We will also launch a new training course on business and human rights.

A number of customized courses are also in the making, notably one course aimed at enabling journalists to report in an effective and informed way about the work and outputs of UN Human mechanisms, as well as one course preparing newly arrived diplomats to lead in the UN Human Rights Council.

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