ERI Team Ongoing Professional Development

ISHR Course I joined a group human rights defenders (advocates) from 19 different developing countries who gathered on Sunday afternoon June 8th, (2014) to learn how to better leverage the Human Rights Council’s mechanisms in Geneva and to share their stories of advocacy campaigning and defending human rights.  We were working together on a 2 week professional training course, offered by the International Service for Human Rights NGO located in Geneva.

Through participation in the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council (Geneva) and through meeting with key actors at the UN, participants gained an enhanced working knowledge of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Treaty Body Committees and the Special Rapporteur mandate holders processes.  Some high-level presenters included Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali and Mr Mads Andenas (Working Group on Arbitrary Detention); Ms Farida Shaheed (Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights),  Mr Francois Crepeau (Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Migrants), the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders (Michel Frost), and Mr Kishore Singh (Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education).  Meetings were held with the Permanent Missions of Norway, Ireland, Australia, Netherlands, Switzerland and Uruguay. These meetings established a working relationship and an invitation from them to submit reports to keep them update on the human rights situation in countries in which Edmund Rice International has advocacy programs led by their advocacy coordinators.

Workshops that have been planned in 2013/14 by ERI and the advocacy coordinators in Sierra Leone will now be potentially partnered with the Sierra Leone Human Rights Defenders Centre (Freetown) and the Human Rights Centre Grenada (Caribbean).   This ensures a stronger voice for ERI’s advocacy coordinators in West Africa and the Caribbean as they work with other NGOs to enhance advocacy-human rights campaigns in these countries.

– Peter Harney cfc

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