Posts Tagged ‘Education’

How to work with the UN and its Rapporteurs: new ISHR guidance for human rights defenders

December 18, 2019

On 18 November 2019 the ISHR launched its new guide to the UN Special Procedures, an essential tool for human rights defenders seeking to engage more strategically with these experts, for greater impact on the ground.

ISHR’s Practical Guide to the UN Special Procedures provides an overview of the system of independent human rights experts known as the Special Procedures, and the different ways human rights defenders can make use of it to further their human rights causes. Often their independence allows them to discuss issues deemed too politically ‘sensitive’ at the international level. It also enables them to act swiftly and react publicly against human rights violations. This handbook is intended to be a practical aid to working with the Special Procedures for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and human rights defenders. O

Read the Practical Guide to the UN Special Procedures here

You can find more tips and examples of how to engage with Special Procedures in the ISHR Academy, ISHR’s e-learning space for human rights defenders looking to strengthen their advocacy skills with the UN for greater impact on the ground. Helping human rights defenders strengthen their advocacy skills with the UN

Navigating the UN

An overview of the international human rights system and the importance of civil society engagement

Watch the video

Test your knowledge

Learning Modules

Build your advocacy skills

Hand holding a globe in a light bulb

ISHR Academy Introduction

A quick start guide to getting the most out of the learning modules developed by ISHR

People sat around the council debating chamber

UN Human Rights Council

Understand the structure, purpose and mandate of the Human Rights Council and the opportunities for effective engagement

A team of experts

Special Procedures

Explore the purpose and mandates of the Special Procedures and how you can work with them to strengthen your advocacy. For more see: https://academy.ishr.ch/

Annual human rights video contest for students across America opens

January 30, 2017

There is a lot of attention on current and feared loss of human rights attention in Trump-led USA. It is no reason to overlook positive events that continue. E.g. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers and the Tribeca Film Institute, has launched on 25 January 2017 the 6th Annual Speak Truth to Power Video Contest. The short-video contest invites middle and high school students from around the country to create a three-minute video examining a human rights issue or violation while profiling human rights defenders fighting to restore justice. The deadline for entries is March 6, 2017. Participants must be in grades 6 through 12. No prior filmmaking experience is required.

The lesson that we all have a responsibility to stand up and speak out against inequality and injustice is so important. This video contest will engage students in what it means to be a defender of human rights.”, said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (which is also producing an online webinar to share how teachers can use the contest to help students demonstrate independence, judgment and creativity about key human rights issues).

“Past winners demonstrated the transformative impact this contest has on those who participate,” said John Heffernan, Director of the Speak Truth To Power program. “We are thrilled to be able to expand our reach by partnering with the AFT in key cities throughout the US—inspiring even more students to identify with some of the most courageous people on the planet.

https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2013/10/12/rfk-center-expands-human-rights-video-contest-to-students-from-the-whole-usa/

Last year’s grand prize went to a filmmaker from Farmingdale, NJ whose satire “How to Be an American Muslim” asks the audience to reflect on the challenges of being a Muslim in America today, and highlights the work of human rights defender Dalia Mogahed. (http://www.ted.com/talks/dalia_mogahed_what_do_you_think_when_you_look_at_me)

Additional details can be found at http://www.speaktruthvideo.com. Winning videos will be featured on the Speak Truth To Power website and the grand prize video will be shown at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

Contact: Eric Duncan, eduncan(at)aft.org

Source: Annual Human Rights Short-Video Contest Open to Students and Schools Across America

Training workshop on Protection of HRDs by Foreign Governments

January 24, 2017

Chris Collier, a well-known human rights consultant based in the  Netherlands (www.chriscollier.nl), will be conducting a one-day, participatory training workshop for human rights defenders and staff of human rights organizations on foreign government protection of HRDs. The course will take place on 27 March 2017 in Brussels.  Participants will gain knowledge of policies and practices of foreign governments in HRD protection, will develop advocacy skills to make full use of these possibilities, and make plans to get foreign governments to take action on specific issues or cases.  The workshop will cover the EU and EU member states as well as other countries with guidelines on HRD protection (Switzerland, Norway and Canada).  The language of the workshop will be English.  The number of participants will be limited to a maximum of 15.  The workshop fee is €300 and participants are asked to arrange their own visa, travel and accommodation.  (An invitation letter to the training can, of course, be provided.)

Please contact Chris Collier if you would you be interested in participating in this training workshop,  tel. +31-(0)6-34936026 mail@chriscollier.nl

 

 

Virgin Islands’ Genevieve Whitaker selected for United Nations Human Rights Fellowship

November 30, 2016

I am using this little known country (Virgin Islands) to highlight a little-known programme: the Virgin Islands Consortium reports that Deputy Elections System Supervisor Genevieve Whitaker has been selected as a fellow for the 2016 Fellowship Programme for the People of African Descent of the UN.

Ms. Whitaker has been involved with human rights from an early age. She received her law degree from Stetson University College of Law, serving as a public service fellow and received the Public Service Recognition Award from Stetson’s Advocacy Board for her exemplary service locally and worldwide. She was instrumental in the establishment of Stetson’s Amnesty International Student chapter. She obtained certificates in human rights and humanitarian law during her legal studies at the University of Oxford School of Law and Santa Clara University Law School, respectively. There she joined Amnesty International USA, and United Nations Association of the USA. Ms. Whitaker is also a former board member of the DC-based Partners for Freedom & Democracy, a nonprofit organization for which she organized a human rights-based youth leadership development summit that took place in Abuja, Nigeria in 2008.

In 2009 she co-founded the Virgin Islands Youth Advocacy Coalition, Inc., a nonprofit established to promote the political and civic engagement of the young people of the Virgin Islands. Ms. Whitaker’s human rights work also includes service on the Board of the Caribbean Institute for a New Humanity, which housed the Virgin Islands Reparations Movement (ACRRA). Ms. Whitaker served as an international election observer with the Organization of American States for the February 25, 2016 Jamaican Parliamentary elections.

Ms. Whitaker says she plans on bringing back to the territory the knowledge she gains during her training to promote the important work of decolonization, by obtaining support among the key stakeholders who will be dedicated to the cause for the human right to self-determination, she says. The goal is centered on achieving the political, social, economic and cultural right advancement for people of African descent and all those negatively affected/impacted by the resultant human rights abuses tied to our colonial status, according to Ms. Whitaker.

Source: Genevieve Whitaker Selected For United Nations Human Rights Fellowship –

Young human rights defenders in the UK motivated with Youth Awards

December 22, 2015

When looking for ways to engage young people in human rights work, this is an idea: Amnesty International UK has been running for many years a series of media awards. In 2010 it added human rights awards for YOUNG reporters, photographers, reporters, campaigners, fundraisers and poets. Read the rest of this entry »

In Memoriam for Indonesian Education campaigner Yanti Muchtar

November 24, 2015

A leading campaigner for adult education in Indonesia, Darmiyanti [Yanti] Muchtar, passed away on Tuesday 17 November 2015 after a long battle with cancer.

She was a noted feminist who had been part of the country’s women’s movement since the 1980s, she was a cofounder of Solidaritas Perempuan or the Women’s Solidarity for Human Rights group, and later joined Kapal Perempuan or the Women’s Ship Institute, where she once served as a director.

Kapal represented her passion for alternative education targeting adults in disadvantaged and marginalized communities. In her last months, Yanti’s colleagues said she continued working on numerous projects including a women’s education module.  Among her other passions was pushing for the passing of a draft law on domestic workers, in her capacity as a member of the Jala PRT advocacy network for domestic workers. The campaigner believed adult education was key to fighting illiteracy and promoting critical thinking.

Yanti, a sociology graduate from the University of Indonesia, completed a PhD at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, late last year, with a thesis on local Islamic politics in West Nusa Tenggara, under the supervision of sociologist Vedi R. Hadiz. Her thesis also reflected her concern for identity politics based on ethnicity and religion, while she championed equal rights for minorities and the marginalized, including women and low-income people, as well as equal recognition for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and for interfaith couples.

For more see the Jakarta Post of 19 November:  Education campaigner Yanti Muchtar dies | The Jakarta Post

Nansen Refugee Award to Afghan refugee teacher

October 6, 2015

October seems to be very much the season of awards. Tonight is the MEA announcement and yesterday UNHCR presented the 2015 Nansen Refugee Award to Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi:

© UNHCR/M Henley
Aqeela Asifi made it her mission over more than 20 years in exile to bring education to refugee girls in a remote community in Pakistan. Asifi has been recognised for her tireless dedication to education for Afghan refugee girls in the Kot Chandana refugee village in Mianwali, Pakistan  while herself overcoming the struggles of life in exile. Despite minimal resources and significant cultural challenges, Asifi has guided a thousand refugee girls through their primary education.

When I first set up my school I was not very optimistic. This success is beyond my expectations. Let the dove of peace be our messenger, let us shun the culture of war and weapons and let us promote the culture of pen and education. That’s the only way, my dear brothers and sisters, that we can bring peace and prosperity to our country.” Asifi said.

The Award ceremony, in Geneva’s Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, featured performances from UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and two-time Grammy winner, Angelique Kidjo, and UNHCR Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador, Barbara Hendricks.

 

More about the Nansen award: http://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/nansen-medal

To learn more about Aqeela’s story: here

Source: UNHCR – UNHCR presents Nansen Refugee Award to Afghan refugee teacher

Student human rights defenders under pressure in Myanmar/Burma

April 27, 2015

Since November 2014, student organizations including the All Burma Federation of Student Union (ABFSU) have been protesting against the National Education Bill, which student activists claim restricts academic freedom. Enacted by Parliament on 30 September 2014, the National Education Law was intended to reform the country’s education system, but the ABFSU claim the government did not seek adequate student input in its formation. The new restrictions outlaw independent student and teacher unions, and erase ethnic languages, cultures and literatures from university syllabi.

Students opposed to the National Education Law staged a peaceful protest in Letpadan on 10 March 2015. Police responded violently to the movement. They arrested approximately 126 students, including student leaders Po Po, Nanda Sitt Aung and Phyo Phyo Aung. Three others, Myat Thu Aung, Kyaw Ko Ko (the Chairman) and Ye Yint Kyaw (spokesperson), managed to escape in March, but today they face criminal charges of unlawful assembly, rioting, incitement, and causing harm to a public servant. The charges carry penalties of up to three years in prison. Robert San Aung, who leads the Myanmar Lawyers’ Network team and is one the 3 Final Nominees of the MEA this year, said he believes the Court would not begin hearing the charges against those students currently detained, until police had apprehended those still in hiding.

The ABFSU is a student union with a long tradition and as far back as 2001 it won the Norwegian Student Peace Prize.

Myanmar/Burma – Student human rights defenders Myat Thu Aung, Kyaw Ko Ko and Ye Yint Kyaw facing charges | Front Line Defenders.

‘La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico’, new comics book out

April 4, 2015

Henry Chamberlain in his blog Comicsgrinder of 3 April reviews positively a new human rights book: ‘La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico’

La-Lucha-Verso-Books

The border state of Chihuahua and its city of Juarez is like a war zone thanks to the inextricable link between drug cartels and official corruption. But thanks to human rights defenders, like Chihuahua lawyer and organizer Lucha Castro, fight back.

Lucha-Castro-Human-Rights-2015

Edited by Adam Shapiro, head of campaigns at the human rights organization Front Line Defenders, and drawn by Jon Sack are a series of profiles and reportage that have the urgency of dispatches from the scene. Luca Castro wrote the preface.

 

There are all compelling stories to be found here. One example is the story of Marisela Escobedo Ortiz and her daughter, Rubi Marisol. Rubi was murdered by her boyfriend, Sergio Barraza. It was a clear-cut case. However, Sergio Barraza would never be found guilty simply for the fact that he was a member of the Zetas drug ring and that made him instantly untouchable. Rubi’s mother, Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, led a fight to bring Sergio Barraza to justice. She was able to repeatedly track him down when authorities were not. Sergio Barraza was eventually slain in a shoot-out in 2012 with the Mexican Army. But during Marisela’s struggle for justice, the Mexican authorities, from the local level to the federal level, would not get involved. In the end, Marisela was killed for her efforts. This is quite an involved story 

Verso-Books-Chihuahua-Mexican-drug-cartels

 

“La Lucha” is an exemplary example of the comics medium. A book like this one proves how complex issues can be presented in a clear and concise manner that can benefit people in a myriad of ways. It can jump start conversations that require a number of facts that are not always easy to follow. It can make a difference. It can even save lives.

“La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico” is published by Verso Books and is available as of March 31, 2015. You can find it hereherehere, and here.

Review: ‘La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico’ |.

Defending Human Rights – Online Programme by York University

November 26, 2014

Defending Human Rights” is a part-time distance learning programme delivered wholly online in a fully supported environment by the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the
University of York in the UK. The programme was piloted successfully last year, with the support of the Sigrid Rausing Trust and Open Society Foundation. Students can take one, two or three modules as a continuing professional development student, without academic credit, or complete all three modules as a postgraduate student, with academic credit. Postgraduate students who complete all three credit-bearing modules are awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Defending Human Rights.

  • Scholarships available to cover 50% of fees (especially several people sign up from one organisation).
  • Online teaching by tutors and guest lecturers with practical field experience
  • Modules in International Human Rights Law and Advocacy, Working Safely: Managing Risk and Strengthening Protection, and Leading and Managing Effective Human Rights Organisations.

The Centre is now accepting applications for the Post Graduate Certificate, commencing in January 2015.  For more details, see http://www.york.ac.uk/cahr/studying/online/#tab-1