Posts Tagged ‘training’

Internship for the Human Rights Defenders Programme at Justice and Peace NL

September 15, 2017

Justice and Peace Netherlands supports human rights defenders worldwide with trainings, its temporary relocation programme Shelter City and advocacy. In The Netherlands it organises Welkom Hier festivals together with local partners and refugees.

The Human Rights Defenders Programme has two aspects:

  • Shelter City, in which Human Rights Defenders at risk are temporarily relocated in The Netherlands for 3 months in order to rest and respite, gain new knowledge, energy, and expand their network.
  • The Hague Training Course (THTC), in which they participate in 10-day training course that aims to support Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) by facilitating the strengthening of their knowledge and skills on 4 main modules: training of trainers, holistic security (physical, digital, psychological), advocacy and policy influencing and international protection mechanisms.

Its Human Rights Defenders and Security programme offers – from mid-October to mid-December 2017 – an Internship (32 hours a week). The internship includes activities related to the aforementioned 2 projects. Candidates should have the following competences:

  • A Bachelor or Master’s degree level student in a discipline related to (international) human rights, law, social sciences, politics;
  • Excellent oral and written skills in English language (in addition French and/or Spanish are highly valued);
  • Result-oriented, flexible, stress resistant, professional, team player, open and creative mind, analytical skills.

The internship fee is €400 gross per month for a full work week of 36 hours. We also provide full reimbursement of travel expenses (2nd class public transport).

If interested send your motivation and CV to Marieke van der Vliet, Head of Programmes, vacature@justiceandpeace.nl, citing ‘Internship HRDs Programme’ .

Deadline: 30 September 2017. Interviews will take place beginning October. For more information: Manon Muti: manon.muti@justiceandpeace.nl or +31 (0)70-7631419.

Source: Internship: Human Rights Defenders & Security Programme at Justice and Peace NL (The Hague) – Career Service Rechten

Security and self-care must become part of the culture of human rights defenders

May 10, 2017

HOLLY DAVIS and MAGDA ADAMOWICZ published in Open Democracy of 10 May 2017 an important piece entitled “Security and well-being: two sides of the same coin“.  It states inter alia that by not paying enough attention to self-care, activists are compromising their own security—and that of their organizations. [It is a contribution to the debate on mental health and well-being.]

The authors rightly make the point that.. “in addition to threats against their personal safety and security, defenders face exhaustion and trauma and struggle with burnout.”


Flickr/ CDIH (Some rights reserved) Following the hearing on the human rights situation in Bajo Aguán held on April 5, 2016, a vigil was held by Berta Cáceres, an environmental activist who was murdered on March 3, 2016 in Honduras.

By including and addressing well-being, trainers have a critical role to play in expanding defenders’ understanding of security and increasing their capacity to adopt new habits. These changes can happen only by integrating security and self-care into the everyday work and culture of human rights defenders and organizations.

Each organization and individual will have different needs. They may include:

  • •Allowing time and dedicated funding for staff retreats, peer support groups, psychological or supervision support, or other individual practices.

  • •Creating space to discuss people’s well-being at the team or organizational level.

  • •Connecting activists with peers from other organizations so they can find solidarity and support.

  • •Designing an organizational self-care plan with clear goals, expectations, and boundaries that are transparent and to which teams are accountable. Such a plan might include expectations for work hours and off-hours availability, the option to work from home, time for a true break during the workday, offering activities like stretching and meditation, or simply scheduling a block of quiet time without meetings.

  • •Consistently implementing an organizational self-care plan, with staff supporting each other, and regularly checking-in with each other through meetings that include a well-being status update.

  • •Challenging what is truly a crisis requiring immediate action, breaking a cycle of stress where people feel like they cannot afford to stop working.

Above all, human rights organizations and funders need to remember that prioritizing the safety and health of defenders, preventing burnout, and treating trauma are not self-indulgences. Rather, they are best practices. Individual and organizational attitudes and behavior must evolve. This means mainstreaming security and moving towards organizational cultures in which self-care is inherently understood to be critical to success. The old refrain of “toughen up or leave” is obsolete.

Source: Security and well-being: two sides of the same coin | openDemocracy

WEBINARS on best practices for digitising documents in March 2017

March 7, 2017

Why digitise? Digitising your documents greatly improves access to your information, whether you are building an online public library to share documents related to corruption, or making documents searchable for your team. Digitisation also helps to preserve and protect important human rights information. Many defenders run the risk that malevolent groups seeking to destroy or confiscate witness testimony, evidence of abuse, and other sensitive information. Others run the risk of documents being subject to harmful storage conditions, such as humidity, insects, and rodents. These are just a few reasons for digitising your documents. However, figuring out the most efficient, affordable, and responsible way to digitise thousands of documents can be a daunting task especially for human rights defenders in the field.

  • When:
  • Where: ReadyTalk (use the access code 2458641 to join)
  • Who: Open to anyone who wants to learn more about digitizing documents

Whether you are a seasoned digitization expert or a human rights defender just starting to think about digitisation, this is a good occasion to learn and share.

If you are interested, please contact Kristin Antin at kristin@huridocs.orgHere is an example of a webinar hosted in January on managing contact information.

Source: Community Discussion: Best practices for digitising documents | HURIDOCS

Journalist of the month Sara Cincurova in Slovakia

December 23, 2016

Sam Berkhead of IJnet did on 21 December an interview with the Slovakian journalist and filmmaker Sara Cincurova to discusses her work to bring human rights to the forefront. She was chosen as Journalist of the month. In this context I draw attention to the “Speak Up, Speak Out: A Toolkit for Journalists Reporting on Gender and Human Rights Issues” which seeks to help journalists  learn the basics of reporting on women’s and other human rights issues. It combines background information on international human rights mechanisms; guidelines on producing nuanced, objective reporting on rights issues; and practical exercises that walk users step-by-step through the production of a solid human rights story. The toolkit also helps journalists understand how international human rights mechanisms, laws and treaties work. Global in scope and written in an easy-to-understand language, the toolkit is intended to be used as a training aid in targeted journalism trainings around the world. It is available in English online as a free PDF download, with French, Arabic and Spanish language translations planned for the future. The toolkit is based on a series of trainings in human rights reporting that Internews conducted in several countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East between 2009 and 2011. It was developed and produced by Internews’ Global Human Rights Program.

 image courtesy of Sara Cincurova.

At age 26, the Slovakian journalist’s byline has appeared on sites like The Huffington PostVoxEuropWomen’s WorldWide Web and openDemocracy. Her work has brought her to countries like the UK, France, Ukraine, Georgia, Burkina Faso and Indonesia, interviewing everyone from refugees at the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France, to a Holocaust survivor. We spoke with her about her most noteworthy projects, finding the intersection between journalism and human rights and more:

IJNet: How did you get started as a journalist?

Cincurova: I have always been interested in human rights. I spent a year in Africa and in Asia, then I worked for a charity supporting women and children victims of domestic violence. I first started blogging in my home country, Slovakia. I remember that my first blog post about domestic violence had more than 10,000 entries within the first two days, and I also received a lot of emails from readers. So I started writing regularly for different media outlets, and that’s how it all started for me.

How has your work in advocating for victims of gender-based violence influenced the way you work as a journalist?

I think that trauma and abuse are always very difficult and intricate topics to report on. I have interviewed many experts on violence, and I try to use the skills that I have acquired whenever I’m interviewing victims of abuse, conflict, displacement, etc. I try to cover their stories as accurately and sensitively as possible. I also think that empathy is very important. Another thing is that I also try to focus on resistance and resilience, not just violence and victimhood.

What’s your favorite story you’ve worked on so far? What was challenging about it? How did you overcome those challenges?

Right now, I am working on an incredibly interesting article about Slovakians that hid Jewish families in their homes during World War II. I think it’s very important to share their stories today; they are a great inspiration for human rights defenders worldwide. Also, it’s very interesting to ask where their courage, kindness and motivation came from; many of them have risked their lives just to save another human being. To me, this project has been life-changing and changed the way I see human rights and resistance. I also think it’s important to share these stories today, in the current context.

Source: Journalist of the month: Sara Cincurova | IJNet

Scholarships for the 2017 Legal Training Program of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

December 9, 2016

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and the Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung, a foundation working to secure educational justice, recognize that starting a career in international human rights work can sometimes require more just having the requisite passion, motivation and skills. There can be certain barriers to entry into the profession, i.e. when economic or social considerations prevent potential participants from taking part in our programs. With this in mind, the Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung scholarship for ECCHR’s Legal Training Program offers young people with limited financial means and/or from underrepresented geographic and social backgrounds the chance to gain professional experience in human rights work. Read the rest of this entry »

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 –

ISHR 2017 training course for human rights defenders now open for applications

November 12, 2016

 The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) is calling for applications for its flagship Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Program in 2017 – the extensive training programme for human rights defenders. The training will take place in Geneva between 29 May and 9 June 2017 and provides defenders with opportunities to put their advocacy skills directly into action at the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

ISHR’s Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP) equips defenders with the knowledge and skills to make strategic use of the international human rights system. It also provides an opportunity for participants to directly engage in lobbying and advocacy activities at the UN level to effect change on the ground back home. As well as receiving training modules on all the UN human rights mechanisms from a range of experts, participants will also have the opportunity to build networks in Geneva and around the world, carry out lobbying of UN member States and UN staff, and learn from peers from a range of regions working on a range of human rights issues.

Participants will take part in:

  1. A short online learning component, prior to face-to-face training, to enable you to consolidate your existing knowledge and develop your advocacy objectives;
  2. Intensive training in Geneva during June, to coincide with the 35th session of the Human Rights Council. The training will focus on ways to effectively use international human rights mechanisms and to influence outcomes;
  3. Specific advocacy at Human Rights Council sessions and other relevant meetings, with regular feedback and peer education to learn from the experiences, including expert input from leading human rights advocates.

This programme is directed at experienced human rights defenders in non governmental organisations and national human rights institutions, with existing advocacy experience at the national level and some prior knowledge of the international human rights system. If you are interested in applying for ISHR’s training programme, please read the call for applications to check that you comply with the requirements. The link to the online application form can be found under point 5 of the call for applications.

The call for applicants can be found here. For more information, write to hrdap2017@ishr.ch.

Source: ISHR 2017 training for human rights defenders: now open for applicants! | ISHR

Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies organizes new MOOC on human rights as from 21 June

June 7, 2016

The Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies is an interdisciplinary research centre of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Leuven, Belgium, led by prof. Jan Wouters. It carries out and supports interdisciplinary research on topics related to globalisation, global governance processes and multilateralism, and has been recognised as a KU Leuven Centre of Excellence [http://ghum.kuleuven.be/ggs/].

It has just announced a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). The previous edition on ‘EU and Human Rights’ reached more than 8,000 students worldwide. Starting on 21 June 2016 and running for 6 weeks, the MOOC provides a basic course on human rights using FRAME research results, targeting undergraduate students and other people interested in the topic, such as international organizations and NGO staff. It will be offered free of charge and will include a collection of videos of lectures and teaching materials.

See also https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/the-moocs-are-coming-to-human-rights-education-thanks-to-ai-and-edx-partnering/

For more information and enrollment: https://www.edx.org/course/eu-human-rights-kuleuvenx-euhurix-0

Important Report: “Keeping Defenders Safe: A Call to Donor Action”

November 8, 2014

I am sharing with you an important new report on the protection and security of human rights defenders entitled, “Keeping Defenders Safe: A Call to Donor Action”. The report was released this summer but did not get the attention it deserves. The report reviews existing responses to the security challenges that human rights defenders face, with a focus on the grant-makers who support work aimed at strengthening HRD protection and security. The author, Borislav Petranov, conducted more than 150 interviews with defenders and related stakeholders around the world, seeking to capture the viewpoints of activists on the ground.  Monette Zard prepared it for publication. The report’s conclusions suggest changes in focus and approach with recommendations that donors can implement individually as well as collectively to enhance the protection and security of HRDs. While it is not a roadmap or comprehensive analysis of protection mechanisms, it does recommend considered reflection on current policies and practices in the field:  Read the rest of this entry »

How to deal with digital video: key features

October 16, 2014

What every human rights defender should know about video, images etc.

Instruction video published on 15 October 2014 by Witness. What is a video format? A codec? What do 1080 and 720 refer to? What about “i” and “p”? In this video, archivist and writer of WITNESS’ award winning guide, Yvonne Ng, provides an overview of the key technical characteristics of video for everyday users with visual examples. Comment on Witness blog: http://wp.me/p4j1y7-5J2

http://archiveweb.witness.org