Training on Understanding Economic,

Social and Cultural Rights

GENEVA 6-10 JUNE 2016

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Objectives and Audience | Programme | Training methods | The training team | Certification | Training Fees I  Application procedure | Important deadlinesAccommodation


Objectives and Audience

This one-week introductory training course is tailored to meet the needs of academic researchers, diplomats, government officials, lawyers, judges, journalists and other professionals working in national governments, international organizations, NGOs, National Human Rights Institutions or development agencies with basic knowledge of ESCR.

The course caters for people who wish to gain a thorough understanding of these rights and the role of the Geneva-based mechanisms that promote and protect them.

At the end of the training, participants will be familiar with:
•    The content of different ESCR, including the rights to food, housing, education, health, water and sanitation
•    UN mechanisms for the promotion and protection of ESCR
•    Domestic mechanisms available to implement ESCR
•    The justiciability of ESCR at the national, regional and international levels
•    Recent developments and challenges related to the promotion and protection of ESCR
•    The role of various actors - civil society, national human rights institutions, governments and non-state actors - in relation to ESCR
•    Violations of ESCR and obstacles to their progressive realization
•    The promotion and protection of ESCR in specific contexts, such as in connection with the privatization of services or the protection of the environment.




This five-day intensive training in English will be held at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, in Geneva. We expect approximately 25 participants.

This training course will cover the following topics and sessions:
•    The normative content of ESCR, including the rights to food, housing, education, health, water and sanitation, and correlative States’ obligations
•    The justiciability of ESCR at the national, regional and international levels
•    The role of UN mechanisms in the promotion and protection of ESCR, including the Committee on ESCR, the Human Rights Council, and Special Procedures
•    ESCR in specific contexts, e.g. privatization of services and ESCR; gender and ESCR; the protection of the environment and ESCR
•    Recent developments in the protection of ESCR, including the first decisions based on the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, and the relationship between ESCR and SDGs
•    Discussions with experts, including UN Treaty Body members
•    Visit to a session of the UN Committee on ESCR
•    Case studies and a role play activity based on a model session of the UN Committee on ESCR.

The same training programme is also offered in French (19-23 September 2016).



Training methods

Participants to the training course will benefit from teaching methods that blend traditional seminar-type lectures, delivered by the Geneva Academy ESCR experts and guest speakers, with practical exercises and first-hand experience on issues such as the work of the UN Committee on ESCR or specific cases and country situations.

Participants in the training courses are also offered a unique opportunity to network with Geneva-based practitioners, attend conferences featuring key experts, and interact with UN human rights mechanisms, including the UN Committee on economic, social and cultural rights.



The training team

The training is hosted and organized by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights - a joint center of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the University of Geneva - in the context of is Project on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

This project is a unique initiative that promotes the realization of ESCR through research, trainings, conferences, expert meetings and advice to actors involved in the implementation of ESCR. It is recognized internationally as one of the few academic initiatives in this field and as one of the first institution to offer, since 2008, trainings on ESCR.

The training course is taught by the Geneva Academy ESCR experts and senior professionals from international organizations and NGOs, including experts and practitioners from the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, the European Court of Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists, FIAN International and Waterlex.




Participants who successfully complete the training will receive a certificate of participation from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.



Training Fees

The training fee for this 5-day intensive programme is 1530-Swiss francs (CHF). This includes tuition costs, course materials, as well as 5 lunches and refreshments during coffee breaks. The fee is payable once confirmation of participation has been issued.

Once your confirmation of participation has been issued, you are kindly asked to proceed tothe payment at the latest 3 days prior to the beginning of the training (3 June 2016). In case of limited availabilities, the first payments will secure the candidate's participation in priority over late payments. Failure to pay will not allow you to attend the training.

All participants are responsible for their own travel costs to Geneva, including Swiss visa fees, as well as for their accommodation (refer to section below) and dinners (approximately CHF 30 per meal) in Geneva. Lunch will be provided throughout the course. The organizers are willing to provide administrative support for obtaining your visa and information about accommodation.

All applicants must be able to cover the expenses of participation. The Geneva Academy does not offer scholarships or tuition waivers.



Application procedure



Important deadlines for application

Deadline for applications requiring visa: 6 April 2016
Deadline for applications not requiring visa: 6 May 2016



Accommodation in Geneva is expensive. For this reason, we encourage you to: look for accommodation in student residences; start searching as soon as you are accepted into the programme; apply for numerous options; follow your applications closely.

The Geneva Academy can arrange the following accommodation:

  • Single rooms with private bathroom : CHF 100.-/night
  • Single rooms with shared bathroom: CHF 85.-/night
  • 2 lodges (one-bedroom apartment) : CHF 95.-/night

The rooms will be distributed on a first come first served basis. For more information or application:

Click here
for more information regarding accommodation nearby Geneva, in Ferney-Voltaire on French territory. Ferney-Voltaire is 8 km from Geneva and well served by a cross-border bus going directly to the center of Geneva:F bus schedule.


Villa Moynier - Rue de Lausanne 120B - CP 67 - 1211 Geneva 21 - Switzerland

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