Geneva Human Rights Platform’s Training Hub: Expanding Offerings and Partnerships for 2024

16 February 2024

2023 has been a busy and fruitful year for our Geneva Human Rights Platform’s (GHRP) Training Hub which starts 2024 with an enhanced offer.

‘Our Training Hub aims at building the capacity of the various stakeholders who interact with the Geneva-based human rights mechanisms, whether on topical issues or specific mechanisms. We do so via regular training courses, as well as via customized courses’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

What to Look for in 2024

The Training Hub will continue to offer its four regular training courses in 2024 as there is a high demand for these, and further expand its offer through the redesign of the course on the protection of human rights and the environment.

‘This is a rapidly evolving field and we redesign this course into two separate – although complementary – modules that offer a full overview of the different aspects relating to the interconnection of human rights and environmental protection and allow participants to tailor their training to their needs’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier.

‘This redesign also benefits from the inputs of our new partner, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) that joins EarthJustice as an official partner of the Training Hub for the design and delivery of this course. We are very happy to have CIEL on board, and that the Training Hub evolves further into a federating structure for human rights training courses in Geneva’ he adds.

A trainer during the training course on the protection of human rights and the environment

2023: A Fruitful Year

In 2023, the Training Hub expanded its offer of regular courses with two new courses on the international human rights standards and system and on business and human rights.

‘The feedback and input received from participants was essential in ensuring that our offer responds to the needs of the different actors engaged in human rights protection. The course on the international human rights standards and system, for example, has been specifically designed as a complementary course to the one on the UPR’ explains Stefania Di Stefano, Project Officer at the GHRP.

‘Our goal is that the combination of these two courses allows participants to gain an in-depth knowledge of these UN human rights mechanisms and of the strategies to implement recommendations at the national level’.

‘Similarly, the addition of the course on business and human rights responds to a growing need in an area that has gained prominence at the UN. As such, adding this course to our portfolio seemed an obvious way forward for ensuring the Training Hub fulfils its mission of supporting relevant stakeholders in the human rights field’, she adds.

66 participants from all over the world attended our 2023 regular courses. The diversity of their professional backgrounds – from government representatives, civil society, business sector, staff of international organizations and national human rights institutions, and academia – as well as the deliberate choice of keeping each of the courses to a small number of participants, ensured meaningful exchanges among them but also with the Geneva-based experts and practitioners who intervene in the sessions.

‘Interacting with colleagues and instructors online felt just as fulfilling as in person. The course provided valuable insights into the interplay between business and human rights, as well as climate justice and sustainable development within the UN system. This experience has been transformative, and I’m eager to apply the knowledge gained to make a positive impact in the field of business and human rights’ says Thalita Silva, Brazilian Public Defender

Customized Courses: From Women’s Rights to A Pandemic Treaty

The Training Hub also conducted four customized courses in 2023. Beyond our MENA-focused training on the human rights system and mechanisms, specifically designed for academics and human rights defenders and organized in partnership with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, the Training Hub also organized, with the support of the Permanent Mission of Canada, a workshop for legal advisors on the pandemic treaty and its human rights implications; a course on women’s rights with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights focused specifically on women’s rights; and a workshop tailored for human rights defenders, with a focus on strategies to resort to UN human rights mechanisms.

‘Customized courses offer a tailored approach, allowing for the shaping and building of a curriculum that addresses specific issues. They are specifically modelled to meet our partners’ unique needs’ says Victoire Berrebi, Project Assistant at the GHRP.

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