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ISHR Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Programme (HRDAP) 2020 – Geneva, Switzerland


ISHR is calling for applications for its flagship Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme in 2020 – the extensive training programme for human rights defenders. So if you are a human rights defender keen to use the UN to push for change at home, apply now!

Application Deadline: 1st December 2019 midnight Geneva time.

Eligible Countries: International

To be Taken at (Country): Geneva, Switzerland

About the Award: In 2020, ISHR is particularly seeking applications from women human rights defenders working in conflict, post conflict and occupation settings. In addition, our work with migrant rights defenders aims to support coalitions and strategies to push back on the criminalisation of solidarity, as well as to ensure that the UN human rights mechanisms do their part to meaningfully raise the issue of migrants’ rights violations.

The training will take place in Geneva between 8 and 19 June 2020 and provides defenders with opportunities to put their advocacy skills directly into action at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Get a taste of the programme here, and find out more about how to apply here.

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.

The programme brings togethers 16 committed human rights defenders from extremely different contexts and working on a wide range of areas: migrant rights; women human rights defenders in conflict, post-conflict & occupation settings; business, environment and human rights; the human rights of LGBTI persons; reclaiming civil society space and increasing protection of human rights defenders.

At the end of the training, 100% of participants were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the overall programme, and they all also felt that they would be able to apply what they learnt to their own day-to-day work. ISHR will look to build upon this success in 2020.

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 44th 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.

Type: Training

Eligibility: For the June 2020 training course, ISHR will consider applicants working on at least one of the focus topics of the 44 th session of the Human Rights Council highlighted above and/or one of ISHR’s strategic priorities. Final decisions regarding participants will be based upon the following criteria:

  • Match between applicants’ area of work/expertise and ISHR’s strategic priorities and/or the opportunities provided by the 44 th Human Rights Council;
  • Applicants’ knowledge of human rights and their experience and willingness to engage with the UN human rights system and integrate it effectively into domestic level advocacy;
  • Applicants’ experience of carrying out advocacy at the national and/or regional level;
  • Applicants’ advocacy responsibilities and role within their organisation;
  • Applicants’ willingness to contribute to peer education in a diverse group of participants;
  • Applicants’ demonstrated commitment to the principles of human rights, including the principles of universality and non-discrimination;
  • Communication, language and organisational skills;
  • The potential for a strategic partnership between ISHR and the applicants’ organisation;
  • Whether applicants or their organisations have been recommended by a strategic partner.

The course will be carried out in English. ISHR cannot provide translation. In identifying and selecting participants,

ISHR will work closely with leading human rights organisations in each of the specific respective focus areas and across the world.

Course requirements: Prior to attending the training and advocacy programme in Geneva, participants are expected to

  • Complete a short online learning component consisting of guided reading in preparation of the course and forum discussions (approximately 12 hours of work over six weeks);
  • Develop and submit a set of personal advocacy objectives for the visit to Geneva.
  • Prepare some advocacy tools/documents to support advocacy activities in Geneva.

Number of Awards: 16

Value of Award:

  • The tuition fee is 3000 Swiss Francs (CHF), and the average cost of travel, accommodation, meals, perdiem and programme logistics administration is approximately 4000 CHF for the two-week period. ISHR relies on contributions from partner organisations and participants to be able to deliver HRDAP.
  • While we may be able to offer a small number of scholarships to cover the full or partial costs of participation, and without prejudice to your eligibility for such a scholarship, we also consider whether and how much participants or their organisations are prepared to contribute to the programme in selecting participants and determining the number of programme places.
  • We therefore encourage all participants to seek other sources of funding, as the ability of applicants to either fully or partially pay the aforementioned costs may be one of the determining factors in deciding on the number and composition of the group of participants. Participants who are unable to meet those costs are invited to request a full or partial scholarship.
  • Full scholarships cover the whole cost of 7000 CHF, whilst partial scholarships may cover either the 3000 CHF tuition fee or part of the participants’ accommodation, meals and per diem, or travel costs, or programme logistics and administration. Scholarships will be attributed at ISHR’s discretion.

Duration of Award: 8 and 19 June 2020

How to Apply: By midnight Geneva time on 1 December 2019 each applicant must:

  • Submit a completed application form available at https://forms.gle/T9iU61dQEnkiLyyT7;
  • Email 2 letters of recommendation, including one from their organisation, to [email protected]
  • It is important to go through all application requirements in the Award Webpage (see Link below) before applying.

Visit Award Webpage for Details

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