Course for HR-Defenders from the Regions during HR-Council 52

On the occasion of the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council , Geneva for Human Rights convenes its 53rd (hybrid) Geneva Course for defenders and practitioners:

On-line participation: link will be sent to selected trainees.
In-person participation: GHR premises (150 Rte de Ferney, 1218 Grand Saconnex, Geneva

Geneva for Human Rights – Global Training (GHR) conducts its 53rd Geneva Course for defenders from the regions from Monday 6 March to Friday 10 March 2023, that is during the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council (27 February -4 April 2023).



GHR is an international training organization. It aims at contributing to the implementation of human rights in the countries. GHR trains human rights NGOs, defenders, and all those involved in human rights at national level to empower them in the use of domestic, regional and international procedures, and to elaborate and realize implementation strategies.

Since the creation of the UN Human Rights Council (‘HR-Council’) in 2006, GHR conducted its Geneva Course during most of the ordinary sessions of the HR-Council. In recent years, GHR also organized with its partners in the field dozens of (3-4 days) inCountry Courses for defenders in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Russia, Botswana, Kenya, Bangladesh, Indonesia (Papua), Pakistan, Nepal, India, and Sri-Lanka.

GHR gives also Geneva briefings (especially for national NGOs coalitions) during sessions of the treaty bodies and of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It also convenes Experts Seminars on the main issues on the agenda of the HR-Council.



The Geneva Course is an interactive and intensive training taking place during ordinary sessions of the HR-Council. Trainees acquire basic knowledge in international human rights, humanitarian and criminal laws; transitional justice; inter-governmental organisations (IGOs); the UN, its structure, its reform and the role of its main organs; the trends in international relations; the functioning of the HR-Council and its mechanisms; the human rights standard setting process; and human rights treaty bodies.

With the wide training experience of its trainers in Geneva, GHR Geneva Courses are unique. They combine the theory, the exchanges on the experience of the participants (field situations) and the exposure to the multilateral reality, which the trainees monitor.

Composed of its researchers and interns from different universities, GHR Department of Human Rights Policy Studies (HPS) assists the trainees during the HR-Council’s session.



The Geneva Courses are part of a Programme of GHR promoting a full and effective participation of defenders from the regions in the work of the HR-Council. Such participation is essential for the quality of the Council’s debates. Priority in the selection is given to defenders and NGOs from the regions. GHR also welcomes members of national  and regional NGOs coalitions working at the HR-Council in Geneva, and trainees from international human rights organisations having their seat or representation in Geneva.

Unfortunately, with the restrictions due to the pandemic Covid-19, many defenders from the regions are still not able to come to Geneva. Most of the participants will therefore attend the Course on-line. The programme and working methods have been adapted to enable on-line trainees to fully benefit from the exposure to the debates in the HR-Council. At the same time, those who can travel to Geneva are welcomed to attend in-person.



The Course is divided into a General Course on the international system and the HR-Council and a Course on the proceedings of the HR-Council to analyze the debates in the HR-Council, and on the conclusions and follow-up of the Course.

  • The General Course presents an overview of international relations; international human rights, humanitarian and criminal laws; the UN mechanisms and procedures; the HR-Council; the OHCHR; and the use of the Special procedures, treaty bodies and UPR. Trainees will learn drafting communications to the special procedures.
  • The Course on the HR-Council’s proceedings, introduces the main OHCHR and Special procedures reports submitted to the 52nd session. Specific Courses will be given indigenous peoples’ rights, enforced disappearance, minorities, SDG’s and the protection of human rights defenders.
  • The thrid part is devoted to the conclusions and follow-up of the Geneva Course, with GHR Course on human rights implementation in the countries (SDG’s, national plans, technical assistance, NGOs strategies inside the countries).


  • The schedule of the daily classes (from 12.00 to 14.30, Geneva-time) makes it possible for defenders from Europe, Africa (similar times) and from Asia (afternoon there) to easily participate in the Course.
  • For online-participants, deadline for applications is 4 March 2023. You can apply by sending a mail to with copy to;
  • For in-person participants, deadline for application is 4 March 202, as trainees will have to arrange their travels (including obtaining their visas) and accommodation. Costs of living in Geneva are high. Upon request, the Secretariat of GHR will provide a list of estimated expenses.
  • To facilitate exchanges with and between the participants, all applicants are requested to fill the application form of the course.
  • The programme includes for each presentation a short introduction and space for questions and answers and for discussion. GHR will also enable trainees to intervene on-line and/or to send their questions in advance.
  • On-line trainees who will not have the live of the HR-Council’s session will be invited to follow several live and/or recorded UN sessions on ‘UN Web TV’.
  • Tuition Fees for the Course is 1’200.00 Swiss francs (CHF). The fees include the full documentation and background papers as well as a personalized follow-up and implementation strategy briefing. The fees may be reduced on demand for human rights defenders from the regions having no sponsor.


Programme of the previous September 2021 course GSC-50 during HRC-48
Programme of the previous September 2021 course GSC-50 during HRC-48