On the occasion of the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council, gva4hr conducted it’s 54th ‘Course on the Human Rights Council, international human rights and humanitarian law, international procedures and diplomacy’, from Monday 18 September to Wednesday 4 October 2023, during the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council (‘HR-Council’, from 11 September to 6 October 2023).
GHR obviously prefers trainees to attend the Course in person. However, after the Covid-19 crises, many defenders from the regions still cannot come to Geneva to attend UN sessions. Therefore, the programme and working methods of the Course have been adapted to enable defenders to also attend the Course on-line.
As an international training organization, Geneva for Human Rights (GHR) aims at human rights implementation in the countries. It trains human rights NGOs and defenders to empower them in the use of domestic, regional and international human rights procedures, and in the elaboration and realization of implementation strategies.
Since the creation of the HR-Council (2006), GHR held its Geneva Course at ordinary sessions of the HR-Council. GHR also conducts Briefings and Workshops (especially on-demand for national NGOs coalitions) during sessions of the treaty bodies and of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). With its partners in the field, GHR also conducts many (3-4 days) In-Country Courses in all the regions, and Experts Seminars in Geneva on the main themes of the HR-Council’s agenda.
THE GENEVA COURSE (GSC)
The Geneva Course is an interactive and intensive training during ordinary sessions of the HR-Council. Trainees acquire basic knowledge in international relations; international human rights, humanitarian and criminal laws; human rights standard setting process; transitional justice; inter-governmental organisations (IGOs); the UN, its reform and the role of its main organs; the HR-Council and its mechanisms; 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 participants monitor. Composed of its researchers and fellows from different universities, GHR Programme of Human Rights Policy Studies (HPS) assists the trainees during the HR-Council’s session.
PARTICIPANTS IN THE 54TH GENEVA COURSE
The Geneva Courses are part of GHR Global Training Programme, which aims at 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 HR-Council’s work. Priority in the selection is given to defenders and NGOs from the regions. GHR also welcomes members of national and regional NGOs delegations attending the session of the HR-Council, and trainees from regional and international human rights organisations having their seat or representation at the UN Office in Geneva.
PROGRAMME OF THE 54TH GENEVA COURSE
The Course is divided into three parts:
Week-1: General Course (18-22 September 2023) presenting an overview of international relations; international human rights, humanitarian and criminal laws; the UN mechanisms and procedures; the HR-Council and its mechanisms; the OHCHR; and the use of the Special procedures, treaty bodies and UPR. Trainees will learn drafting communications to the special procedures.
Week-2 on the HR-Council’s proceedings (25-29 September 2023), introducing the main reports to the 54th session (submitted by OHCHR and Special procedures). Specific Courses will be given on transitional justice, women’s and indigenous peoples’ rights, enforced disappearance, SDG’s, the protection of human rights defenders.
Week-3 (2-4 October 2023) 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, NMIRFs, technical assistance, NGOs strategies inside the countries). This last segment of the Course has been animated on-line by members of the organisation and former trainees in the Geneva Course, who are still involved in the human rights movement, and who shared their experience.