The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), held an advanced training for Libyan human rights defenders in International Advocacy and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism at the United Nations from 25 February to 1 March 2015 at its Geneva office. The training took place the week before the beginning of the 28th session of the Human Rights Council (2-27 March 2015).
This training was the second round of two-part-training workshops on international advocacy and the UPR mechanism held in partnership with the Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL). In June 2014, 13 members of a group of Libyan human rights organizations participated in a training on the UPR and formed a coalition that worked on a joint Stakeholders Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of Libya scheduled for May 2015.
CIHRS firmly believes that any effective strategy to counter violent extremism in Libya requires building the capacities of local actors and empowering human rights defenders in the country. The first training that occurred in Tunisia on June 2014 focused on the Universal Periodic Review mechanism in detail, including its stages, participating parties, and technical writing of a stakeholders report to the UPR.
The second training held in Geneva focused on how to ensure effective advocacy and use of the UPR and other UN processes to ensure impact on Libyan and international policy makers. The training also aimed at familiarizing participants with methods and tactics of NGO engagement with the UN human rights system. The training covered different aspects of advocacy including engaging with the UN treaty body mechanisms, building a UPR campaign, putting in place monitoring strategies, developing advocacy strategies and methods to engage diplomatic representatives from around the world.
The training included workshops and interactive dialogues between participants and UN experts, including with representatives from the UN Special Procedures, the UN civil society section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as a round table discussion on advocacy strategies with international and regional NGOs. The participants were also given the opportunity to tour the UN where they received a hands-on tutorial of how the UN works by the Director of the Geneva Office of CIHRS.
The training featured a group of trainers from the CIHRS, LFJL and also from the OHCHR MENA regional office, UN Treaty Bodies Division, Geneva Academy, UK Mission to the UN, OHCHR UPR Branch, UPRInfo, International Service for Human Rights, as well as regional NGOs with offices in Geneva such as Forum Asia, CELS, and Conectas.
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