The second training workshop on “International and Regional Mechanisms for Human Rights”

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The second training workshop on “International and Regional Mechanisms for Human Rights” has been held at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) for 8 days from the 28th of March to the 4th of April 2008. The training workshop involved a total of 20 lawyers, NGO activists and human rights defenders from Egypt, with the participation of a Yemeni human rights activist. This is the second workshop on the topic of International and Regional human rights mechanisms organized at CIHRS since February 2008.

The workshop which aimed to develop the knowledge and the capacity of young Egyptian human rights defenders to access and use the Human Rights Council and the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights human rights mechanisms focused on both the theoretical and practical issues in order to assure the effective empowerment of participants. Along with lectures delivered on the treaty bodies, the Human Rights Council special procedures, the Universal Periodic Review and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, participants were practically trained on drafting shadow reports to the UN treaty bodies and using the complaint procedure. Prior to the beginning of the workshop, the 20 participants were divided into 3 working groups – according to their areas of interest – to facilitate exchange of experience and knowledge between participants. Each working group tackled a certain topic – Freedom of Expression, Women’s Rights and the Prevention of Torture – and these working groups guaranteed that participants would practically apply what they have learned throughout the workshop and integrate it in a final presentation on the last day of the course. Presentations which lasted each for 30 minutes allowed participants to apply the knowledge learned during the course of the workshop on their specific topic and present an overview on how they plan to work on the prevention of torture, achieving freedom of expression and promoting women’s rights within a coalition. A special focus was thus given during the session to setting networks and coalitions and carrying out campaigns to advocate for human rights through lobbying and advocacy at the regional and international level.

The work and presentations of the working groups on the final day of the workshop will soon be available online to allow for individuals from outside the course to join the working groups and participate in their campaigns.

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