26 April 2012

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
Training on Understanding Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Geneva, 19 November 23 November 2012

This training will provide human rights advocates, staff of NGOs and national human rights institutions, representatives of governments, and staff of UN bodies and other international organizations, as well as members of the academia, with a broad understanding of economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights), and in-depth knowledge on how to promote ESC rights in their work.

At the end of the training, participants will be: (a) Familiar with the content of ESC rights, in particular specific rights such as the right to food, right to housing, right to education, right to water, right to health; (b) Familiar with the UN mechanisms mandated to protect and promote ESC rights and the domestic mechanisms for implementing ESC rights; (c) Familiar with the role of civil society, national human rights institutions, and non-state actors in relation to ESC rights; (d) Able to identify and effectively describe violations and problems in progressive realization of ESC rights; incorporate this in their advocacy plans; and devise strategies for making use of UN ESC rights mechanisms.

Program

The training program covers the following topics:
- The normative content of ESC rights, particularly the rights to health, housing, education, food and water;
- Justiciability of ESC rights;
- Universal ESC mechanisms, including the UN Committee on ESC Rights, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Human Rights Council, and the UN Special Procedures;
- ESC rights in context, e.g. armed conflict, gender and ESC rights;
- Discussions with experts, including UN Treaty Body members; visit to a session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Training methods

A dynamic combination of lectures and hands-on practical work on country situations, facilitated by experts experienced in ESC rights work at both UN and grassroots levels.

Who should apply?

This training aims to suit the needs of staff of human rights organisations, in particular NGOs, as well as of UN agencies and diplomats who want to include economic, social and cultural rights issues in their work. The professional groups targeted are: advocacy/human rights/legal officers, managers, and researchers. There will be approximately 25 participants. The training is held in parallel with the November session of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Geneva which will allow course participants to observe the Committee in session, to the extent time permits.

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