Training Courses in Geneva
Thursday, 06 December 2007 01:32


NGOs can make significant contributions to the development and implementation of human rights standards at the international and national levels. However, the UN human rights system and its procedures often seem far removed from the reality experienced by human rights defenders. To help close this gap and make the UN system more accessible to defenders, ISHR provides practical information, training and support.


At our headquarters in Geneva, we conduct numerous training courses each year for experienced activists from around the world who are using or want to use the international human rights system. These courses are tailored to the needs of human rights defenders working on-the-ground and are intended to familiarise them with the mechanisms of the international human rights system, and enable them to strategically engage with the UN.


While providing a broad overview of the system as a whole, each of our courses also focuses more thoroughly on one or more of the UN’s human rights mechanisms, such as the Human Rights Council, special procedures, Universal Periodic Review, and the treaty bodies. A list of the kinds of courses we offer is provided below.


We address both the theoretical and practical aspects of working with these mechanisms, using an interactive experiential approach that is based on adult learning principles. You can find out more about our approach to training here. ISHR conducts its training courses in English and French.


There are also ample networking opportunities for training participants in Geneva, with important actors in the international human rights scene, such as special procedures mandate holders, government representatives, UN agencies, and international and regional NGOs.


ISHR provides the following training courses:

Advanced Geneva Training Course (AGTC)

The AGTC provides a thorough overview of the whole UN human rights system and, in particular, the Human Rights Council. The course provides experienced human rights defenders and their organisations with the knowledge and skills they need to promote their issues at the UN. We time each course to coincide with the Human Rights Council’s sessions to ensure participants’ exposure to the real-life workings of the Council, and contact with key stakeholders, including UN officials, and State and civil society representatives.

Geneva Training Course on Treaty Monitoring Bodies (GTC-TMB)

The GTC-TMB focuses on the UN treaty body system. It is designed for experienced human rights defenders and equips them to effectively use the treaty bodies to improve human rights in their countries. ISHR believes that civil society plays a crucial role in the work of the treaty bodies. As such, one of the goals of ISHR’s GTC-TMB course is to strengthen cooperation between different stakeholders – UN officials, States and civil society – to further improve human rights protection at national and international levels.

Advanced Geneva Training and Advocacy programme (AGETA)

The AGETA has been developed by ISHR in 2012 to combine both training on the international human rights system and direct advocacy at the UN. Participants undergo an intensive four-day workshop, after which they undertake live advocacy on their human rights cause, supported by ISHR staff. The course is designed for senior-level human rights practitioners, with existing knowledge of the UN and some experience in international advocacy.

Selection of Participants

The selection of participants for ISHR training courses is based on their current human rights work and their future plans and potential to engage with international human rights mechanisms. ISHR often works with partner organisations to identify those human rights defenders who will be able to most effectively apply what they learn to their work.


For further information on our training courses in Geneva, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Last Updated on Thursday, 03 January 2013 09:56
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