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Training course Understanding Econmic, Social, and Cultural Rights

Event Date: 
November 21, 2011 (All day) - November 25, 2011 (All day)

This training course 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:
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;
Familiar with the UN mechanisms mandated to protect and promote ESC rights and the domestic mechanisms for implementing ESC rights;
Familiar with the role of civil society, national human rights institutions, and non-state actors in relation to ESC rights;
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.

The course 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 course 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.

Practical information
This five-day intensive training course will be held at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Geneva, from 21 to 25 November 2011. There will be approximately 25 participants. The course 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.

Course organizers
The course is hosted and organized by the Project on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (part of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the University of Geneva).

Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of participation from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

Application procedure
Please fill in the online application form and submit it electronically. For the registration to be complete, applicants must also send their CVs to

Please download the application form or request a copy at The filled in application form should be submitted via email, and must be accompanied by a CV for the registration to be complete. Please send your application to

Important deadlines for application
26 August 2011: Applicants requiring visas to enter Switzerland or financial assistance to attend the course;

23 September 2011: Self-funded applicants who do not require visas to enter Switzerland.

The course fee for this 5-day intensive program is 1500-Swiss francs (CHF) and it includes: tuition costs, course materials, 5 lunches, one informal dinner and coffee breaks. The fee is payable once confirmation of participation has been issued.

Avery limited number of scholarships is available. Last year, the Project was not in the position to offer any scholarships. This year, a number of 6 scholarships may be open, but only for participants working in NGOs in the Global South.

Please note that there is an early deadline for submission of applications for candidates requiring scholarships. Candidates should carefully consider whether they apply for scholarship or not, as applications will be reviewed separately in keeping with the number of seats available.

Additionally, participants are responsible for their travel arrangements, including visa application, flight booking and accommodation.

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights


Imelda Lulu's picture



This is extremly useful especially in Tanzania, where i come from as the laws and the consitution do not provide for such rights. Its a useful course as it will provide the technical know how of these rights and how to gurantee their protection and promotion particularly now where the contry is preparing for a consitutional review process.

Thanks worldpulse/pulsewire!!!

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