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Training Program on International Human Rights Protection Mechanisms


Training Program on

 International Human Rights Protection Mechanisms

RFK International House - Florence - Italy

September 9 to 14, 2013

Deadline for applications: August 2nd, 2013

The Training Program on International Human Rights Protection Mechanisms is an annual program organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) and American University Washington College of Law (AU-WCL), in Florence, Italy. By bringing together activists and practitioners from all over the world, the training aims at strengthening their capacity to access and utilize regional and international human rights procedures, standards, and mechanisms. The confluence of rich, varying experiences from different protection mechanisms will provide with a unique opportunity to share lessons learned, both in using international mechanisms and working for their improvement.

The training will take place in Florence, Italy, at the RFK International House from 9 to 14 September 2013.

Since 1968 the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights has provided programs focused on the power of the individual, working through alliances and organizations to generate change and to realize Senator Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world. In the tradition of Robert Kennedy, the RFK Center has forged effective collaborations with NGOs, universities, legal clinics, and the media on behalf of oppressed communities.

AU-WCL is renowned worldwide as a well-respected academic institution with specific expertise in human rights protection systems. AU-WCL annually hosts the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law that gathers human rights students and activists from around the world for a three-week intensive program. Numerous other human rights related programs at the law school, include the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, the War Crimes Research Office, the Impact Litigation Project, the UNCAT Clinic, and the Women in International Law Program, among others.


 The main objective of the course is to empower Human Rights defenders and their organizations to play a key role in defining, strengthening, and using international mechanisms. The course is designed for experienced human rights activists working in organizations that use the regional or international human rights systems to advance their everyday work. Part of the training will be dedicated to discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the different mechanisms with the objective of identifying best practices and exchanging experiences between participants in order to improve ways in which civil society supports the development of new systems and strengthen existing ones.

The Program

The course begins with an introduction to International and Regional Human Rights mechanisms, and will include presentations on the Inter-American, African, Asean and European Systems, as well as the UN. This year, the training will focus on the topic of freedom of expression. This topic will be explored through presentations on specific mechanisms available both at regional and international levels, such as case systems, urgent measures, and reporting.The training will combine academic instruction, workshops, opportunities to exchange experiences and best practices, and meetings with key human rights NGOs present in Florence. Trainers will include high profile figures from the international and regional human rights arena including UN Special Rapporteurs, Members of Regional and International Human Rights Bodies, and representatives of international NGOs. This program will be an exceptional opportunity to strengthen and expand the network of participants at the regional and international level.


Participants must:

have five or more years of experience in the regional or international human rights field;

be working for a human rights, development, or humanitarian NGO, national human rights institution, or an international organization;

The RFK Center and AU-WCL will consider all written applications and may schedule telephone interviews on the basis of the written applications and will offer positions to the most appropriate applicants. In the selection process, the RFK Center will strive for a balance in terms of gender, geographical regions, and level of expertise.


Fluency in English is required. The course will be held entirely in English.

Cost of the Course & Funding

The cost of the course is EUR 595. Airfare, visa, accommodations, and expenses are not included in this fee. Participants are responsible for obtaining their own funding to participate in the course. The RFK Center may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships. In selecting recipients of scholarships, the organizers will consider, among other criteria, the efforts of the applicants to secure their own funding, as well as regional and gender balance.


The deadline for applications is August 2nd, 2013.

To apply, please submit your completed application form, CV, one letter explaining why you would like to participate in this training, and a copy of your passport showing your personal data and validity. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The application form can be accessed on this website. Only applications sent by email will be considered.


For further information you can contact Ms. Andrea Galindo, Training Coordinator, or Ms. Valentina Pagliai, Human Rights Education Manager, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
RFK International House - Le Murate - Via Ghibellina 12 A, 50122 Firenze, Italy
Tel. +39-055-5389250
1300 19th Street, NW. Suite 750. Washington, DC 20036.
Tel: +1-202-463-7575
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
American University – Washington College of Law

4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016
Tel. (+1) 202-274-4219

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