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Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme

Annually, the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP) brings together inspiring activists from around the globe and provides them with the tools they need to navigate the UN in order to achieve even greater impact on the ground.

The Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP) is an intensive programme created by and for human rights defenders. Each year, we bring together committed activists who are looking to build their international advocacy skills and networks and leverage them to achieve change in their respective communities.

The programme supports defenders who work on many key human rights issues, including advancing women’s rights; defending the rights of LGBTQI+ persons; combatting racism; bringing about change in highly restrictive environments and creating solutions for business and environmental issues and their impact on indigenous communities.

Through ISHR’s flagship learning programme, defenders get a chance to:

  • gain new knowledge and tools to ensure their voice is central in international human rights decision-making
  • explore and compare the benefits of engagement with the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Procedures, the OHCHR, the UPR and the Treaty Bodies, and examine how they can use them to bolster their work at the national level
  • develop strategies and lobbying techniques to increase the potential of their national and regional advocacy work and contribute to human rights change on the ground

Our HRDAP hybrid model combines 2 months of interactive online learning completed by an intensive 10-days training in Geneva. It consists of the following elements:

  1. A private distance learning course hosted on the tailor-made HRDAP Platform on the ISHR Academy, which provides access to interactive learning materials and e-learning courses on each key UN human rights mechanism and body, as well as advocacy and lobbying strategies
  2. A chance to meet human rights experts and advocates in order to hear first-hand about the strategies used to push issues through the UN
  3. The opportunity to build networks around the world, and learn from peers from a range of regions working on different human rights issues, through the online HRDAP Community Space and in-person
  4. Advocacy support and coaching in order to develop concrete advocacy objectives to make strategic use of the international human rights system
  5. Support and advocacy accompaniment to conduct advocacy (remotely or in-person) during Human Rights Council sessions and other relevant meetings.
HRDAP trains you with experience, passion and expertise. Amazing team, doing important work to empower human rights defenders. A fruitful learning experience that engages you throughout the training process.
HRDAP Alumni

Alumnus’s testimonies

Upcoming sessions

The call for application for the next edition of the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP) 2024 is now closed.

Follow @ISHRGlobal for announcements regarding the programme and next edition.

As only a limited number of human rights defenders are able to participate in HRDAP each year, in addition to our range of guides and handbooks, ISHR has developed an e-learning space in English, French and Spanish to help human rights defenders strengthen their advocacy skills with the UN for greater impact on the ground: the ISHR Academy. The learning modules demystify the UN human rights system and build capacity to push for change. Discover new tools, insider tips, defender stories, and more!

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