HRDAP 2023: Apply now for ISHR's hybrid training for human rights defenders!

Are you a human rights defender keen to use the UN to push for change locally? If so, apply for the 2023 edition of ISHR’s flagship training, the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP)!

After three successful online editions in 2020, 2021 and 2022, ISHR is pleased to launch the call for applications for the new 2023 hybrid edition of the Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP), which will take place both remotely and in Geneva for the first time! Below are some important dates to take into account before applying:

Mandatory distance learning course: 17 April – 7 June 2023 (part time)

In-person course in Geneva: 14 – 24 June 2023 (full time)

Deadline to apply: 10 January 2023

Download and read carefully the HRDAP 2023 Programme Description to find out more about modalities, requirements and funding. If you meet the criteria, take some time to apply using this online form before midnight Geneva time on Tuesday 10 January 2023!

What to expect from HRDAP 2023?

The course equips human rights defenders with the knowledge and skills to integrate the UN human rights system into their existing work at the national level in a strategic manner, and provides an opportunity for participants to prepare for and engage in lobbying and advocacy activities at the UN with the aim to effect change back home. 

Defenders will complete a 10-week hybrid learning programme, online and offline, which will include:

  • Access to the HRDAP Platform, where they can complete e-learning courses on each key UN human rights mechanism and on advocacy and lobbying strategies, access interactive learning materials and case studies on the ISHR Academy
  • Take part in live Q&A sessions with human rights experts
  • Receive a continuous advocacy support and coaching in order to develop concrete advocacy objectives to make strategic use of the international human rights system
  • Build networks around the world, and learn from peers from a range of regions working on a range of human rights issues
  • Apply their knowledge to case-studies scenarios and enhance their advocacy toolbox according to their specific needs
  • Receive support and advocacy accompaniment to conduct activities during the 53rd and 54th Human Rights Council sessions and other relevant opportunities.

Participants will have the unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills while being in Geneva and practice, meet and share with their peers and experts. The blended format of the course allows defenders to continue their vital work on the ground, while diving into the inner workings of each key UN human rights mechanism, and gaining first-hand experience from advocates and UN staff on how civil society can strategically engage in the international human rights space.  

© Cedric Gelissen Photography

By participating in HRDAP, defenders:

  1. Gain knowledge and tools, which they can use to ensure their voice is central in international human rights decision-making
  2. Explore and compare the benefits of engagement with the 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
  3. Develop strategies and lobbying techniques to increase the potential of their national and regional advocacy work


Could you be one of our 2023 participants?

This programme is directed at experienced human rights defenders in non-governmental organisations, with existing advocacy experience at the national level and some prior knowledge of the international human rights system.

ISHR supports, and promotes solidarity with and between, defenders working in the following areas or contexts, which we recognise as intersectional and interdependent:

  1. Equality, dignity and non-discrimination
  2. Environmental justice and sustainability
  3. International accountability for the repression of human rights defenders
  4. Transparency and rule of law

The hybrid programme will bring together around 16 committed human rights defenders from different backgrounds, who work on a wide range of areas that are linked with our programmes to ensure a sustainable collaboration. This can include, but is not limited to, defenders working on the following thematics: women rights; business, environment and human rights; the human rights of LGBTIQ+ persons; anti-racism; reclaiming civil society space and increasing protection of human rights defenders. 

What do former HRDAPers say?

19 human rights defenders from 17 countries took part in the last online edition, HRDAP22. At the end of the training, 100% of the participants were very satisfied with the programme and also felt that they would be able to apply what they learnt to their own day-to-day work. Find out more about the outcomes of HRDAP22 and where they are after 4 months here.

Why should you apply?

‘Being part of HRDAP is a unique experience. Firstly, because the platform they offer us to improve our knowledge about international advocacy is very useful, accessible and practical, besides having many resources and tools that allow us to amplify our work as human rights defenders. Secondly, having the opportunity to connect and meet defenders from all over the world makes me feel very motivated, not only to learn about their experiences but also because it makes me more aware that in every corner of the world, actions are being taken to transform our reality and to live in fairer societies.'
Alumni Donovan Jiménez Ortega, Fray Francisco De Vitoria Human Rights Center, Mexico

Learn more about why applying for HRDAP watching this video!

How to apply?

First, download and read carefully the HRDAP 2023 Programme Description to find out more about modalities, requirements and funding. If you meet the criteria, take some time to apply using this online form before midnight Geneva time on Tuesday 10 January 2023!

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!

For more information, please contact us : [email protected] 

What's next?

What's next?

First, download ad read carefully the HRDAP 2023 Programme Description to find out more about modalities, requirements and funding. If you meet the criteria, take some time to apply using this online form before midnight Geneva time on Tuesday 10 January 2023!

Apply now!

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