Illustration: ISHR


HRDAP22: Global community of activists taking part in ISHR's flagship programme

Through ISHR's Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Programme (HRDAP22), 19 activists have formed a virtual community from the four corners of the globe, while continuing their vital work for the promotion and protection of human rights in their respective countries.

Each year, the Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Programme (HRDAP) provides activists with the tools they need to navigate the UN in order to achieve even greater impact on the ground. 

This year’s programme HRDAP22 began on 4 April and will run until 24 June 2022.

19 activists have been taking part in the twelve-week course, which is being delivered remotely for its third consecutive year. They have formed a virtual community from the four corners of the globe, while continuing their vital work for the promotion and protection of human rights in their respective countries.

The HRDAP22 cohort is made up of human rights defenders from 17 different countries, which include Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Madagascar, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Uganda, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe and other countries* with restrictive environments. (*these will not be mentioned due to the reported high level of reprisals against human rights defenders in these States)

The defenders work on many key human rights issues, including equality, dignity and non-discrimination; environmental justice and sustainability; international accountability for repression of human rights defenders and transparency and rule of law. In particular, the activists focus their efforts to:

  • Advance women’s rights
  • Defend the rights of LGBTQI+ persons
  • Combat racism
  • Bring about change in highly restrictive environments
  • Create solutions for business and environmental issues and their impact on indigenous communities

Currently in Week 9 of the 12-week course, the defenders have deepened their knowledge and understanding of UN human rights mechanisms through interactive learning materials on the tailor-made HRDAP Platform. These include, among others, completing e-learning courses on the UN Human Rights Council, Special Procedures, the Universal Periodic Review and UN Treaty bodies. They have also received up to date information on upcoming advocacy opportunities to engage with these mechanisms. 

They have expanded their knowledge and networks with one another through peer check-in sessions and with human rights experts and advocates through live Q&As and discussions, received individual and group coaching sessions and are developing advocacy strategies in order to engage in lobbying and advocacy activities at the UN, to effect change back home.

HRDAP provides not only a deep dive to the structures of the UN Human Rights Mechanisms in their theory and scope, but the tools to identify the advocacy opportunities before each of them. And the best part is you learn this throughout an interactive platform, sessions with experts, Special Rapporteurs, and successful activists who have navigated throughout the system, while building networks with peers throughout the world. It has been a great experience to connect the knowledge, advocacy, and litigation efforts we perform as Colombia Diversa, with the possibilities the UN Human Rights Mechanisms provide. It has really opened my mind and amplified the tools to bring change to my country and my region.
Juan Felipe Rivera Osoio, Colombia Diversa, Colombia (HRDAP22 Participant)
The HRDAP is a thorough and comprehensive advocacy program. The platform it offers is user-friendly and very informative, the group sessions are rich with information and the 1-1 sessions with the coaches are very meaningful and insightful. Combined with motivation, impact never felt closer
Mounir Marjieh, The Community Action Center / Al-Quds University, Palestine (HRDAP22 Participant)

We look forward to engaging with the defenders for the remainder of the course and to see them continue to develop their skills and networks.


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