The context

Since the General Assembly (GA) of the UN established the Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2006, one of the most important tools is the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which aims to have a universal scrutiny of all members of the UN on their human rights record.

                Such mechanism provides an excellent opportunity of coordinated actions for the civil society and HR NGOs. The UPR has demonstrated that a cooperative framework can be used to debate human rights situations and that resolutions are not the only way in the Council to address human rights problems.


             But this mechanism poses many challenges for national and local HR NGOs who work with limited resources. Not many grassroots organizations working at local and national levels can effectively monitor the work of the HRC as this requires a presence in Geneva and a very professional follow-up.

                Therefore this project is based on the assessment of this urgent need to reinforce capacities of the local and national NGOs. This need is even greater for the leaders of CBOs and CROs who are not trained as professionals to work on HR and Humanitarian issues that affect the very fundamental rights of most discriminated communities.

The project

This project will aim to strengthen practical and operational capacities of HRD especially working with the most marginalised communities. It consists in combining several “tools” and leverages and making use of the synergy of these tools: training for capacity building, advocacy, regional cooperation, international networking, strategic alliance building in the key areas of lobby interventions and exchange of good practices.

It is organized for 20 participants per year, and at least 10 women leaders mainly from Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe who will take part.  In concrete terms:  

1. To train human right defenders and advocates on how to use the UN Human Rights Mechanisms.

2. To train trainers of human rights education about UN Human Rights Mechanisms.

3. To build an effective advocacy network among human rights defenders.

4. To facilitate and support advocacy and lobby work of the NGOs.

The actions

Training and internship.

A training program for capacity building on the protection of HRD working for inter-religious & communal harmony will be organised at international level as well as the internship program in Africa for young generation of HRD in order to provide a space of exchange of experiences, coordination and identification of good practices. Those who are trained will become trainers of trainers (TOT) to multiply effectiveness of the action and to develop a network that will support each other when needed, beyond the barriers of ethnic or religious identity.


To develop a coordinated monitoring on the situation of HR violations in a specific country, specially the situation of HRD working for minorities. The effectiveness of this monitoring will result from the successful monitoring capacities built in preparation of report.

Exchange of good practices.

Through a network of those who came to attend Pax Romana’s Human Rights Training Program, this would be a way of improving methodologies of work and a way of being trained by peers groups.


The networking is done through coordinated and collective actions of advocacy and lobby activities on thematic or on particular country. To protect the HRD who are facing greater threats, if needed, a solidarity campaign could be organised and an international solidarity mission by foreign delegation will be organised, as it is always more difficult to silence foreigners.


At three levels.

– Primarily, at national level engaged by each NGO with relevant authorities in its own country. Effectiveness of this work relies on good and relevant documentation on the cases monitored by HRD.

– Secondly at regional level: through participation in parallel events organised jointly by target groups on various international meetings & summits and during the coordination meeting of IHR NGOs in Geneva.

– The third level advocacy will be at the UN, through official and NGO initiated activities that will be jointly organised by target groups and the ICMICA PR with other likely minded IHR NGOs during Sessions in Geneva.



Selection, preparation and orientation of the candidates to the UN HR mechanism through communication between ICMICA and Southern partners, with curriculum vitae, experience in the HR field, report of the candidate on the HR situation of their country, commitment for the follow up…


Reading and discussion on UN Human Rights Documents, the functioning of the United Nations, the International Human Rights Laws and Discussion on the Human Rights Situation in their country.


During the HRC and UPR session, the participants have a daily briefing with the trainers where they share their daily observation and seek for clarification, as well as to coordinate the tasks during the day as regards to the on-going advocacy & lobby actions.

Evaluation and Follow Up.

An evaluation of the training program as well as the strategic planning for the follow up of the International advocacy & lobby activities will be done. Each participant prepares a report on thematic issue or a specific country. They will also prepare an individual evaluation report on the training program itself.