RFK Center Hosts Training for Women Human Rights Defenders from Russia

(April 18, 2014 | Florence, Italy) The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) announced the conclusion of an RFK Training Institute course for women human rights defenders from Russia held at the RFK International House at Via Ghibellina 12A. The course ran from 9:00AM to 5:00PM daily from April 14 to 18, 2014, and was co-organized with the Civil Rights Defenders, a Swedish non-governmental organization and long-time partner of the RFK Center.

The objective of the course was to empower women human rights defenders and their organizations working towards the recognition of universal human rights. Over the course of a week, they received capacity-building training in Russian and English to bolster their skills in researching, documenting, and analyzing human rights issues. During the week, they also attended events organized at the RFK Training Institute in Florence, particularly on social media and human rights. Trainers from Civil Rights Defenders and the RFK Training Institute presented the program.

“The RFK Training Institute brings together human rights defenders who are changing our world, and doing so with few resources beyond their own determination,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center. “This training provides an opportunity for defenders to learn new tools and leverage their impact as forces for peace and justice in our shared world.”

“With new technologies and an increasingly interconnected world, the role of civil society is becoming more and more crucial to defending human rights and strengthening the rule of law,” said Santiago A. Canton, director RFK Partners for Human Rights. “However, at the same time, governments are restricting the ability of civil society activists to operate. These trainings provide our modern-day defenders with the tools needed to navigate these challenges and create change.”

About the RFK Training Institute
Inspired by Robert F. Kennedy’s belief that every individual can make a difference, the RFK Training Institute (RFK TI) in Florence, Italy, was established to provide a secure space where human rights defenders can further develop their skills, exchange information and best practices, and establish new partnerships to confront pressing human rights challenges around the world. RFK TI organizes trainings for human rights defenders covering diverse issues, including social media strategies, digital security, human rights protections mechanisms, immigration, freedom of expression, and the rights of women, LGBTI people, and indigenous communities.


The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights (RFK Center) was founded in 1968 by Robert Kennedy’s family and friends as a living memorial to carry forward his vision of a more just and peaceful world. RFK Partners for Human Rights engages in strategic long-term partnerships with RFK Human Rights Award Laureates, augmenting the effectiveness of grassroots leaders to support sustainable social justice movements.

Meaghan Baron
Director of Communications, RFK Center
Office: (917) 284-6352 | Email: Baron@rfkcenter.org