Training on International Human Rights Protection Mechanisms 2015

Florence, Italy
September 28 – October 2, 2015

Applications are now open
Applications close: August 15, 2015 – 12:00 (Italy time).
Apply Here:


Universal recognition of human rights remains a major challenge in virtually all corners of the world. Civil society organizations play a crucial role in order to achieve a better level of protection of human rights for all. Human rights protection mechanisms are strategic tools used every day to help these organizations to achieve their goals.

By bringing together practitioners and activists from all over the world, this program aims at strengthening their capacity to access and utilize regional and international human rights procedures, standards and mechanisms. The confluence of rich, varying experiences from different protection mechanisms provides with a unique opportunity to share lessons learned, both in using international mechanisms and working for their improvement.

This year the training will focus on the issue of Freedom of Expression. Practitioners working on this issue are encouraged to apply.

Part of the training will be dedicated to discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the different mechanisms with the objective of identifying best practices and exchanging experiences between participants in order to improve ways in which civil society supports the development of new systems and strengthen existing ones.

The training is open to practitioners using any human rights system: African, Asean, European, Inter-American, and/or the UN.


Michael O’Flaherty

Academic human rights lawyer and a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights

Rafendi Djamin

Commissioner and Indonesian Representative of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

Santiago A. Canton

Director of Partners for Human Rights at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and professor of law of Georgetown University Law Center

Frank La Rue

Former UN Special Rapporteur of Opinion and Expression and Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights- Europe

Philip Leach

Director of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) and Professor of Human Rights Law at Middlesex University.

Andrea Galindo

Director of the Training Institute at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights


Introduction to international and regional mechanisms

This session will explore basic Human Rights principles, applicable to all systems and talk about supranational institutions, including all regional systems and the UN.

The International system

Overview of the UN Human Rights System (charter based and treaty bodies) with special attention to the work of treaty bodies.

The International System in action

Presentation of a case, experiences and lessons learned.

The Inter-American System

Overview of the IA Commission with special attention to the case system

The Inter-American System in action

Presentation of a case, experiences and lessons learned

The ASEAN System

Overview of the ASEAN System

The Asean System in action

Review of the Terms of reference of the system

The African System

Overview of the African System with special attention to the case system

The African System in action

Presentation of a case, experiences and lessons learned

The European System

Overview of the European system with special attention to the case system

The European System in action

Presentation of a case, experiences and lessons learned

Freedom of Expression and its relation with the Human Rights Protection Mechanisms


– Pratitioners of International Human Rights Law

– Representatives of NGOs working with international human rights protection mechanisms

– People working for a human rights institutes, development or humanitarian NGOs

– People working in international organizations of human rights

– International Law students or Social Sciences students interested in acquiring practical use of the HR protection systems


The course fee is €630. Airfare, visa, accommodation and expenses during the week of the course are not included in this fee. Participants are responsible for obtaining their own funding to participate in the course. The RFK TI may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships for the course fee and accommodation. If you will like to obtain a scholarship please indicate so in the form. In selecting recipients of the scholarships, the organizers will consider, among other criteria, country of origin, economic possibilities, as well as regional and gender balance.

Once the registration is closed, organizers will work on the selection process and will send the coordinates for the fee deposit to those selected.


August 15, 2015 – 12:00 (Italy time).

For further information you can contact Ms. Andrea Galindo – Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Training institute at


The Robert F. Kennedy Training Institute (RFK TI) provides trainings for human rights defenders to broaden human rights awareness in the wold. Inspired by Robert F. Kennedy’s belief that every individual can make a difference, the RFK TI was established to provide a secure space where human rights defenders, law students and/or practitioners of human rights law, can develop their skills, exchange information and share best practices through their experiences, at the same time the RFK TI is a hub to create new partnerships to confront pressing human rights crisis around the world.

American University Washington College of Law (AU-WCL) is renowned worldwide as a well-respected academic institution for its expertise in human rights protection systems. AU-WCL and its Centre for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law gathers human rights students and activists every year, among other numerous human rights initiatives and programs.