Deadline: 19 February 2018
Open to: human rights defenders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan
Venue: 19-20 March 2018 in Brussels, Belgium
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is pleased to organize, together with the European Parliament, a two-day Networking and Advocacy Event for human rights defenders (HRDs) from the South Caucasus and Central Asia. The objective of the event is to enable HRDs to analyse and counter current and potential future challenges related to their human rights activities, while exploring long term strategies. The event will also provide space for interaction and opportunities for networking and exchanging experiences. The event particularly focuses on strategizing and on advocacy to EU institutions. It aims to support HRDs, including those working on the grassroots level, in developing tailored advocacy strategies to expand the potential of their national and regional advocacy work, thereby strengthening their visibility and voice.
The event will take place in Brussels on 19-20 March 2018, and it will focus on advocacy (the first day) and networking (the second day). During the first day participants will be divided into two groups according to their background, interests and expertise. Each group will attend two workshops, one on legal and political challenges connected to one of the above-mentioned regions, and one on communication and technology challenges. The workshops will be conducted by experts in these fields, and facilitated by an expert in scenario planning, who will help participants in foreseeing issues and challenges, trends and various factors, which are affecting or likely to affect the work of HRDs of the region in the upcoming years. With the assistance of facilitators, participants are expected to consolidate their existing knowledge on developing forward-looking advocacy goals and strategies, such as how to engage strategically with EU institutions, or how to strengthen their social media advocacy.
Participants will have the chance to enhance their advocacy skills, and to strengthen their networks by interacting with other HRDs within the region, as well as with Brussels-based NGOs. The workshop will also enable concerted advocacy efforts by HRDs to EU institutions, and will facilitate two-way dialogue between those institutions and HRDs. During the second day, participants will have the chance to meet with representatives of EU institutions, already making use of the tailored advocacy strategies outlined during the first day of the event. The language of the event will be English, with simultaneous translation into Russian provided as necessary. The event will be a unique occasion for HRDs to exchange experiences on effective ways to address the challenges they face, locally and internationally, as well as an exceptional chance to strengthen their networks within the region and with EU institutions.
The event will consist of interactive workshops and working groups, and will require a high level of active participation by all attendees. For this reason, the size of the group will be limited to 30 participants, selected according to the following criteria:
- Proven track record as a human rights defender;
- Citizenship of one of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan;
- Have previous knowledge of and/or exposure to topics such as legal and political issues in the region, media communications and information security;
- Work in local grassroots NGOs or have networking resources and a capacity to reach local grassroots NGOs working in their home country;
- Fluency in English and/or Russian;
- Computer literacy;
- Basic advocacy and campaigning expertise;
- Low or no exposure to risk as a result of attending the event.
The OSCE/ODIHR recognizes as a human right defender any person promoting and striving for the realization of human rights regardless of profession, age or other status. Human rights defenders carry out their human rights activities individually or jointly with others, as part of an informal group or a non-governmental organization (NGO), and act in a voluntary capacity or professionally. The key characteristic that defines human rights defenders is not who they are, but what they do and the principles they stand for.
Accommodation, travel and visa costs (where applicable) for the selected Human Rights Defenders to attend the event will be covered by OSCE/ODIHR.
Applicants are kindly requested to fill in the following application questionnaire on Google Forms and to link their CV, in .PDF format through Google Drive, to the application form no later than 19 February 2018. ODIHR will strive to ensure a geographical and gender balance among participants. Only successful applicants will be informed about the outcome of the selection process by 26 February 2018.
In order to apply, register HERE.