London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Pilot Project for Central Asian Human Rights Defenders

HRSJ completed the 10-month project funded by The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to carry out a Pilot project in Central Asia (including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan), which will serve as a model for developing a Human Rights Diploma Programme (which could then be delivered in other regions).

The aim of the programme (and pilot project), carried out in collaboration with Middlesex University's Law Department (Professor Joshua Castellino) was to educate human rights defenders in high risk areas through an integrated training approach to human rights defender practice, which will: (1) increase awareness and knowledge of the available human rights mechanisms in the relevant countries and regions; (2) enhance practical skills, capacity and professationalism of activists defending human rights in particularly challenging environments; (3) give attention to civil society engagement with national institutions whilst being attentive to security risks; (4) strengthen human rights defender networks regionally and internationally, in accordance with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders; 5) offer credit toward a UK postgraduate degree, enhancing education opportunities for HRD’s professional development; 6) provide leadership skills for HRDs themselves to conduct future local and regional human rights trainings and workshops; and 7) strengthen individual HRD’s capacity, confidence, and professionalism in their work with national institutions, relevant government officials and departments, and with regional and international institutions.

An extensive monitoring and evaluation component was also funded by the FCO, which allowed assessment of the possibility of providing the programme in other regions (such as the Middle East).


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