WFUNA's Sixth Human Rights Youth Program

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

From 25 - 29 July 2016, WFUNA held its sixth Human Rights Youth program dedicated to building the capacity of young people from its network to implement human rights projects in their communities and engage effectively with UN human rights mechanisms. 

Twenty-four young people from the United Nations Associations of Argentina, Armenia, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Iceland, Tanzania, Sweden, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe. Youth from Brazil, Jordan, Greece and Spain, also participated in the training. Following is a short account of the week.

Monday – Introduction to the UN and to Human Rights

Aziel Goulandris, Education Program Officer, welcomed Human Rights Youth Program's participants at UN headquarters in Geneva and started the training with welcome remarks and an introduction to the week. Naïs Mouret, Training and Education Fellow, gave an overview of Human Rights Youth Projects implemented as a follow-up from the 2015 Human Rights Youth program.

Following an introduction to the Human Rights Council from Aziel, Mel Schmidt from RedR Australia, deployee with UNHCR, talked about the action of the United Nations in the field.

Tuesday – The Human Rights Council Mechanisms

Maria Vivar Aguirre, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), presented Civil Society Engagement with UN Human Rights Mechanisms. Then, Hans Fridlund, from UPR-info, had all the participants' attention with his explanation of the Universal Periodic Review.

After lunch, Stee Asbjornsen, Special Procedures Branch OHCHR, presented the Special Procedures and gave the participants a case study on the Right to Education. Federica Morvay, from OHCHR, explained best practices of civil society engagement with the UN Human Rights Mechanisms in an interactive session with the participants. In the afternoon, Aziel presented the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Role Play. Each participant got ready to represent one country, ministry department or NGOs.

Wednesday – The Human Rights Council Mechanisms

In the morning of the third day, UPR role play's negotiations kick-started. The participants acted out their roles incredibly well.

In the afternoon, five interns working at the UN who rotated between small groups of participants talked about their experience and answered questions about career development. At the end of the day, Naïs, presented a stakeholder's analysis to give the participants useful guidelines for their future projects.

Thursday – Project Cycle Management

The day started with the Project Cycle Management session conducted by our Director of Programs, Irene Martinetti. The training provides a framework for participants to transform their ideas for projects into concrete actions with the aim to implement human rights education and awareness raising projects. In the next six months, the participants will continue to work on their projects with their corresponding UNAs in their home countries.

Friday – Project Cycle Management

On the last day, participants wrote down their ideas onto log-frames and took the floor to present their ideas for projects. After a final recap, awards and prizes were handed out to the four Human Rights champions of the week. At last, we distributed the certificates to all the participants.

We truly hope that the participants enjoyed this program as much as we did and we wish them every success in their future endeavour!

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