UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
Participants enrolled in the Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict have the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular course (no ECTS credits) on the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC). This course is also open to external participants.
Entitled ‘Optimizing the Human Rights Council: At the Interplay Between Law and Politics’ it focuses on the functioning and the mechanisms of the UN HRC, as well as on the dynamics at play in this major human rights body.
An interactive way of teaching empowers participants – both those who already know the HRC from inside and those who are not familiar with this multilateral world of negotiations and politics – to better understand the HRC.
Preparing for intense and high-level engagement during the HRC requires a deep understanding of its rules, functioning and practice. The ability to negotiate, advocate, lobby and push for issues in such a complex environment also requires a sound knowledge of the different actors and dynamics at play, as well as strong communication skills.
This course, ahead of the main HRC session, allows participants to develop their network and acquire the necessary skills to lead and perform effectively in this major forum for human rights diplomacy. It also allows them to grasp the main issues and challenges at stake.
The programme follows a strong logic of sequence and ends up with a huge Q&A session, led by a special guest. It is structured around four main themes:
Optional pre-session reading materials, including links to key Geneva Academy's events on the HRC, are made available two weeks prior to the training, for background, context and introduction of key concepts.
This course allows participants to acquire:
Lecturers include Geneva Academy experts, renowned academic scholars, as well as senior professionals from international organizations, NGOs and governments.
The course is composed of interactive lessons, using case studies of real situations in the HRC from the last three sessions. These help participants to acquire the required knowledge, take part in discussion forums and engage with practical examples and case studies. The various sessions are designed to address cross-cutting issues and build participant skills through simulation exercises, small group breakouts and role-playing.
Throughout the course, participants interact with their peers, key HRC actors, as well as academics and experienced practitioners.