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Young Arab Human Rights Defenders Program

This long-term training program provides intensive training and support for young human rights defenders in the Arab World in order to increase advocacy and monitoring capacity and foster regional networking.

The program is intended for young human rights defenders that are seeking to:

(a) expand their network of people working in the human rights field in North Africa and the Middle East;
(b) develop their human rights advocacy and monitoring skills;
(c) receive support in their work from experienced human rights defenders;
(d) increase their knowledge of the international and regional human rights standards and mechanisms;
(e) advance an advocacy project that is important to the community that they serve.

Selected trainees participate in:

(1) a 6-week e-learning course on human rights advocacy (online)
(2) a 4-day in-person Advocacy Institute in Amman (Jordan)
(3) a 6-week e-learning course on human rights fact-finding and reporting (online)
(4) a 4-day in-person Human Rights Defenders Academy in Amman (Jordan)
(5) on-going support from a mentor
(6) self-study of international and regional human rights standards and mechanisms

All instruction is in Arabic. The program has a duration of 10 months and participants are required to participate in all components.

Selection of Participants

The program is designed for human rights defenders (NGO staff, lawyers, journalists, teachers, community workers) between the ages of 18-35 that work in countries that are members of the Arab League (Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates). Preference was given to applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to defending human rights in their community and have support from their organization.


The Young Arab Human Rights Defenders Program is based on a blended learning approach. This learning model is based on the premise that the ideal learning model involves hands-on training, time for reading and reflection, group work, an extended engagement in the learning process, mentoring and the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in a real-life situation and receive support and feedback. Blended learning is an instructional model that allows instructor(s), students, and content to be located in different, non-centralized locations so that instruction and learning can take place independent of time and place.

Seventy five trainees and 30 auditors participated in the 2006-2008 session ("Youth for Human Rights") was jointly organized by HREA, the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS).

The Young Arab Human Rights Defenders Program has in the past been generously funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Institute's Middle East & North Africa Initiative.

The application process for the 2015-2016 session of the Young Human Rights Defender Programs will start in September 2014.



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