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The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies and the International Service for Human Rights are organizing a training to equip human rights defenders with the knowledge and skills to integrate the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (“the ACHPR”) into their existing work at the national level in a strategic manner and provides an opportunity for participants to prepare for and engage in lobbying and advocacy activities at the ACHPR with the aim to effect change back home at the national level.

Are you a civil society actor, a representative from an African civil society organization or an international organization from East, North, Central, or North Africa? Then this training is for you.

Then this training is for you.


The objectives of the course fall into the following three broad categories:

A) Supporting human rights defenders:

● Develop human rights defenders’ advocacy skills and expertise;

● Enhance the ability of human rights defenders to engage strategically with the ACHPR and other international human rights mechanisms, as well as to develop diplomatic and civil society networks;

● Improve the quality of NGO participation in the ACHPR, with a view to exert a greater influence on human rights foreign policy;

● Share tools and knowledge, which human rights defenders can use to ensure their voice is central in international human rights decision-making;

● Develop advocacy strategies for specific issues, and to ensure follow-up and action on the ACHPR’s resolutions;

● Increase human rights defenders’ understanding of the short, mid and longer-term opportunities provided by African human rights mechanisms;

● Explore and compare the benefits of engagement with these mechanisms, and examine how advocates can use them to bolster their work at the national level;

● Develop strategies and lobbying techniques to increase the potential of human rights defenders’ national and regional advocacy work.

B) Influencing the substantive outcomes of regional human rights mechanisms in a positive manner, including ACHPR resolutions and the work of ACHPR thematic and country specific human rights experts (such as the Special Rapporteur).

C) Creating a peer group of human rights defenders working on a diverse range of issues, identifying best practice in advocating for human rights change, and exchanging lessons and experiences in conducting regional/international advocacy.

Date & Venue

13th-15th October 2023 – (Venue TBC)

Course Content and Methodology

The course will be conducted in English and would comprise general lectures and discussion, debates, case studies, etc on the following broad themes:- an introduction to the African Human Rights System and Mechanisms;

– status of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa;

– the United Nations Human Rights System;

– networking, Advocacy and Lobbying Strategies, human rights monitoring and reporting.

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants would be:

  • Acquire knowledge and skills on the relevant regional and international human rights instruments and processes to enhance their engagement;
  • Learn more about the work of the ACHPR and how to engage strategically with its mechanisms;
  • Strengthen their practical knowledge in advocacy and lobbying strategy with human rights mechanisms through case studies;
  • Collectively discuss human rights trends in Africa;
  • Meet and learn from defenders from all around Africa working on a range of human rights issues.


English and French are the languages of the Training with available simultaneous interpretation facilities.


Civil Society Actor, Representatives from African Civil Society Organisations, International NGOs from Africa


Only selected applicants will be contacted. The Organisers will meet the participation cost associated, flight, accommodation and conference package for the 3 days. All applications should be submitted online. Deadline: 8 September, 2023.

Apply here.