Joint Swiss-Moroccan initiative to assist human rights training at Alkarama Foundation

On 9 March 2016, Alkarama provided a half-a-day intensive training on the role of NGOs in promoting and protecting human rights, to members of the Moroccan National Human Rights Council (CNDH) and civil society actors. The training was organised by Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR), which wanted Alkarama to share its experience in assisting victims of human rights violations in the Arab world.

This event resulted from an agreement signed on 12 May 2014 between the CNDH and the GIHR, a Swiss civil society organisation established to promote a culture of human rights. The main goals of the agreement are to build the capacity of Moroccan parliamentarian advisors in the area of human rights and ensure technical cooperation between the GIHR and the CNDH, by exchanging information and help implementing human rights programs and joint projects. “We chose to conduct the training with Alkarama, as the organisation has very long experience working with the UN human rights protection mechanisms”, said Nazar Abdelgadir, Executive Director of GIHR, adding that “we want to receive expert training on how to document for and follow up with such mechanisms”.

Human rights are fundamental to the development of the society

The course was carried out by Rachid Mesli, Legal Director at Alkarama, and Radidja Nemar, Regional Legal Officer for the Maghreb. Rachid Mesli stressed that human rights organisations should as does Alkarama, work with international protection mechanisms. “To strengthen their seriousness and professionalism, human rights organisations wishing to promote human rights should interact with the UN protection mechanisms, among others, by presenting reports that provide reliable information on the human rights situation in their country, he said to the delegation. This is particularly important given that governments are often more responsive to international pressure from UN mechanisms than to pressure from NGO’s alone.” Mesli also emphasised the universality of human rights and their fundamental role in shaping and developing a society towards cultural and economic prosperity.

Training is essential to empower local civil society which plays a crucial role in improving human rights situations in their respective countries”, concluded Radidja Nemar. Alkarama has previously trained civil society and human rights activists from several countries through the Middle East and North Africa region, including Syrian, Iraqi, Omani, Sudanese, Bahraini, Kuwaiti and Palestinian human rights defenders, on how to interact with United Nations special procedures and Treaty bodies to defend victims of violations..

For more information or an interview, please contact the media team at (Dir: +41 22 734 1008).

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