First Regional Training Session in Former Soviet Union
“We have been transformed from representatives of different countries to a group with shared concerns, thoughts and views. We started with five different languages – Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Ukrainian and Russian, but now all we’re trying to think and speak with Human Rights alphabet.”
The 1st Regional Human Rights Training Session (HRTS) was held in March 2011 in Kiev, Ukraine. Modeled on Equitas’ International Human Rights Training Program, the two-week program was held in Russian. It was developed and implemented by a very dedicated group of IHRTP alumni coming from countries which were formerly part of the Soviet Union. We welcomed 30 participants coming from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine.
Participants, new to Equitas’ participatory approach, were truly delighted with the session and went home inspired to pursue their human rights work in a new way back home.
“Before the training, I considered ……I would be just a participant of a standard training with simple highlights of the human rights issues. Now, just before my return home, I realize that I’ve gained new values which will lead me in my future life and organizational activities.’
An evaluation meeting will take place in Georgia in October 2011. This training session is part of the Global Human Rights Education Program through which Equitas is working with alumni of the IHRTP from Ukraine, Central Asia and the South Caucasus to reinforce their capacity to design and deliver effective human rights education programs.
Equitas’ engagement in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union began in the early Nineties after the Fall of the Berlin Wall when significant numbers of participants started coming from the region to attend the annual International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP). There are now over 340 alumni of the program from the region. Early interventions focused on building the capacity of civil society organizations and NGOs to advance human rights and democratic reforms in the post-Communist era and included particular attention to issues related to minority rights.
Between 2000-2004, Equitas worked with human rights organizations in Central Asia, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to train of a pool of 30 teacher-trainers and 357 teachers and NGO workers to effectively promote human rights education in schools.
Equitas has also worked with the European Roma Rights Center in Budapest to revise and transform their human rights training program for young Roma activists. More recently, Equitas collaborated with the former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Professor Yakin Ertürk, to organize consultations with women’s organizations in Central Asia and the South Caucasus and worked with the OSCE’s Organization for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to organize training programs on monitoring women’s rights in Kazakhstan.
In Azerbaijan, since 2003, 16,000 internally displaced persons have received legal aid to resolve the problems caused by their status, such as obtaining or recovering personal identity documents, recovering property and claiming ownership rights, ensuring freedom of movement and access to social and medical services.
“After the Equitas training we started to apply participatory methods in our trainings, giving people the opportunity to actively learn about their human rights. The number of participants has increased and people now are very open and active in demanding their rights.”
In Armenia, more than 3,000 people living in 60 villages participated in training activities to raise awareness of domestic violence which brought about a considerable change in the mentality of the population towards the issue. This change of social attitude will support the current process of legislative improvements in Armenia, where a law on domestic violence is currently being developed.
“The training provided by Equitas added new value to our efforts and provided a well-thought basis for the achievement of positive and sustainable social change.”
Monitoring and Reporting Women’s Rights in Kazakhstan (PDF 1.28 MB)
Combating Violence against Women in the South Caucasus: Regional Consultation with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (PDF 824 KB)
9-11 May 2007
Also available in Russian (PDF 1.46MB)
Combating Violence against Women in Central Asia: Regional Consultation with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (PDF 785 KB)
13-16 December 2005
Also available in Russian (PDF 1.10 MB)
Report of Proceedings (PDF 2.73 MB)
Human Rights Education for Teachers: Training Manuals from Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan (in Russian)
(PDF 2.82 MB)
Developing Teacher Capacity for Training Regional Workshop: Training for Teacher Trainers (III) (in Russian)
(PDF 750 KB)
3-7 May 2004