For more than 40 years, Equitas has hosted the International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP), the only training in the world specifically dedicated to strengthening the capacity and skills of human rights educators. The IHRTP is a three-week immersive course that applies a participatory approach to human rights education. Close to 100 individuals from dozens of countries around the world gather in Montreal, Canada to explore how concepts like gender equality, inclusion, and participation are central to the practice of human rights education.
Unfortunately, since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a temporary hold on the program.
So how does an organization innovate and design an alternative for a one-of-a-kind, world-class human rights education program while working remotely?
Determined to pivot quickly and thoughtfully, Equitas was challenged to develop a participatory and transformative training program for human rights educators globally that was accessible to participants online. We were told to reach for the sky, but to keep our toes on the ground. That is, dream big, but stay connected to the realities of our partners, our team members and our objectives as an organization.
Global Rights Connection emerged from this beautiful challenge. Specifically, Equitas aimed to:
- Create a unique opportunity for human rights educators to build new relationships, acquire practical tools to improve the effectiveness and impact of their work while deepening their understanding of human rights and gender equality.
- Keep our community of human rights educators at the centre of the program design and acknowledge the evolving human rights context as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Prioritize the transformative power of education by leveraging the potential of new technological tools to support connection and learning.
- Contribute to innovation within the field of human rights education.