Workshops 2015

Please note that the workshops comprise of 8 parallel tracks over two days, covering different topics, so you can choose the topic that suits you or your organisation best. The first 6 tracks in the agenda (A-F) involve longer training sessions and consist of part 1 and 2 given the same day. The final two tracks (G-H) are single workshops. The language is specified for each of the workshops so you have the option to participate in English, English with Russian translation or Russian.

  • Dealing with Meetings and Arrests (Part 1-2)

    Meetings can be one of the most vulnerable activities for human rights defenders, as hostile authorities often choose these moments to arrest or intimidate them. This clinic will introduce methods of reconnaissance, planning and managing meetings to mitigate these risks. We will focus on issues such as location selection, conduct of a meeting, avoiding incrimination and reducing the risk of eavesdropping. We will also address methods of dealing with arrests if they occur. We’ll use real case studies to identify different types of arrest situations in repressive environments and provide advice on how human rights defenders and their organisations, can better handle these situations. The session will address issues such as emergency response, mental preparation and dealing with questioning.

    Trainer: Rory Byrne, Security First

  • Psychosocial Aspects of Security (Part 1-2)

    Psychosocial aspects influence your security situation greatly. If you or your staff are under constant stress or on the verge to burnout, it surely influences the way decisions are made and what type of decisions are made. When planning security measures it is important that the wellbeing of staff and the psychosocial context are considered in the risk assessment and the corresponding strategy. In this workshop the trainer will discuss the psychosocial aspects of security and give hands-on advice on how it can be dealt with in an organisation. First part of this workshop will concentrate on the issues/factors affecting personal wellbeing of activists. The second part will address specific measures the organisations could consider introducing/developing to support activists’ wellbeing and including sharing already existing practices and experiences of those.

    Trainer: Jolanta Cihanovica, Mozaika

  • Video Campaigning (Part 1-2)

    How do you develop powerful stories and create effective videos that move your audiences to action? With video-enabled mobile phones now in the hands of many people, a growing number of people creating and using video, and with more platforms to amplify media, how do you utilise your own and others’ videos to reveal evidence and stories, challenge propaganda and galvanise publics. What are effective strategies and tactics for thinking through video for change? This workshop will focus on strategies, tactics and approaches that have been effective in securing human rights change, and draw on WITNESS’s 20 years of experiences supporting human rights defenders and witnesses to not only film, produce or curate powerful footage, but also distribute the material so that it creates a difference, and work safely and ethically to protect everyone involved.

    Trainer: Sam Gregory, Witness

  • How to Use Shadow Reporting as a Strategic Tool Within the UN Human Rights System (Part 1-2)

    The UN human rights system offers a range of opportunities for human rights defenders to shine a light on the situation in their country and build pressure upon their states to change. This module will examine how to interact in a UN strategic manner, with a focus on reporting to treaty bodies and the Universal Periodic Review. Through presentations, exercises, group work and peer learning, participants will explore:

    • What are Treaty Bodies and the Universal Periodic Review;
    • How can human rights defenders input into these processes;
    • What practical and strategic actions and tools can be used to ensure that this input has an impact;
    • What do high quality NGO reports look like;
    • Where can additional information and support be found;
    • How to build shadow reporting to these mechanisms into a broader international advocacy strategy alongside other potential avenues such as Human Rights Council advocacy or Special Procedures.Trainer: Ben Leather, International Service for Human Rights – ISHR
  • Making your Voice Heard in the Media (Part 1-2)

    1. Making your voice heard is a training clinic that combines theoretical background and practical exercise. In the first session, we focus on theory including the logic and rationale behind media’s actions and
      how this affects you and your organisation when dealing with journalists. The second session of the training clinic is more practical where we create strong messages and have realistic interview exercises in front of a camera. The purpose of the seminar is to give greater knowledge about media in general and to strengthen your ability to handle both challenges and opportunities in relation to media and other external stakeholders.Trainer: Jonas Lindgren 
  • Corruption Research (workshop)

    This workshop is aimed at giving practical tools for how to investigate and fight corruption. ‘Follow the money’ has proven to be a successful strategy when uncovering state corruption. Montenegro, an independent nation for only six years, is not the first nor the only country where corrupt officials have figured out how to embezzle national wealth. We will take a look at some real life cases. By establishing corporate structures that include offshore companies in other parts of the world, corrupted officials manage to steal, displace money, and accumulate great personal wealth. Miranda Patrucic has been one of the lead investigative journalists on the trail of corruption in Montenegro and internationally. During this training clinic she will give insights to how the criminal mind works.

    • How do they deceive? 
    • How do they profit? 
    • Where should one look for trails and clues?

    Miranda will give practical tools and ideas on where to start and how to look for information to successfully follow themoney through the pockets of officials, offshore banks and companies.

    Trainer: Miranda Patrucic, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project

  • How to Integrate a Gender Perspective on Human Rights Work? (Workshop)

    UN bodies and other human rights mechanisms have become increasingly sensitised to the need to employ a gender perspective on all human rights work. Human rights violations – not the least in the field of civil and political rights – affect men and women, boys and girls, in different ways. Since human rights violations often are gendered, the response must be gender-sensitive as well and tailored respectively to the different needs of men, women and transgendered individuals. The workshop will explore how we can become more effective human rights advocates by integrating a gender perspective in our work, e.g. by discussing the particular threats that women human rights defenders face and by exploring how torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (TCIDT) often take gendered forms.

    Trainer: Eva Zillén, Kvinna till Kvinna

  • Basic Tips on How to Counter Physical Surveillance (Part 1-2)

    Physical surveillance continues to be one of the most common forms of monitoring faced by human rights defenders – often being used by hostile authorities to gather intelligence and disrupt NGO operations. The session will teach participants how to spot surveillance teams by identifying common characteristics and techniques. Participants will then learn how to conduct simple countersurveillance during their most sensitive operations, using a variety of modes of transport in a number of environments.

    Trainer: Rory Byrne, Security First

  • Discrimination and Power: How to Strengthen our Human Rights Work by Integrating a Non-Discrimination Perspective (Workshop)

    The right to non-discrimination is one of the core principles of human rights law, and is enshrined in all international and regional human rights treaties. Discrimination on different grounds affects people in every corner of the world. Many of the substantive human rights violations that we fight have a discriminatory component as well. The workshop will discuss different grounds for discrimination and the many forms in which discrimination expresses itself (, indirect, and structural discrimination), and will train the participants to use legal and advocacy strategies to counter it. The workshop will also address discriminatory patterns within our organisations and discuss ways to come to terms with these in order to strengthen our rights approach both internally and externally.

    Trainers: Johanna Westeson/John Stauffer, Civil Rights Defenders

  • Effective Mobilisation of People and their Social Networks (Workshop)

    This workshop aims at empowering activists and experts with the theory and best practices of online organising as a campaigning tool for sustainable change. It wil show you how online tactics and organising can produce short-term wins within a long-term strategy that delivers structural change. Most of the conference participants are already active in “online activism” by starting petitions, sharing news and updates with followers on social networks or using crowd funding tactics to raise money. This session will help you assess how online tools and tactics can deliver the best impact and sustainable change – discussing their added value and limits using concrete examples and best practices.

    Proposed outcomes:

    • Give you, the activist and expert, a better understanding of how online tactics and tools can be used effectively for sustainable change.
    • Share best practices on online campaigning, including message framing, social media engagement, content strategy, partnership building, give you inspiration and keys to use online organising for your own campaigns.Trainer: Andre Banks, All Out
  • Strategic Litigation as a tool for Protecting and Promoting Human Rights

    Strategic litigation uses test cases to achieve legal and social change through the judicial (or quasijudicial) system at a national, regional or global level. Unlike ordinary litigation, strategic litigation goes beyond contesting the legal rights of an individual and involves considerations of the political, social and cultural context. This training clinic will discuss the value of strategic litigation as a powerful tool for protecting and promoting human rights and will provide an introduction to the required calculation of the serious legal and ethical factors involved. Using examples from around the world and from different levels of the judiciary, the training clinic will help you develop a solid understanding of the criteria for when to consider using, or not using, strategic litigation.

    1. Trainer: Saman Zarifi, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at the International Commission of Jurists
  • Digital Security (Part 1-2)

    This non-technical lecture will discuss how to address the highest-priority security threats currently faced by HRDs working in difficult countries. Topics will include law enforcement agencies’ ability to access e-mail, instant-messaging, internet telephony, and social network site accounts, the security of communication via the internet and mobile phone networks, theft/confiscation of computers, risks specific to smartphones and SNSs, cyber-censorship, online anonymity, and viruses, malware, and Trojans. Solutions will include multi-factor authentication (which participants will enable), patch management, whole-hard-drive encryption for laptops, tablets, and phones, password best practices and management, and cyber-circumvention (VPNs, proxies). For the intrepid, we will cover encrypting e-mail, IM, and VoIP. Participants will also have the option to arrange with the lecturer for a private consultation to discuss confidential matters, cybersecurity-audit a device, and/or (to the extent resources are available) fix issues, including antivirus and unlicensed software. Bring your computer and mobile phone.

    Trainer: Eric S Johnson