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ROBERT F. KENNEDY HUMAN RIGHTS ROBERT F. KENNEDY TRAINING INSTITUTE

“A YEAR IN REVIEW 2014”


ROBERT F. KENNEDY TRAINING INSTITUTE STAFF Kerry Kennedy President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Frank La Rue Executive Director Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe Santiago A. Canton Executive Director of Partners of Human Rights Andrea Galindo Director of the Training Institute Amparo Barrera Programme Officer of the Training Institute INTERNS Christine Fandrich Carly Charlotte Hayden Sydnie Kremidas Particular thanks to Talya Kahan for her insight into the report


Dear Friends, 2014 signaled a new chapter in the history of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. We unveiled a new name: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. We welcomed former UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Frank La Rue as our Director of European Operations, and we continued to expand our strategic litigation efforts, marking a new emphasis in our human rights programming. In the midst of so much change, we remain steadfast in our commitment to realizing Robert Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world. And we continue to make significant strides in that direction. Our momentum is exemplified by the activities of the Robert F. Kennedy Training Institute. Housed in a structure that once served as a major prison, the RFK Training Institute is a global hub of international human rights and social justice. Indeed, 2014 was a banner year for the Institute, which brings human rights defenders and activists from across the globe to the historic city of Florence, Italy. The Training Institute provides them with a safe space where they can engage in stimulating discussions, exchange ideas, and share best practices, ultimately paving the way for the next generation of human rights activists through trainings, seminars and expert meetings. 140 human rights defenders from 56 countries attended nine major trainings on a variety of critically important issues, including the impact of social media on human rights, digital security for human rights defenders, human rights protection mechanisms, and the rights of women and LGBT people. The pages that follow highlight some of the Training Institute’s many accomplishments in 2014. We are thrilled to share our work with you, and we hope you will join us in our journey. Your continued support will strengthen our resolve, encourage cross-cultural collaboration, and help to build, in Robert Kennedy’s words, a “current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Sincerely,

Kerry Kennedy President Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

A Year in Review 2014 | 1


PARTNERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND IT’S TRAINING INSTITUTE

RFK Partners for Human Rights (PHR) is one of the foundational pillars of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. It is the litigation, advocacy and capacity building arm of the organization which works directly with human rights defenders from all over the world. PHR focuses on the power of the individuals to generate change and in building multiyear partnerships with its RFK Human Rights Award laureates and other human rights activists to advance social justice around the world. RFK Training Institute (TI) was born as a hub where human rights defenders, practitioners, government officials, students and all those who are committed to the same ideas of Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of creating a more just and equal world, can come together, learn from each other, 2 | A Year in Review 2014

exchange new ideas, and build lasting partnerships, through innovative training and educational programs, enriching discussions, and lively group meetings.

“The RFK Training Institute has been created to provide human rights advocates with the tools and necessary resources to empower them and create lasting changes in their communities, countries and across the globe. We deeply believe in this project and we will keep training human rights defenders from all over the world as a way of reaching the human rights of the people” Santiago A. Canton Executive Director of Partners for Human Rights.


FROM PRISON TO HOUSE OF FREEDOM The RFK Training Institute is housed at the Robert F. Kennedy International House of Human Rights in the heart of the historic city of Florence, Italy and is located at the “Le Murate� complex. Built in 1424, the structure originally served as a convent for Benedictine nuns but was turned into the city jail in the 19th century. Driven by its desire to create a physical venue to promote human rights and social justice activities, the City of Florence allowed Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to use the space to further its mission, thereby transforming what was once the center of so much trauma, pain and suffering into a symbol of light, promise and international justice. The Robert F. Kennedy International House of Human Rights formally opened its doors in 2013, and is well on its way to becoming a key presence on the world stage. A Year in Review 2014 | 3


To Robert F. Kennedy Staff: “To everyone who made this possible, you should know that it has changed my life. So you have changed the world a little. We have no reason to think that we are not important. We are exactly what the world needs. People like you, with enough love, compassion and consideration, that is what the world needs. Thanks to everyone who made this convening possible�. Participant from Botswana at the LGBT Forum

4 | A Year in Review 2014


BY THE NUMBERS:

IN 2014…

140 HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS FROM

61 ORGANIZATIONS, HAILING FROM 56 COUNTRIES ACROSS THE GLOBE, ATTENDED 9 TRAINING COURSES PUT ON BY THE RFK TRAINING INSTITUTE

Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya,

6 | A Year in Review 2014


Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, Iran, USA, Western Sahara, and Zimbabwe.


RFK TRAINING INSTITUTE: 2014 HIGHLIGHTS

APRIL

TRAINING WOMEN WARRIORS: TRAINING FOR RUSSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD: TALKING ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

RFK TI partners with Civil Rights Defenders, a Swedish non-governmental organization to empower a bold group of female activists who are working towards the recognition of universal human rights in their country, through a series of English and Russian language trainings that are focused on researching, documenting, and analyzing human rights issues.

“Social Media and Human Rights for International Organizations” a discussion on the role and impact of social media on the global human rights field, including international organizations and advocates, kicks off the Training Institute’s Human Rights Affairs: Global Discussions on Your Rights Program with an impressive slate of speakers and guests.

8 | A Year in Review 2014

MEETING OF THE MINDS: EXPERT MEETING ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND INTERNET

JUNE

European experts on the issue of children’s rights meet at the RFK International House to provide UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Information, Mr. Frank La Rue, with input and recommendations ahead of the publication of his report.


INSIDE THE INTER-AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM: FOCUS ON DEFENSE Together with key partners, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, American University and the Inter-American Human Rights Institute and the Office of the Prosecutor of city of Buenos Aires, RFK TI organizes an innovative, practical training session that brings together government officials working on issues related to the defense of the State at the international level, to learn about the critical functions and procedures of the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights

JULY BUILDING BRIDGES: LGBT FORUM In partnership with Human Rights Watch, the Council for Global Equality and Open Society Foundations, LGBT leaders and activists from Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa gather at the International House in Florence to learn from each other about the specific challenges they face on the ground and to share the innovative ideas and unique strategies they have developed to combat them.

A Year in Review 2014 | 9


SEPTEMBER

BRINGING TORTURE TO LIGHT: A DISCUSSSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION MECHANISMS

INSIDE THE INTER-AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM: FOCUS ON CIVIL SOCIETY

In collaboration with American University Washington College of Law, RFK TI invites a group of renowned human rights experts and practitioners including UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Menendez, to share their knowledge of and experiences working in various human rights mechanisms including the African, Inter-American and European Systems, ASEAN and the UN to discuss the issue of torture through a series of case studies, and an understanding of urgent measures and reporting.

Together with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), American University, Texas University, and the InterAmerican Institute for Human Rights (IIDH), RFK TI organizes a rigorous week long training in Washington, DC offering participants from across the Americas, the opportunity to attend hearings of the IACHR and to discuss its treatment of women, minority groups and those with disabilities receiving first hand insight and knowledge.

OCTOBER

“I feel very privileged for having been part of this meeting. Besides everything we learned on the Due Diligence principle, I also found the training to be a great resource in terms of the connections I have created. Meeting with people who have been working in other countries to promote human rights; and the rights of women in particular; was very relevant. It enabled me to see the implementation of human rights standards from a different perspective and helped me considering new ideas that I could implement in my own work� Participant from Zimbabwe at the training on the framework to end violence against women

10 | A Year in Review 2014


ROBERT F. KENNEDY HUMAN RIGHTS

NOVEMBER

PUTTING AN END TO IT: DUE DILIGENCE FRAMEWORK TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN IN FAMILY AND CULTURAL LIFE

In partnership with the Due Diligence Project, an organization dedicated to ending violence against women, a group of 15 activists affiliated with women’s rights organizations across the globe meet for a week-long training focused on the development of key strategies especially digital tools and mechanisms, that governments should use in order to comply with their due diligence duty under international human rights law to end violence against women.

RFK TI joins forces with the Due Diligence Project once again, this time bringing together a small group of experts to explore, analyze and critically examine the intersections of human rights, culture, religion, and family life that hinder women’s rights today.

DECEMBER

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SIDE EVENTS JUNE Public Release of the UN report on “FREEDDOM OF EXPRESSION AND COMMUNICATION DURING ELECTORAL PERIODS” by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Mr. Frank La Rue.

JUNE Role of the International Human Rights Community in the review of the ToRs of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. RFK TI Director - Andrea Galindo was a panelist at the 26th session of the UN HR Councile at Palais des Nations.

NOVEMBER Discussion of the International and European Mechanisms for protection against torture within the campaign “STOP TORTURE” of Amnesty International - Juan E. Mendez UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and RFK TI Director- Andrea Galindo participated.

DECEMBER Panel discussion in commemoration of INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY on the theory and real practice of human rights-organized by European University Institute, Florence and participation of the RFK TI Director-Andrea Galindo.

12 | A Year in Review 2014


“The right to freedom of opinion and expression is a central pillar of democratic societies; a guarantor of free and fair electoral processes, and meaningful and representative public and political discourse. It is during times of political change that the right to freedom of expression is most essential, ensuring that a well-informed and empowered public is free to exercise their civil and political rights. Providing the conditions for free and open political communication is an essential element of ensuring fair and democratic electoral processes�. Frank La Rue Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe and former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion


“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.� Robert F. Kennedy

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“This training has increased my ideas and knowledge on how to document cases, engage with human rights commissions regional and international and submit periodic cases to the commissions. I will introduce this back to other colleagues and activist in my country so that together we could all engage in submitting reports to the commissions.” Participant from Hungary to the Human Rights Protection Training

“I will use the information I learned in this training to help and teach other Haitian people who don’t have enough information about the UN, regional, European and African human rights mechanisms. We plan for the next year a lot of trainings and those knowledge will use to train Haitian member organizations on the Torture issues” Participant from Haiti to the Mechanisms against Torture

“I need to share this valuable new information on human rights with organizations of civil society in my country and try to organize training after translate lecture to Arabic language” Participant from Egypt at the Training on discrimination against women

“This was a really really useful and energizing meeting. I appreciated the active of engagement of almost all of the partners and the due diligence project and Robert F. Kennedy team and was really struck by the level of the dicussions and analysis (that were sustained till the very last day!). It felt like I was seeing light bulbs go off in everyone heads- mine included! I am quite excited about our future plans! Participant from India to the Due Diligence Framework to end violence against women

“This program has been a wonderful experience; full of knowledge; and it will contribute a lot to my future.” Participant from El Salvador - Training on Human Rights Protection Mechanism A Year in Review 2014 | 15


TOP TRAINERS AT THE TRAINING INSTITUTE SANTIAGO A. CANTON Executive Director of Partners for Human Rights at the RFK

FRANK LA RUE Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe

TRACY ROBINSON Commissioner IACHR

JUAN MENDEZ UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment

CATALINA BOTERO Former Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR

JAMES CAVALLARO Commissioner IACHR

EDUARDO RIGGI General attorney for the criminal court of Buenos Aires MARTIN SCHEININ Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the European University Institute GRAEME REID Director of LGBT rights of Human Rights Watch JULIE DORF Council for Global Equality ALI RAVI OF CONFABIUM Senior Consultant on Digital Security MARK GEVISSER Open Society Fellowship ANDREA GALINDO Director of the Training Institute at the RFK

JOSE DE JESUS OROZCO Commissioner IACHR RAFENDI DJAMIN Representative of Indonesia to the AICHR PHILIP LEACH Director of the European Human Rights Advocacy Center (EHRAC) CHAFI BAKARI Officer at the High Commission on Human Rights MAYA DEROUAZ Social Media Manager Office of the High Commission of Human Rights LILLY CHING SOTO Human Rights Specialist at the IACHR SAMIR NASSIR Senior Consultant on Digital Security JANINE MOUSSA AND ZARIZANA AZIZ Co-Directors of the Due Diligence Project

‌ and many others 16 | A Year in Review 2014


PARTNERS & DONORS

thank you to all of you A Year in Review 2014 | 17


ROBERT F. KENNEDY HUMAN RIGHTS Via Ghibellina 12/a 50122 Florence - Italy Tel +39 055 5389250 - Fax +39 055 5383602 E-mail: hrtraining@rfkhumanrights.org

RFK Training Institute - A year in review 2014  

The RFK Training Institute is a core program of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. During 2014, the Training Institute organized a total...

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