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RLS participates in OSCE/ODIHR training on human rights defenders at international borders


RLS's islands project coordinator, Elèna Santioli, was selected by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) along with 23 other human rights defenders working in the Northern Mediterranean region to attend a five-day training course on human rights at international borders last week.

On the training course, Elèna Santioli said: "As human rights defenders on the frontline, it is extremely important to monitor the human rights violations systematically committed at international borders. This is a crucial step to promote justice and advocate against the increasing impunity of the perpetrators. But human rights monitoring is alarmingly hindered by the increasing criminalisation of human rights defenders. Through an approach at the same time practical and theoretical, and highly interactive, the training offered crucial knowledge on human rights monitoring cycle and advocacy strategies development, with a focus as well on other crucial aspects such as digital security, investigative work, gender identity, vulnerabilities.

The training was a unique opportunity to learn from the valuable experience of well-qualified trainers with pluriannual experience in the sector, and to share key knowledge between professionals operating in the Northern Mediterranean region.

Massive thanks to the OSCE and the ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) and in particular to Alice Szczepanikova and Robin van Berlo for organising such an important training in such a comprehensive and well-designed way, and to all the amazing trainers and colleagues for all their valuable contributions, in particular to Andras Lederer from the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Klaas van Dijken and May Bulman from Lighthouse Reports, Emily Louise Hudson from the International Commission on Missing Persons, Arancha Garcia del Soto, and Artur Papyan from the Media Diversity Institute Armenia. I wish more of these training courses will be organised in the future on similar topics as a way to join forces in defence of human rights and against institutional impunity."


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