Civil society actors are key agents for change at international, regional, national and local levels as they contribute to monitor the application of international human rights standards, follow-up of the implementation of judgments, decisions and recommendations of African regional human rights mechanisms, contribute to the strengthening of States’ capacity to ensure implementation of human rights standards amongst others. Most of the NGOs have limited knowledge about the international Human Rights System as well as the regional, especially the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its Mechanisms. This has no doubt limited their engagement and impact, in many instances.

Spearheading initiatives by African civil society partners to implement activities during the launching of the 30th anniversary of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) which will be held in Banjul, The Gambia, the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), in collaboration with CIVICUS, the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) will organize a 3 day training on the use of international human rights procedures for the promotion and protection of human rights for civil society actors and human rights defenders in Africa.


The main objective of the training is to build the capacity of representatives of human rights institutions (Government, National Human Rights Institutions and Non-State Actors) with knowledge and skills to effectively use the International and African Human Rights System in their work towards human rights promotion and protection on the continent. At the end of the training course, participants might also have opportunity to participate in the NGOs Forum in the 63rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the public sessions of the African Commission to concretize what they have learnt.

Date & Venue

17 - 19 October, 2018 – Banjul, The Gambia

Course Content and Methodology

The course will be conducted in English and would comprise general lectures and discussion, debates, case studies, etc on the following broad themes:

- an introduction to the African Human Rights System and Mechanisms;

- status of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa;

-the United Nations Human Rights System;

- the Role of NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions in the African Human Rights System;

- networking, Advocacy and Lobbying Strategies, human rights monitoring and reporting;

- An introduction to the United Nations Human Rights System, Civil Society engagement with UN mechanisms (Universal Periodic Review, Human Rights Council, Special Procedures/Rapporteurs, Treaty Body mechanisms.

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants would be:
  • Familiar with the various African and international human rights instruments;
  • Equipped with knowledge and skills in relation to both theoretical and practical aspects of the instruments;
  • Opportuned to network with a wide range of civil society organisations on issues of common interest
  • Equipped with information to engage with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (e.g. to apply for observer status, file complaints/cases, make statements before the African Commission, the UN etc)
  • Equipped with increased knowledge in advocacy and lobbying strategies


English and French are the languages of the Training with available simultaneous interpretation facilities.


Representatives from African Civil Society Organisations, International NGOs from Africa


The Organizers will meet the participation cost of selected applicants (flight, accommodation, sustenance and Visa). Please note that only selected applicants will be contacted. All applications should be submitted online. Deadline: 15 September, 2018.