“ILIA Online is aimed at achieving educational results that have a real impact on the human rights situation in our countries,” comments Serhiy Burov, director of Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv.
“We consider ILIA as a kind of virtual Human Rights House, a civil university, in which partner organisations can conduct training on their own or together with others, share best practices, and adapt the comprehensive training courses for their own purposes. It’s a platform for the organisations within the network of Human Rights Houses, and that works because of them,” continues Burov.
As a representative of a House that has actively used the ILIA education programme, Burov spoke in 2016 about the importance of the International Law in Advocacy programme and human rights education.
Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) has since 2008 managed ILIA Online and the common resources developed by several Human Rights Houses, partners, and experts. As of January 2019, Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv has taken over the further development and operation of the educational platform, with the view to make it available for all interested Human Rights Houses.
“It’s a great responsibility to take over the coordination of an educational behemoth such as ILIA Online. We think this is very important, and above all, we very much appreciate the previous work done.”
For more than 10 years, the platform has been the foundation for members and partners of Human Rights Houses to hold comprehensive academically certified “education cycles” in international human rights law. It continues to be a space for learners and alumni to engage and network across borders.
“Through ILIA Online, we have established an effective network of lawyers in different countries who speak, cooperate, and act in the language of human rights,” comments Liudmila Ulyashyna, Human Rights Officer at HRHF, who co-founded and managed the ILIA programme for more than 10 years. “They are human rights defenders, and they know how to protect their profession as human rights lawyers, understand the importance of international solidarity, and are positioned to provide contacts and assistance for those who need urgent help.”
“ILIA Online is a celebration of the universality of human rights. It has delivered human rights education in different countries, not just of individual national legal systems, but of something more. It has built bridges between human rights lawyers and organisations in different countries, and with international institutions,” continues Ulyashyna.
Partners from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Georgia have already led more than 200 lawyers and human rights defenders through education cycles using ILIA Online. In each case, they have drawn on the core of the education programme while customising courses and modules or including a national tutor to suit their country or thematic priorities.
While the platform has found success in promoting and protecting human rights, national implementation of human rights standards remains a constant process. HRHF passes the baton to Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv for further development, and is excited to continue supporting and promoting human rights education within the network of Human Rights Houses.
“The principles and values of ILIA will continue, with transparency, rule of law, inclusiveness, solidarity, and cooperation still core to ILIA online and the network of ILIA alumni. We look forward to the House breathing new life into the resources, to new partners and new education cycles, and to an effective and sustainable ILIA network of human rights lawyers,” concludes Ulyashyna.
HRHF handed over operation of the Belarus-focused ILIA component Bring International Standards Home (BISH) to the Belarusian Human Rights House in 2011. Under the operation of the House, BISH has found great success and is currently in the middle of its fifth education cycle.
Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv is in the process of consulting with partners from across the network of Human Rights Houses about opportunities to coordinate education cycles or host specific courses, with the aim of increasing knowledge, awareness, and skills in human rights promotion and protection.
Thumbnail graphic: Human Rights House Foundation.