International Human Rights School for Young Activists

150+ young activists from across Eastern Europe and the Caucasus participated in over 100 hours of online training in a new school for young human rights defenders launched by six Human Rights Houses in 2020.

This school helped me understand how national, regional and international legal systems actually work. I believe that this experience will be useful to us for many years to come.

Mariam Ketsbaia, IHRSYA articipant from Georgia.

The International Human Rights School for Young Activists (IHRSYA) received 260+ applications from young people in  Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine. 150+ regular participants tuned in for 100 hours of training, provided by 24 experts from 9 countries. 80+ participants completed the programme with certification. 

“Not only has the IHRSYA broadened my horizons, it was also the best online school I have ever attended”

Luka Radičević, IHRSYA participant from Serbia.

Participants gained a broad understanding of human rights issues including the human rights concept, as well as national and international human rights protection mechanisms. The entire course was available in English and Russian through a mixture of interpretation and conducting classes in both languages. Below, a class is held in English outlining the international standards and mechanisms protecting human rights defenders.

Participants also learned about the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression and the right to be a human rights defender. These four rights are key to the work of the network of Human Rights Houses, and underpin a strong and independent civil society and protect and empower human rights defenders.

Certified: participants independently studied additional materials in order to then successfully pass the tests (one of the conditions for obtaining a certificate), and complete additional creative tasks.

The biggest reward [was to see that the school] was interesting and useful to those for whom we did it all. I hope that we will see our participants and experts live soon.

Maria Tsipashchuk, coordinator of IHRSYA

IHRSYA was organised and coordinated by Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv in partnership with the Human Rights House Tbilisi, the Human Rights House Yerevan, Human Rights House Belgrade and the Viasna Human Rights Center (member organisation of the Belarusian Human Rights House), and experts from Human Rights House Voronezh. The school was supported by Human Rights House Foundation’s House-to-House fund. 

Read about the school in Ukrainian.


June 18, 2021

As Belarus’s human rights crisis deepens, the UN Special Rapporteur for Belarus is more important than ever

In a joint statement, Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) and more than 30 Belarusian and international human rights organisations call on UN Human Rights Council member States to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus during the Council’s upcoming 47th session.

June 18, 2021

Armenian authorities must support and end harassment against human rights defenders

In a joint statement led by Human Rights House Yerevan and its member organisations, Human Rights House Foundation and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee urge the Armenian authorities to end harassment against human rights defenders and protect their legitimate human rights work.

June 14, 2021

HRC47: Media Under Attack in Belarus

The human rights crisis in Belarus has intensified. At the start of the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, with both Belarus and freedom of opinion and expression on the Council’s agenda, this online event will update states on the recent deterioration and identify further concrete action to protect human rights in Belarus.