L. Ulyashyna: “Universal values ​​and human rights standards will be brought to different countries

On 16-19 February the Belarusian Human Rights House hosted a working meeting and training within the framework of the project Electronic Human Rights Education for Lawyers (EHREL). Coordinators, experts and project partners discussed the key issues and perspectives of the project.

The curriculum of the project, carried out simultaneously for Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, aims at teaching jurists and lawyers professional use of international and constitutional law in the jurisprudence. The first part of the event, which took place on 17 February was devoted to summing up the results of alumna’s work and evaluation of achieved project objectives, as well as discussion of the role of international partners and experts in the framework of the course. The second part of the meeting held on 18 February, concerned the organisation of training and various educational activities, that covered the aspects of work in MOODLE distance learning environment and on-line education in general.

National Project Coordinator for Ukraine Dariya Svyrydova believes that the distance learning in an absolute advantage, and, from her point of view, students are interested in and attracted to participate in the course because of a strong professional network, the possibility of communication between lawyers from different countries, exchange of experience, interaction and the possibility of joint human rights campaigns:

– For Ukraine it is a very interesting project, and it shown by the numbers – more than 200 applications from human rights defenders, lawyers, jurists and students were submitted. The project is in demand, because we lack systematic education in this area. Besides, lawyers belong to a group of people who do not have enough time for full-time education and therefore distance learning is a big plus for them. For Ukrainian lawyers it is very important to share experience, for example,   we are very interested in Belarusian experience of submitting appeals to the UN, because we used such a mechanism of protection rarely .In general, the project is very interesting because it involves more than one country.

Now the project involves experts from five countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russian Federation and Ukraine.The manager of “International law in Advocacy” programme implemented by HRH network, Liudmila Ulyashyna (left), admitted that in the beginning, the organization one educational course in several countries seemed a difficult task:

– It was a major problem, we had no idea how one can run an educational project for different countries. However, the idea of this project is to bring universal values ​​and human rights standards to different countries.National experts, receiving the materials from international experts, adopt them and explain, if necessary, how they act in accordance with national legislation, or some cultural features. And thus the approach of universal human rights extends, but on a national basis. Our main goal is to involve people who has the direct access to the courts, so that they influence the national judicial system through their work.

Issues related to the work of electronic library were discussed. The training of national experts and partners for the next education course was carried out during the meeting as well.Meanwhile, speaking of the previous participants who have now become alumni of the course, the national coordinator of Russian Eugenia Adrova said:

– Those who took this course, now use their knowledge quite actively, collaborate with each other. We, in our turn, want them to not lose each other.

The meetings helped to increase the competence of the participants in matters of information communications and contributed to the preparation of national experts to taking part in the learning process, as well as helped to define the objectives of the project by discussing the existing achievements.

***

The Electronic Human Rights Education for Lawyers project was created to help lawyers from different countries with e-learning materials produced by international and national experts together. Now the project is a two-level curriculum, which consists of interactive training for lawyers, expert consultations, training, and an essay exam, individual communications to the Committee on Human Rights, the UN and electronic tests.

The overall project objective is to improve the quality of protection of fundamental freedoms based on the rule of law, to raise awareness and provide a direct application of international human rights standards.

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