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New APF course strengthens human rights education and facilitation skills

Graphic: Roundtable discussion during an APF facilitation workshop in 2018

Participants from 21 APF member institutions have undertaken a new course to strengthen their human rights education and facilitation skills.

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Forty-three participants from National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) across the Asia Pacific have undertaken the APF’s new online course Human Rights Education and Facilitation.

Held in the APF Community, the APF’s learning and collaboration platform, the course aims to strengthen participants’ understanding of human rights education (HRE) and facilitation as a practice that can be integrated into their human rights education work.  

The course is also a first step in expanding the APF Facilitators Network (AFN), which was established in 2017, into the APF Educators and Facilitators Network (AEFN). 

The new network will be comprised of NHRI staff with both education and facilitation skills and will continue to support the professional development of these skills in the region, for the benefit of both the NHRIs and the communities they serve. 

As a practice which seeks to promote genuine and sustained transformation in the way people think, form opinions, make decisions and act, facilitation is a crucial process for promoting and protecting human rights.

In the context of the unfolding pandemic, human rights education and facilitation are also crucial skills for NHRIs as part of their awareness-raising activities, particularly as they work to ensure human rights are included in COVID-19 responses and recovery efforts. 

Participants representing twenty-one APF member institutions took part in the course, including several existing AFN members. The course content was delivered in two components – Introduction to HRE and Human Rights Facilitation – over a four-week period. 

In addition to the main course content, weekly live Zoom sessions were held to allow participants to review the learning content, share case studies, and ask questions. The live sessions also provided an opportunity for participants to network and engage with one another, building their own community of educators and facilitators. 

During the final live session, participants were asked what they would to see from the AEFN in the future. Participants shared that they would like further opportunities to share their experiences, challenges and case studies on human rights education and facilitation. They also said they would like to stay connected to each other in the APF Community, and to practice their facilitation skills through coaching and peer-support. 

The APF will continue to develop new and relevant courses for the AEFN and for the region more broadly. 

Date: 30 July 2021

Image credits

  1. Roundtable discussion during an APF facilitation workshop in 2018 - APF/Fasoha Aishath