Human Rights Lecture Series.

At Simavi we put human rights at the heart of our work. Since understanding them and knowing how to claim them is essential for the respect, protection, and fulfilment of these rights for women and girls, we - in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam Law School) - developed a lecture series on human rights.

The lectures take you on a 7-step journey (each between 15-20 min) in understanding human rights and engaging with human right mechanisms, specifically the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Lecture 1: What are Human Rights?

We encounter the term “Human Rights” more and more in our media. Yet, how much do we really know about Human Rights? About how they came to be, who they aim to protect and what economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights Human Rights laws entitle us to?

In this first lecture of the Human Rights Lecture series, we dive into the basics of Human Rights. What are Human Rights? How do our Human Right become legally binding? Where can we find what our Human Rights are? How are our Human Rights are protected? And more.

References and additional reading suggestions - lecture 1

Lecture 2: What are Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights?

In lecture 2 we learn about how sexual reproductive health came to be officially recognised as a fundamental human right for the first time. We also learn that SRHR goes beyond just sex and reproduction, and includes our right to privacy, to SRHR education, to bodily integrity and more. 

Furthermore, we learn that our sexual reproductive health care is protected by ensuring it is available and accessible and services or goods are acceptable and of quality.

References and additional reading suggestions - lecture 2

Lecture 3: What are the rights to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene?

In lecture 3 of the Human Rights lecture series, we explore the correlation between Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Human Rights. Nothing has made the need for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene more evident than the current global pandemic of Covid-19. In this lecture we explore how the basic human right to safe drinking water can influence public health, poverty, education and food security.

References and additional reading suggestions - lecture 3

Lecture 4: How is the implementation of human rights treaties monitored?

During lecture 4 we will learn how all 9 core human rights are monitored by the UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies. We look at how the members are chosen and what their roles are as members of this monitoring body. Furthermore, we will learn what their different roles entail and the 4 ways they monitor implementation and compliance with human rights treaties.

References and additional reading suggestions - lecture 4

Lecture 5: What is the Universal Periodic Review?

During this fifth lecture, we will learn about the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which, as the name states, is a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. This is an opportunity for all States to review the actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their countries.

This lecture covers what the UPR is, the different cycles of the reviewing process, the necessary documents, and the role of the troika.

References and additional reading suggestions - lecture 5

Lecture 6: What happens during the Universal Periodic Review?

In lecture 6 we will dive into what happens during the Universal Periodic Review, but we will also link this to the outcomes of the session and the implementation of recommendations.

References and additional reading suggestions - lecture 6

Lecture 7: How can civil society organisations interact with UPR?

Civil society organisations are key actors in monitoring the government’s implementation of the recommendations that came out of the UPR process. During this final lecture we will explore the 5 different stages in which civil society organisations can be involved with the Universal Periodic Review: before the review, during the review, between the review and the adoption of the report, once the report is adopted, and between two reviews.

References and additional reading suggestions - lecture 7

Launch event

The Human Rights Lecture Series were launched on December 9th with the interactive online event 'Make human rights mechanisms work for WASH'. 

You can re-watch the event or read up on the presentations that were given. 

Do you have questions about the human rights lectures or Simavi's work related to lobby and advocacy?

Lenka Kručková
Lenka Kručková
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