Minority Rights Group International (MRG) Deputy Director, Claire Thomas, writes this opinion piece for the Thomson Reuters News Foundation.+ LEARN MORE
We believe that the best advocates for minority rights are members of minority and indigenous communities themselves. This is why we train minority and indigenous activists in how to peacefully advocate for their rights, and support their organisations to become more effective and more accountable.
We have provided intensive training programmes on advocacy and human rights for thousands of minority and indigenous leaders worldwide, starting a sustainable movement for change.
As well as face-to-face training, we have now established an online training course in advocacy skills (available in French, Russian, Spanish and Arabic), which hundreds of activists have completed.
This has enabled even minority and indigenous representatives based in very remote or insecure locations to understand their rights and develop advocacy skills.
Other training programmes have included:
- Training minority rights activists in Asia, Africa and Latin America in communications and campaigning skills;
- Training journalists in Europe on reporting the realities of discrimination faced by minority and indigenous communities;
- Training for Roma mediators and CSOs on anti-discrimination law and related advocacy;
- Online training course for religious minority rights activists in the Middle East and North Africa region, covering minority rights, UN systems and regional structures;
- Training journalists from Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland on effective reporting on migration; and
- Training for hundreds of paralegals in East and Central Africa who are thus readied to intervene when they see discrimination taking place and make sure that those affected can get access to justice.
‘When I did your training in minority rights, I did it only to be more empowered as an activist. Little did I dream that this training certificate would catch the attention of the federal government so as to nominate me to the State Minority Commission’