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Minority Rights and Advocacy Toolkit Online Course

Challenges to freedom of religion and belief and abuses to the human rights of religious minorities are on the rise across the world, with increased violence, harassment, and threats often met with a lack of accountability. They occur against a backdrop of long-standing social, political, economic, and cultural marginalization and exclusion, particularly for those who face intersectional discrimination, such as religious minority women or persons with disabilities.

It is, therefore, vital to support organizations and activists representing these communities who work towards strengthening the rights of minorities of faith and belief and combatting the discrimination, prejudices and persecution these communities experience daily.

‘This is a ‘MUST DO!’ course for every person on this planet.’

A male participant from India

What is the course about?

The free, 7-week online course aims to build an understanding of regional and international minority rights mechanisms and ways to implement these rights frameworks at the national and local levels and build the capacity of human rights defenders (HRDs) to advocate for the rights of minorities.

The course will offer opportunities to exchange and collaborate with other HRDs to:

  • Monitor

    Monitor and report on violations against religious minorities

  • Raise awareness

    Raise awareness amongst key stakeholders of the human rights violations, persecution and discrimination these communities face

  • Campaign

    Campaign from local to international levels to secure commitments from key stakeholders to improve the situation of religious minorities

  • Train

    Graduates will also have the opportunity to follow up with access to a Training of Trainers that will give them the opportunity to develop their skills and share the knowledge they learned

Who can apply for this course?

Civil society organizations and activists representing religious minority and indigenous communities from two regions of the world where religious minorities are suffering from serious human rights violations, widespread discrimination and marginalization are welcome to apply.

Applicants from and/or based in the following countries will be prioritized: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia.

  • Basic Concepts in Human Rights and Minority Rights
  • UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities
  • UN Treaties and Human Rights Mechanisms
  • Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB)
  • UN Mechanisms to Protect Minorities
  • Regional Human Rights Systems and Mechanisms
  • Advocacy Campaigns

To complete the course, participants must submit three written assignments: a briefer, an outline of a shadow report and an advocacy plan.

How many hours a week is the course?

The course will require approximately 3 hours per week for the duration of the course. Your participation will be facilitated by a tutor who will offer mentoring on a one-on-one basis as required. Our tutor is an expert in minority rights and community networking.

During the course we also organize a webinar, which offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteurs and engage in a Q&A session with them.

Watch some excerpts

Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues
Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

They said…

‘I loved the webinar! It was a treat to meet so many human rights defenders from all corners of the globe.’

A female participant based in the US

‘Excellent course! I loved that it was so interactive with short sentences, videos, and quizzes. It was not tiring at all but at the same time very informative.’

A female participant based in Greece

‘The webinar was very, very helpful. It gave context and helped me see what we are learning about actually looks like in a practical sense.’

A female participant from Syria

‘I really appreciate my tutor for being available whenever I required help and guidelines.’

A female participant from Pakistan

More information about the course

The course will run between 13 March and 30 April 2023. This is the last edition of the course.

To get more details, contact us.

Minority Rights Group (MRG) is an international non-governmental organization working to secure rights for ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities worldwide and to promote co-operation between communities. The online course is part of a wider programme, ‘Protecting the Rights of Religious Minorities‘, a four-year initiative funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).