Beirut - Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has launched the second cohort of the Youth for Rights Fellowship programme in the regional office in Beirut, Lebanon.

The fellowship programme unites 20 young people between the ages of 21 and 29 from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Through the programme, Euro-Med Monitor aims to turn the participants from victims of human rights violations into the next generation of human rights defenders. May of this year saw the first group of 20 young people from various countries graduating from the Youth for Rights Fellowship.

The programme aims to strengthen young people’s capacities in engaging directly in human rights work, defending human rights in their own societies, and creating job opportunities for themselves. These aims are accomplished by connecting the group with other international, regional, and local human rights organisations.

   The programme aims to turn the participants from victims of human rights violations into the next generation of human rights defenders   

Over the course of four months, the programme will offer intensive training in international law, international humanitarian law, human rights advocacy mechanisms, and the vital skills which are required to work in human rights organisations, such as research, documentation, lobbying, and advocacy. Also included is a practical training period, during which applicants work with partner organisations to practice their newly acquired skills while being supervised by specialised trainers and legal experts.

The first lecture, which was given by Mohammad Moghabat the regional office director of Euro-Med Monitor in Lebanon, focused on international humanitarian law, United Nations law enforcement mechanisms and the protection of human rights.

Moghabat stated that following the success of the programme's pilot cohort in the first half of 2023, Euro-Med Monitor decided to launch a second group, targeting several young people and fresh graduates from various countries in the MENA region.

The programme’s second phase begins in September, with fellows working alongside partner human rights organisations and preparing to publish their own detailed human rights reports. This will put the skills learned in lectures into practice.

At the end of the four-month training programme, fellows will have many of the requisite tools to feel secure in entering the world of human rights advocacy, where they will be able to tackle global rights issues.

This initiative is part of Euro-Med Monitor’s overall strategy to provide youth with a platform and turn victims of human rights violations across the MENA region, who are often passive recipients of outside aid, into active defenders of their own rights.