Beirut - While young people have the potential to play a significant role in supporting societies and finding solutions to humanitarian crises, youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region face enormous political, social, and economic challenges. In addition, the support provided to them is typically temporary and tied to projects that are not sustainable.

Therefore, the key strategy and philosophy of Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor is to enable victims to empower themselves and their communities, as well as transform these victims from passive recipients of support into active human rights defenders. Based on this principle, Euro-Med Monitor is launching the second year of its Youth for Rights Fellowship, a new programme with a specific focus on youth in the MENA region.

The programme aims to strengthen the ability of these young people to defend human rights within their communities by allowing them to be active participants in human rights work, and providing them with potential job opportunities through an extensive network of international, regional, and local human rights organisations.

The fellowship is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and will last four months, beginning this February and ending in May of 2024. The programme offers intensive trainings in international law, particularly international humanitarian law, human rights advocacy mechanisms, and the most crucial skills 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 put their newly acquired skills into practice while being supervised by specialised trainers and legal experts.

The four-month fellowship is divided into two phases, as outlined below.

Phase One:

Eight weeks long, the first phase consists of theoretical learning and in-depth lectures on a variety of topics related to international law, especially international humanitarian law and the international human rights mechanisms, as well as the practical steps needed to defend human rights.

Phase Two:

The second phase is also eight weeks long, and involves enrolling participants in human rights work by providing them with practical training at one of Euro-Med Monitor’s partner organisations. Assigned mentors will provide trainees with personalised support, offering one-on-one guidance throughout the training period.

At the end of this phase, each trainee will write a case report about a human rights issue, citing specific violations in the MENA region.

By the end of the programme, participants will have:

  • Acquired skills that are required to promote and defend human rights in their communities.
  • Acquired knowledge and skills needed to work in the human rights field, including that related to research, documentation, lobbying, and advocacy, as well as improved their chances of obtaining jobs at international, regional, and local human rights organisations.
  • Drafted a report on an individual case, or on multiple human rights violations, for publication on the websites of Euro-Med Monitor and the assigned partner organisation.
  • The option to join Euro-Med Monitor’s vibrant community of over 1,000 members across the world.

Joining the programme

The programme will accept 20 fellows from the MENA region into its first cohort. Fellowship applicants must:

  1. Be between 21–29 years of age.
  2. Hold a bachelor’s degree in law, English language, media, public relations, or any other relevant field, or a master’s degree in human rights, international law, or international relations.
  3. Be currently unemployed.
  4. Be a citizen of a fellowship-eligible country or territory in the MENA region.
  5. Have an excellent command of both Arabic and English (spoken and written).
  6. Have good computing skills.
  7. Have a solid background in human rights and international law.
  8. Commit to attending all training sessions, meetings, and lectures (in person for members in Lebanon, and online for those abroad).
  9. Commit to completing a two-month internship at a partner organisation, and performing all tasks and activities related to the fellowship.

Application process

Applicants for the 2024 Youth for Rights Fellowship must submit:

  • A resume and cover letter that includes background information on the applicant’s studies, experiences, and interest in joining the programme and confirmation of their ability to commit to its full duration, plus an explanation of how they plan to put their fellowship experience to use in the future.
  • Sample of published writing.

Kindly submit your application to [email protected] by no later than 15 March 2024, with ‘Youth for Rights Fellowship’ as the subject of the email.

We look forward to reviewing your applications!