Beirut – Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor launched the third cohort of the Youth for Rights Fellowship programme for the year 2024 at its regional office in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

About 20 young men and women, aged between 21 and 29, from various countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco, are participating in the programme, which aims to transform them from victims or witnesses of human rights violations into active defenders of their rights and the rights of their communities.

In the second half of 2023, Euro-Med Monitor had concluded the second cohort of the programme with 20 young men and women graduating from different countries.

The fellowship is launched twice a year, with an aim to enhance the capacities of young people in defending human rights in their communities, enabling them to engage in human rights work, and creating job opportunities for them by connecting them with international, regional, and local human rights organisations.

Over 16 weeks, the programme provides intensive training on international law, international humanitarian law, and human rights defense mechanisms, along with essential skills needed to work in human rights organisations—including research, documentation, advocacy, and lobbying.

The training includes a practical internship period during which participants engage in work with partner international, regional, and local human rights organisations, applying the skills they have acquired practically under the supervision of specialised mentors and legal experts.

The first lecture of the fellowship discussed international human rights law and related international mechanisms. It included a detailed explanation of international human rights documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in addition to other UN human rights treaties and protocols.

The lecture also covered the contractual mechanisms for human rights, such as the committees emanating from relevant human rights treaties and their working mechanisms, as well as non-contractual mechanisms, particularly those under the UN Human Rights Council, such as the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, independent investigations, complaints, and the work of special rapporteurs and their multiple mandates and working mechanisms.

The second phase of the current batch of the fellowship programme will begin next August, during which participants will apply the skills acquired in the lectures in real-world scenarios by working with partner human rights organisations and preparing and publishing their own human rights reports.

By the end of the four-month training programme, divided into theoretical and practical sections, participants will be highly qualified to engage in human rights defense efforts worldwide.

The Youth for Rights Fellowship programme is part of Euro-Med Monitor's strategy to empower young people and equip them with the ability to impact their communities.