Talking about human rights and training techniques in Erbil

August 18, 2014

Hivos and Al-Amal are conducting training-the-trainer workshops on human rights and training skills in Erbil this week. The 22 trainees have braved all odds to attend.

Erbil is in the news these days because of the dramatic military and humanitarian situation unfolding in Iraqi Kurdistan, but there is also something very positive happening. This week, Hivos and its key partner Al-Amal are conducting a train-the-trainer workshop for human rights defenders in Erbil.

The one-week workshop started on August 17. Twenty-two participants from all over Iraq – men and women between 24 and 45 years old – are being trained in human rights, as well training skills and teaching techniques. The trainees, who will become the future trainers and coaches of Hivos’ CSO Capacity Development Programme in Iraq, were selected from more than 250 applicants. In addition to selection criteria such as knowledge and experience, a balanced group was formed in terms of gender, age and geographical base.

This is the first ‘TOT’ (Training of Trainers) within the framework of the joint Hivos / Al Amal Civil Society Organisations Capacity Development Programme that focuses on capacity building of human rights and women’s rights defenders throughout Iraq. The programme is carried out in cooperation with Kufa University and with financial support from the European Union. Al-Namaa Centre for Human Rights was established for this purpose. The website of Al-Namaa Centre for Human Rights ( offers the space for dissemination of knowledge and resources, as well as for exchange of experiences.

The TOT covers topics such as human rights standards and mechanisms, rights of vulnerable groups and communities, rights of minorities, women’s rights and gender concepts, and transitional justice, reconciliation and accountability. In addition, the TOT also imparts the principles of effective adult learning, training goals and methodologies, different forms of communication, and how to deal with different types of participants.

A second TOT will follow in October 2014. After that, the programme will reach out to some 550 human rights and women’s rights defenders in all provinces of Iraq.