Online Human Rights Courses for PTP group

The Centre for Applied Legal Research (CALR) has embraced various internet-based tools to facilitate the continuation of its work.

The tools include the use of video conferencing platforms such as Zoom; messaging applications such as WhatsApp; Twitter and Facebook to share CALR’s outputs.

CALR working with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights (RWI) has held the Professional Training Programme (PTP) in Human Rights since 2016. The training programmes are tailor-made to accommodate instruction in several thematic areas which include women’s human rights; local governance and its nexus to human rights; disability and human rights; as well as the youth and human rights.

These PTPs are designed to increase participants’ knowledge and skills in key human rights issues. It is expected that participants will gain knowledge which can be incorporated and applied in their different areas of influence, including, but not limited to, their respective professions and daily lives.

Each training group goes through a four-phased training schedule, of which the initial phase is held in Harare. This sets the foundation of the training programme and involves theoretical lecturers on relevant international, regional and national human rights standards and implementation mechanisms. The second stage is a study tour to the Kingdom of Sweden, where participants have the opportunity to learn and appreciate the Swedish systems and set-up, expressly how Sweden’s arms of government, local bodies and civil society incorporate human rights in their day-to-day activities.

The third phase is held in Zimbabwe, and participants are tasked with presenting their proposed action plans, after which feedback from facilitators and peers is provided. The final phase of the training programme comprises of presentation of findings by the participants. They provide reports on the outcomes from their implemented action plans.

CALR, working in collaboration with the RWI, is embracing digital-based tools to carry on with these human rights professional training programmes. The new approach will include short video presentations; the sharing of materials via digital mediums (audio/texts) and short assignments. PTP participants will be key in using all these tools as their participation and feedback will be foundational in enhancing and refining the training programme. Furthermore, as well as enabling human rights knowledge to be continuously learned and shared across physical barriers, the internet will be useful in providing virtual classes and solidifying PTP’s online communities.

Since the inception of the PTPs, participants have been drawn from various sectors and spheres which include academia, government ministries and departments, the media, youth organisations, women’s organizations, independent commissions, traditional leaders, legislators, civil society organizations and members of the uniformed forces of Zimbabwe. This cross-cutting approach enables the training group to draw vast knowledge in human rights from different groups, ensuring the sharing of vital information and future cross-sectoral collaborations in enhancing the human rights discourse in Zimbabwe.