The excursion to Geneva mainly serves as a chance to experience human rights protection by the United Nations first hand, and to meet with executives within the UN system and members of NGOs working with them. We for example organise visits with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and a session of a human rights body, as well as the International Organization for Migration or the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Students said about our visits Geneva:
“(…) I thought it was very interesting to attend the session of the CRPD Committee, together with the possibility of dialoguing with its President.”
“The visit to the OHCHR was great – I thought that the woman who presented was knowledgeable and kind, and it was great to get a peek into the offices.”
“It was very interesting to see the many faces human rights organizations have, from activism to very diplomatic scenarios.”
On the excursion to Straßbourg, our students visit a hearing of the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe as well as NGOs working within the EU system like ACCESS.
The Berlin excursion gives the students a glimpse of the German human rights system. To achieve that we meet for example with members of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid in Parliament, the Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, the German Institute for Human Rights and NGOs like Human Rights Watch.
Students had to say about the Berlin excursion:
“The government agencies gave a refreshing sense of how slow and how political social change really is. It was good to have some higher-ranking persons speak to us. It was candid and open.”
“The most useful for me was visiting the German Institute for Human Rights, the speaker we met with shared his experience and was quite critical about important issues in terms of German Human Rights policies. I would say that was helpful to realise all the perks and pitfalls of working in the field of human rights.”
“The meeting with Mr Heinz at the German Human Rights Center was excellent (albeit very warm), as was the meeting with Commissioner Kofler. Frankly, all of the meetings were interesting.”