EHRAC launches webinar series

8 May 2015

On 29 April 2015, EHRAC hosted its first online specialist seminar, or ‘webinar’, on ‘Protecting Women’s Human Rights’.

The webinar screen as our participants saw it

The webinar provided an introduction to engaging with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) and the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (SRVAW). It was designed specifically for human rights lawyers with a particular interest in women’s rights and experience in taking cases before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The aim was to enable participants to learn more about additional mechanisms for protecting women’s human rights through litigation at the international level. Many of the participants have worked with EHRAC on taking cases to the ECtHR, but have less experience of the CEDAW Committee and the SRVAW. Participants attended from Democracy Today NGO and Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor (Armenia); the Georgian Young Lawyers Association; the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union; Memorial Human Rights Centre and St. Petersburg Crisis Centre for Women (Russia).

Thank you for inviting me and arranging the webinar. It was my pleasure to join you yesterday! The webinar is such a good idea, so I hope it will become EHRAC’s new tradition and a useful tool in your work.

Anahit Simonyan, Project Researcher at Democracy Today NGO, Yerevan

The first part of the webinar was led by Joanna Evans, EHRAC Senior Lawyer, and discussed how participants can use the CEDAW Committee; in particular, the individual communication mechanism. The second part of the webinar was led by Jennifer MacLeod, a barrister from Brick Court Chambers and former consultant to the SRVAW, and gave participants an overview of the mandate and the work of the current holder, Professor Rashida Manjoo. Following each of the presentations there was a question and answer session relating to the issues discussed. The final part of the webinar was an open discussion, in which participants raised questions about the practical implementation of recommendations made by the SRVAW, and instances where this has led to a change in domestic legislation.

Mentoring of our partner lawyers is at the heart of EHRAC’s work and we are delighted to be able to offer this new form of long-distance training on specialist issues.

Joanna Evans, EHRAC Senior Lawyer

EHRAC decided to host webinars in order to maximise access to our capacity building resources across our target region. We were therefore extremely pleased to welcome eighteen participants from four countries.