Summer Course International Protection of Human Rights – Protection of National Minorities

Deadline: 31 May 2012
Open to: Young activists in the field of human rights, NGO workers and volunteers, lawyers, researchers and advanced students from all over the world, with proven interest in human rights
Venue: 3rd – 12th of September 2012, Poznań, Poland


Since 1992, the Summer Course on International Protection of Human Rights has been organized by the Poznań Human Rights Centre, which was joined by the Adam Mickiewicz University in 2006. Meanwhile, it has become one of the most recognized human rights short-term courses held in Central and Eastern Europe. Till present, the Course has educated more than 400 graduates acting actively in the domain of human rights. Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have been among partners of this course.

Aim: the main purpose of the Course is to educate young people in human rights at the academic level and help them to develop skills to act in the human rights field. Since 2007, the Course has undergone a process of specialization. It is now combining two substantive streams:

1)      General Course on Human Rights – students have the opportunity to acquire profound and systematic knowledge of various aspects of the United Nations and European systems of the human rights protection;

2)      Minority Protection Course – the curriculum embraces lectures on the United Nations and European legal instruments, mechanisms and procedures serving the protection of national and ethnic minorities.  In the framework of this specialization, the organizers intend to select best students from the courses who in the intervals of three years will form a group to be invited to specialized high-level training in conflict resolution/mediation.

Target group: The Course is particularly dedicated to participants from the countries being in democratic transition (Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as well as the Balkans region). The Course aims to educate them as important actors of the civil society, engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights in their countries (via education, NGO activity, legal actions, etc.), as well as to give the participants an opportunity to exchange views and ideas with peers from their own and other regions.

The combination of different cultural, legal and socio-political traditions represented by the participants enhances interactions between them and thus, multiplies the educational effect of the Course. The organizers attach particular importance to facilitating dialogue and mutual understanding among students which was positively commented in their evaluations of the Courses.


the Course is dedicated to young activists in the field of human rights, NGO workers and volunteers, lawyers, researchers and advanced students from all over the world. A law degree is not required, however all candidates must prove deep interest in human rights issues. Among all applications the group of 25-30 participants is selected.

The registration fee is 250€. Organizers provide participants with accommodation in double rooms in a student hostel, meals (breakfast and lunch) and teaching materials. Upon specific requests the registration fee may be reduced. A limited number of grants is available to applicants in principle from the target group, subject to the availability of resources.


The Course will be held between 3rd – 12th of September 2012 in Poznań, Poland and consists of approx. 60 hours of lectures and case-studies lead in English. It has an academic profile but also aims to develop some practical skills. The curriculum focuses on systems of human rights protection (UN, Council of Europe, EU, OSCE) and selected challenges to human rights, such as protection of refugees. Special importance is attached to the protection of minorities, a problem of growing importance in both Europe and worldwide. Participants will inter alia examine cases of conflict resolution concerning national minorities and gain practical skills in this field.

Poland, as a country which itself received international support to her democratization efforts seems to be one of the places particularly destined to host such a Course. References to local experiences, discussions with Polish students, human rights defenders and teachers are seen by participants as helpful to better understand the nature of problems and pitfalls on the road to human rights based democracy and the rule of law, and to more profoundly assess possible methods of addressing these challenges. Thus, the Course means for participants not only a meeting with knowledge and expertise but also a framework for getting acquainted with practical experience.


In order to apply please send following documents by post or e-mail:

  • Application form;
  • Letter of recommendation;
  • CV.

Deadline: 31th of May 2012.

The applicants will be informed whether they have been admitted to the Course before 30 June 2012. For any further information please contact PhD Witold Sobczak, (only by e-mail: Director of the Course.

Poznań Human Rights Centre
Ul. Mielżyńskiego 27/29
61-725 Poznań
Fax: (+48) 061 8520 260

 The Official Website

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