21 December 2016

6th The Hague Training Course December 2016

62 more skilled human rights defenders worldwide

This December, Justice and Peace Netherlands, organised the 6th edition of the ‘The Hague Training Course’ on security and advocacy. 21 human rights defenders from all around the world came to the city of peace and justice to discuss about their work, to share their experiences and strengthen their knowledge on human rights. This brings the total amount of trained human rights defenders in 2016 to 62.

The participants during the sessions

Lawyers, activists, teachers, social workers, indigenous people or priests, who struggle every day to preserve human rights, attended the THTC willing to expand their already existing knowledge and skills, in order to improve their work’s effectiveness. Ten intensive days of training on advocacy, digital and physical security, a variety of activities during the ‘The Hague Defenders Days’ and a ‘Human Rights Ball’ to celebrate human rights, featured one more THTC.  

“Discovering that you are not alone on this struggle, is releasing and definitely a motivation  to carry on this job”, participant from Pakistan.


62 human rights defenders were trained in 2016

During 2016 Justice and Peace The Netherlands organized 3 training courses on advocacy and security and succeeded to train 62 human rights defenders from 29 countries. By returning to their countries, they had the opportunity to share all the knowledge they gained with their fellows human rights defenders, by organizing their own trainings. 

One of the basic aims of the THTC is the challenge to equip all the participants with the necessary knowledge, to make sure they will  be able to implement all these new skills and to organize their own training courses on advocacy and security, as soon as they return to their countries.

“I can’t wait to go back to Kenya and organize my own training”, participant from Kenya.


The participants had the opportunity to meet and discuss with people in The Hague during the 'The Hague Defenders Days', through the photo exhibition, several debates and at the 'Human Rights Ball'.

Photographer: Daniella van Bergen


Impressions from the Training 

At the beginning of a training, the objective is to welcome the participants by providing a warm and friendly environment. For this, we decided to start with the ‘Experiential Training session’, giving them the opportunity to learn new things from their everyday experiences.

“The instruction and explanation were super practical, well organized and I loved today’s training even more than yesterday. I am fully motivated to share what I have learnt these 2 days, really.”

During the digital and physical security sessions, the participants learnt how to improve and strengthen their security, both physically and psychologically. Away from their daily life and work, these sessions encourage them to think about the threats and risks they face and also the stress that is being generated.

They had the opportunity to exchange ideas, share their experiences and identify several threats and possible security incidents in an easier way.

During the psychological - wellbeing session.

“Taking part in a training course like this one, gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons, develop my skills and get in touch with other activists and human rights defenders”, participant from Malawi.

The participants worked very hard during the sessions, paying extensive attention to the advocacy modules. Making their messages heard, they succeeded to answer many of their concerns. For example, in small groups they practiced the new methods they were taught, by discussing important issues and helping each other with suggestions.

“One very important aspect of advocacy work is to believe in change, that you can be a change.” Alexandra (Sacha) Delemenchuk, trainer on physical and psychological security.

"I will not let it go without putting  it into practice. I have already shared the knowledge with my friends the human rights defenders in their organization. It is very exciting and learning moment for them”, participant from Uganda.