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The International Observatory of Human Rights initiates “IOHR Ambassadors” to develop skills of human rights defenders

30 November 2018

The International Observatory of Human Rights launched IOHR Ambassadors, a programme dedicated to developing the skills of young people who have a passion for human rights.

“IOHR Ambassadors” gives young people the opportunity to make a difference by shaping the human rights narrative with their own voices.

Participants will be trained and supervised by IOHR staff to organize and lead fun events, creative campaigns, assemblies, learn to use digital media for advocacy, organize vigils and rallies and conduct surveys on various issues related to human rights.

Mrs. Usha Sood an award winning human rights lawyer and a Barrister at Trent Chambers address a room filled with university students aspiring to get involved in IOHR’s human rights campaigns.

Sood spoke about about pivotal cases in her career including work on child abduction cases, dowry recovery, human rights, child and human trafficking, public law cases, and international family and civil law litigation.

“I’m often asked: What does a human rights barrister do?” It ranges from rescue missions of forced marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking. But I don’t think there is any aspect of human rights law that doesn’t need the cooperation and the support of all human beings,” Sood told a room filled with IOHR Ambassadors.

The presentations were followed by a workshop debate defining what human rights really means to student. The young ambassadors defined human rights using three key words:

‘freedom’ ‘equality’ and ‘un-retractable’

Mrs. Usha Sood, joined Valerie Peay the director of IOHR and the newly initiated IOHR Ambassadors in a stand of solidarity with the Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, detained in Myanmar since Dec. 12, 2017.and recently sentenced to seven years on baseless charges.  

The student then discussed the issues they believe should be tackled into the national and global human rights debate.

Louise Pyne-Jones the head of research at IOHR explained to the students their first humanitarian mission which will revolve around conducting a street survey on human rights after Brexit.

Groups of IOHR Ambassadors and staff will take to the street to conduct a public opinion poll to gauge the vibe on the street regarding the UK’s controversial exit from the European Union slated for March 2019.

Valerie Peay, Director of IOHR welcomed the future Ambassadors on board and said,

“IOHR can give the opportunity to young people to work on every aspect of human rights from researching an issue or developing a campaign, rolling it out either on the street or on social media through to creating an event or a web TV programme. We want to build human rights into everyone’s social DNA and the IOHR Ambassadors will get the experience they can utilize in their careers.”

This is just the first opportunity of many that the IOHR Ambassadors will receive along their journey to better understand issues that threaten their rights.

They Ambassadors will also participate in workshops conducted by IOHR’s team of award-winning journalists, receive internships and develop a variety of skills useful to their studies and careers.

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