Record Number of Participants Take Impact Litigation Project Annual Training Course on Human Rights Systems


WASHINGTON, DC, October 21, 2010 –American University Washington College of Law’s Impact Litigation Project, in collaboration with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice of the University of Texas at Austin, organized the 5th Annual Training Course on Inter-American and Universal Human Rights Systems, Oct. 18-29, 2010. This year’s course features a record 29 participants from 15 countries -- Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, United States, and Venezuela.

“We are proud to have such an influential and representative group participate in our 5th Annual Training,” said Dean Claudio Grossman, who is teaching a portion of the course on key aspects of the United Nations Committee against Torture.

The annual course is tailored to members of non-governmental organizations in the Americas who have an interest and ability to work with regional and universal human rights supervisory bodies. During the two week intensive program, participants will learn about the Inter-American Commission’s processes, meet with Commissioners and staff attorneys within the Secretariat, experts at the United Nations, Rapporteurs and Committee members, and share best practices in working with the regional and universal systems. In addition to Grossman’s course on UN CAT, American University Washington College of Law Visiting Professor Juan Méndez will lead a session on specialrapporteurs and special procedures of the United Nations.

This year, the course received a record 140 applications from highly qualified individuals. The Open Society Institute contributed a $35,000 grant for the training that helped secure regional representation and partially fund the expenses of more than 20 of the participants. The course has in the past contributed to build and strengthen NGO networks in Latin America, facilitated their access to regional and international monitoring bodies, and empowered new actors to approach the international arena and use the tools available to them domestically and internationally.

Sessions are being held at AUWCL Oct. 18-20, with the remaining sessions taking place at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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