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International Advocacy Mentorship & Support 


ARROWCHOICE for Youth and SexualityRutgers

Short summary
After taking part in (some of) these capacity strengthening options, participants will have a clearer view of the United Nations (UN) processes and its human rights instruments, and how these processes can be influenced and used for national advocacy (we call this advocacy for ‘accountability’).

What capacity strengthening support can we provide on this topic?

Engaging in international forums and processes can be a useful way to advance your advocacy agenda: because several human rights mechanisms are related to international obligations meant to uphold human rights (including youth SRHR) your country is committed to. We can hold them accountable for this through shadow-reporting and follow-up! (Through UPR, TMBs and HLPF).  Your efforts in the international space can contribute to influencing international norms and standards on SRHR where we will all benefit from. Working on different levels (national/regional/international) will strengthen your network, learning and advocacy skills.

New York: 

  • Commission on the Status of Women (CSW): helps the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to monitor, review, and assess the implementation of the Beijing Programme for Action (BPfA) and formulate policy recommendations on relevant topics related to women’s rights.
  • Commission on Population and Development (CPD): helps the ECOSOC to monitor, review, and assess the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and formulate policy recommendations on relevant topics related to population and development.
  • High-Level Political Forum (HLPF): monitors and assesses the global implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Geneva: 

  • Human Rights Council (HRC): responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world, and for addressing human rights violations and creating recommendations for improvement. 
  • Universal Periodic Review (UPR): a unique process set up by the UN Human Rights Council which reviews the entire human rights record of all 193 UN Member States every four and a half years. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists!
  • Special Procedures (SPs): independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. 
  • Treaty Monitoring Bodies (TMBs): committees of independent experts that monitor implementation of the core international human rights treaties. Relevant committees are: the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). 

 
Who is up for UPR review in 2023? (Not all Treaty Body and HLPF reviews are scheduled yet).

RHRN2 countryShadow report due
Burundi1/10/2022
Bangladesh9/3/2023
EthiopiaMarch 2024

What could the CS look like?
ARROW, CHOICE and Rutgers can provide mentoring and support to (youth) advocates through online and physical sessions/pre-meetings to enable their meaningful engagement with regional (with the help of IPPFAR) and international advocacy spaces. When travel restrictions are lifted, on-the-job learning at the UN is possible too. Support includes providing capacity strengthening on UN language and training on the development of advocacy materials such as advocacy briefing papers/factsheets, policy briefs, shadow reports and other communication with UN bodies. Support happens through e-modules, webinars, and workshop-style sessions. ARROW has developed a UPR process note to guide country coalitions in the preparations for effective, informed and meaningful engagement with the UPR, and is working together with Rutgers and CHOICE on an e-module for the UPR.

We can provide capacity strengthening support to country coalitions in relation to participation and advocacy in regional mechanisms too (Asia and Africa), leading up to various convenings that are part of the international processes. In doing so, both for regional and international advocacy, we continuously make the link with the country coalition’s advocacy strategy as well as the work of the coalition at national level. Besides providing information on the processes, ARROW, CHOICE and Rutgers can also support skill building such as on stakeholder mapping and lobbying skills, shadow reporting, and how to give follow-up at national level after international/regional events where commitments are made.

Rough Timeline (to be decided on together):

  • 3-4 months / 12 months* before event: series of online meetings and calls to support creating an advocacy strategy and goals, ACAT process, or preparation for event (e.g. gathering evidence, writing position papers, alternative reports etc.), and advocacy at national level (e.g. linking with relevant ministries and other delegations, starting UN language advocacy) 
  • During the event: in-person meetings and support with a focus on learning-by-doing (e.g. doing UN language advocacy, linking with relevant civil society groups and delegations etc. 
  • After event: series of online meetings support in doing follow-up at the national level and for reporting for PMEL purposes. 

*3-4 months is recommended for meaningful engagement in the CSW, CPD, HLPF and HRC, and 12 months for the UPR and TMBs. Note that with a much shorter preparation time some of the support items offered may not be possible, this can be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Shorter timespans are possible, and encouraged if you are interested in engaging. We encourage countries up for UPR review to start working on this in 2022 (or 2023 for Ethiopia)..

What languages can this CS support be provided in?

English, and possibly French (dependent on availability French speaking staff/translators).

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