Announcement: UN Training Seminar for Uyghur Youth to be Held in Geneva, Switzerland

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Press Release – For immediate release
14 October 2014
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or contact@uyghurcongress.org

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) in association with Geneva for Human Rights has organized a two-day intensive workshop in Geneva, Switzerland (November 24-25) for members of the Uyghur diaspora to strengthen understanding of the UN system and to build the capacity of Uyghur youth leaders to educate local stakeholders on issues relating to human rights and democracy promotion.

The course (United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms: Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities for Uyghur People) will look to provide a comprehensive overview of the UN human rights system and its specific mechanisms while ensuring that the participants are equipped with the skills necessary to work as human rights defenders in the field. More specifically, the training will look to enhance the participants’ understanding of the Human Rights Council generally, along with other mechanisms such as UN Special Procedures, treaty bodies, minority and indigenous peoples’ rights, the Minority Forum as well as strategy on making effective use of UN mechanisms. Such theoretical knowledge of the UN system is invaluable, however, practical experience will also be gained through the opportunity to attend the UN Forum on Minority Issues on November 26.

Training programs like these are a crucial aspect of the promotion of human rights as well as cooperation and understanding between the Uyghur community and other significant global institutions. By also focusing on training Uyghur youth, we are ensuring that there will be a solid and broad base of support for the promotion of human rights and democracy in the future. The grassroots organizers must be the first to take initiative before any real progress can be made in this respect. If we are then able to build capacity for those on the ground to locally organize and rally support for particular issues, we can move to take the issues beyond the community to international organizations like the UN to gather further representation and support.

This will mark the ninth training seminar organized by the WUC to engage Uyghur youth and other members of the community in positive actions to promote human rights in East Turkestan. Past training programs have focused on providing the Uyghur community with the knowledge and capacity necessary to raise awareness of the Uyghur cause outside of East Turkestan. Since 2007, with the generous help of the National Endowment for Democracy, the WUC has been able to successfully organize training seminars for Uyghur participants in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Japan and the United States to date.

The WUC hopes that the upcoming seminar will be as successful as those in the past and that it will serve to enhance understanding and dialogue concerning the Uyghur people at the UN and other international institutions.