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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - GENEVA: Staff from the Saudi Human Rights Commission have been taking part in an awareness training program in Switzerland.
A number of employees visited the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in Geneva, to participate in field activities including lectures and training sessions.
The trip was part of a program of initiatives, designed by the commission’s training and development department, to introduce its workers to the international human rights system of operation.
The Saudi delegation was headed by the supervisor of the commission’s international resources agency, Waleed Al-Yahya, and its director general for human resources, Sameer Batiyah.
Day one saw the party join training sessions on the function of treaty bodies, universal periodic reviewing, the role of civil society organizations in interacting with the international human rights system, and national action planning.
On the second day, delegates attended presentations run by the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights titled, “Bridging the governance gap: Lessons learned” and “National human rights institutions and access to remedies.”
The function of the UN Human Rights Council and the role of related national institutions in protecting human rights, formed the basis of awareness training on day three, with the fourth day covering treaty bodies, including the work of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and its Committee Against Torture (CAT).
A course on national reporting mechanisms and follow-ups on reports was on the program agenda for the fifth and final day when the Saudi group also attended sessions at the UN Forum on minority issues during which education, language and the human rights of minorities were discussed.
On completion of the training the delegation was taken on a tour of the OHCHR’s historic Palais Wilson headquarters and nearby Motta building.
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