Institute for International
Cooperation and Development Studies

First edition of the Specialised Training for Women Human Rights Defenders

Date: 2022 October 3

Fourteen women human rights defenders from different territories and areas of demand and struggle have participated in the first edition of the Specialised Training for Women Human Rights Defenders organised by Hegoa, Institute for Development Studies and International Cooperation. The training was held from 27 June to 8 July 2022 in Bilbao, thanks to the support of the Basque Agency for Development Cooperation (AVCD, Spanish acronym), and the Human Rights, Victims and Diversity Directorate of the Basque Government.

The contents of the training focused on issues related to transitional justice and the struggle against impunity, addressing topics such as: psychosocial help for victims and human rights defenders, legal instruments for the protection of human rights in contexts of armed conflict research based on police and military archives for demanding truth and justice, human rights and transnational corporations, forensic resources for reporting, communication strategies for the defence of human rights, analysis of protection and security for human rights defenders, and so on.

The defenders took part on behalf of different organisations and territories, among others: Asociación de Familiares de Presos y Desaparecidos Saharauis (AFAPREDESA) and Instancia Saharaui Contra la Ocupación Marroquí (ISACOM), from Western Sahara; Salvadoreñxs Construyendo Memoria and Centro para la Promoción de Derechos Humanos “Madeleine Lagadec” (CPDH), from El Salvador; Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres, Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca (ACIN), Asociación Campesina de Pequeños y Medianos Productores Agrícolas de la región del río Cafre (AGROCAFRE) and women leaders from the Zenú indigenous reservations of Alto San Jorge and Puerto las Palmas, from Colombia; el Comité de Desarrollo Campesino (CODECA) and Organización Mujeres Transformando el Mundo (MTM), from Guatemala; Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH), from Honduras, and a líder of the LGBTIQ+ movement of Brasil. 

The training also included several spaces in which women human rights defenders shared their demands and experiences of struggle with Basque cooperation agents (institutions and NGO), and a meeting with other women human rights defenders based in the Basque Country that was organised in Basoa-Defendatzaileen Etxea (Artea, Biscay).

Taking into account the proposals of the WHRDs and the overall positive assessment of the training, a second edition will be held in 2024.