GHR – The organization

GHR IS A TRAINING ORGANISATION
Members of the Executive Council. from L to R:  Eric, Jean-Pierre, Suhas, Adrien-Claude, Bertand, Penny, Alain
TIME FOR IMPLEMENTATION

Executive Council

In-between the Assembly meetings, the Executive Council monitors the implementation of GHR Action Plan and decides on the main activities of the Organisation.

In 2017, it was composed of the following members:

• Suhas Chakma (India)

• Alain Dick (France, member Bureau)

• Jean-Pierre Huber (Switzerland, Treasurer)

• Guillermo Kerber Mas (Uruguay)

• Ms. Penny Parker (United States of America)

• Prof. Bertrand Ramcharan (Guyana)

• Eric Revillet (Switzerland, member Bureau)

• Adrien-Claude Zoller (Switzerland, President).

 

Bureau of the Executive Council

The Bureau of the Executive Council is composed of the following four members:  Alain Dick, Eric Revillet, Jean-Pierre Huber and Adrien-Claude Zoller. It deals with all the administrative and financial matters. Its working language is French. In 2016, the Bureau met regularly to monitor the evolution of the administration after the moving of GHR Secretariat in December 2015 to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

 

Constituted as International Association under Swiss law, GHR obtained tax exemption status from the State of Geneva and Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

1.         WHAT WE ACHIEVED SO FAR

GHR Courses and Seminars in Geneva

In Geneva, GHR conducted many Courses and Seminars for defenders from the regions:

  • thirty-eight (2-4 weeks) Geneva Courses during UN main human rights sessions (Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission, ECOSOC, the 2009 Review Conference on Racism, and all the ordinary sessions of the HR-Council;
  • twenty-one Experts Seminars on Caste Discrimination; the HR-Council; International Humanitarian Law (2); Transitional Justice; Minorities (2); Enforced Disappearances (3); Religious Freedom (3); Business and Human Rights (4); the World Conference on Human Rights; Indigenous Peoples (2); International Criminal Law; and Death Penalty.
  • seventeen Seminars and briefings during the sessions of the UPR Working group;
  • several specific ‘On-Demand’ Courses:
  • several Courses for NGOs coalitions from the regions:
  • from Kazakhstan (at the request of Soros),
  • Dalits coalitions (request of CCFD and Cordaid),
  • from Mozambique (request of UNDP and the Swiss SDC),
  • for Uyghurs Representatives,
  • for Burmese lawyers (request of the International Bar Association).
  • nine Courses for diplomats (with the Graduate Institute and the GCSP Geneva);
  • nine Courses for humanitarian actors (eight for the ICRC);
  • GHR also lectured for partner organizations, including OHCHR, the World Council of Churches, UNITAR, the Universities in Galway, Maynooth, Lyon, Paris-2, Lund, Nijmegen and Padova, the German NGO Forum and the F. Ebert Foundation (Berlin), Forum Asia (Bangkok), the German Network on Papua, the JPIC Commissions of the Spiritans, the Dominican Order, the International Bar Association, Cordaid (The Hague), and Progressio (London).

GHR Courses and Seminars in the field

In the regions, GHR already conducted:

  • ten On-Demand Regional Courses in Africa, Latin America and Asia;
  • fifty-two In-Country Courses and Seminars in Latin America (15), in Africa (4), in the Russian Federation (7), and in Asia (26);
  • and, at the request of the Swiss and Mexican Governments, from 2004 to 2008, a comprehensive training and mediation program in Mexico to support the process of the national implementation Programme; a similar project was launched in Botswana.

2.         GHR GENERAL ASSEMBLY

On 31 December 2016, the Association was composed of 45 individual members and 4 observers [1]. Twenty-one are trainers or teachers. Many participate pro bono in GHR training activities.

GHR General Assembly holds its ordinary session once a year. The most recent Assemblies took place on 12 January 2006, 29 March 2007, 13 March 2008, 6 March 2009, 19 March 2010, 19 September 2010, 10 March 2011, 8 March 2012, 7 March 2013. 6 March 2014, 5 March 2015, 15 March 2016.

Prof. Bertrand Ramcharan chaired GHR 15th General Assembly of 15 March 2016. The Assembly examined and approved GHR Narrative Report 2015, the Action Plan for 2016, the Financial Report 2015 audited by the auditing firm Comtesas + Gerficom, and the budget for 2016 and 2017. The Assembly also discussed and approved a new study project on the contribution of UN institutions, mechanisms and procedures to the strengthening of the domestic human rights protection mechanisms (implementation project). The mandate of the Executive Council members was extended.

3.         GHR EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Executive Council

The Executive Council monitors the implementation of GHR Action Plan and decides on the main activities of the Organisation. In 2016, it was composed of the following members:

  • Suhas Chakma (India)
  • Alain Dick (France, member Bureau)
  • Jean-Pierre Huber (Switzerland, Treasurer)
  • Guillermo Kerber Mas (Uruguay)
  • Ms. Penny Parker (United States of America)
  • Prof. Bertrand Ramcharan (Guyana)
  • Eric Revillet (Switzerland, member Bureau)
  • Adrien-Claude Zoller (Switzerland, President).

The Council also held a retreat in the house of Alain Dick (Divonne-les-Bains) on 29 and 30 May 2015 to review GHR training programmes. As a main trainer of GHR, Edward Flynn was invited to this meeting, as well as the staff members and Guillermo Kerber, who was co-opted in the Executive Council.

The Council insisted on strengthening the institutional identity of GHR, which is linked to training. The talks highlighted that:

  • GHR cannot be separated from its training programmes;
  • GHR is a bank of knowledge, a knowledge-based organisation;
  • GHR is a school for human rights training;
  • the perspectives of the victims is key (their needs and priorities; and teaching together with listening to them);
  • The Geneva Courses remain GHR core activity;
  • The follow-up activities are critical, and GHR is better in implementation;
  • GHR should make a better use of modern technologies.

The Council decided that, as from 2016 the implementation programme (INP) and In-Country Courses will be merged; the new programme will be based upon the need for implementation of all the UN, international and regional recommendations (Special procedures, treaty bodies, UPR, UN programmes); models will be elaborated for public policies and national plans of action.

 

Bureau of the Executive Council

The Bureau of the Executive Council is composed of the following four members: Alain Dick, Eric Revillet, Jean-Pierre Huber and Adrien-Claude Zoller. It deals with all the administrative and financial matters. Its working language is French. In 2016, the Bureau met regularly to monitor the evolution of the administration after the moving of GHR Secretariat in December 2015 to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

4.         GHR SECRETARIAT

GHR Secretariat has two Departments: the Global Training Department (GTP), and the Department of Human Rights Policy Studies (HPS). Since 2010, the bookkeeping is entrusted to an external accountant, Mr. Cesar Mercado.

The employment of paid employees came to an end in June 2015. Since then, GHR Secretariat continued to work with volunteers only. Nicolas Zoller announced his decision to continue working ‘pro bono’ for GHR Secretariat (planning, organization, informatics). To further reduce the expenses of the administration, on 17 December 2015, GHR Secretariat moved to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

Senior Management Team

Since 2008, GHR Secretariat is directed under the authority of the Bureau by the Senior Management Team (SMT), which meets once a week. The SMT is composed of the Head of the Departments and a few long-term interns. During the first Semester 2016, Isabelle Gallino, Thomas Harris and Federica Parisoli joined Adrien-Claude Zoller and Nicolas Zoller. From September to December, Giulia Squadrin coordinated the interns.