The Council of Europe/UNHCR HELP course on Asylum and Human Rights was launched in an online seminar gathering legal professionals from several EU countries (Bulgaria, France, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden). The online session was held on 26 May 2021 and was organised by the European Union and the Council of Europe funded "HELP in the EU II" project.
The participants got familiarised with the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe and its online platform that includes a catalogue of almost 40 courses on human rights.
The group was welcomed by Andreas Wissner, UNHCR Representative to the European Institutions in Strasbourg, Drahoslav Stefanek, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on Migration and Refugees, as well as by Eva Pastrana, Head of HELP Unit, Council of Europe.
The online seminar started with a presentation of Delphine Leneutre, Legal Associate at the UNHCR Representation to the European Institutions in Strasbourg, on the challenges and perspectives on asylum in Europe. Thomas Straub, senior lawyer at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, gave an overview of the key case-law of the ECtHR.
Ana-Maria Telbis, coordinator of the EU-CoE “HELP in the EU II” project, presented the HELP Programme and the EU funded project and introduced the participants to the HELP online platform.
Tamas Molnar from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights presented the work and the resources of the EU FRA related to asylum, borders and immigration.
The tutors, Danai Angeli and Noemi Alarcon, will be guiding the participants through the course in the following 7 weeks. They offered details on the implementation of the course and presented the materials prepared. The participants also had the possibility to share their expectations from the course and exchange with their colleagues.
Following the online launch event, all participants will be enrolled on the course page and will go through the online course. Those among them who successfully complete it will receive HELP certificates issued by the Council of Europe.
The HELP course “Asylum and Human Rights” covers in an interactive way the key concepts, the international and European (UN, CoE and EU) framework related to asylum and the impressive body of case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). One of the key reference materials to develop this course has been the Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration, developed jointly by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Court of Human Rights.
The course was initially developed in 2015 jointly by the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It was updated in 2021 under the EU-CoE “HELP in the EU II” project to contain the most recent developments.
The course consists of an introductory module, as well as 4 specific modules addressing the main aspects related to asylum: non-refoulement; the right to life and prohibition of ill-treatment; detention and reception; family life and effective remedies.
The HELP online course on Asylum and Human Rights is also available in a self-learning format on the HELP e-learning platform to any legal professional interested in the topic. It can be followed in English and French as well as Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Greek, Flemish, Italian, Georgian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, and Turkish. Those who complete it in self-learning mode can obtain an electronic ‘Statement of accomplishment’.