The 2020 HELP Annual Network Conference (Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals) is today discussing the challenges in modern professional training, new opportunities and courses to be developed by the HELP Programme, and a timely initiative for mainstreaming Council of Europe conventions into university education and research.
In her opening speech, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić noted that the programme trains human rights experts who then apply the Council of Europe’s conventions on the ground at national level. “If we want to bring the Convention home, we need effective tools like HELP”, she said.
Over the past months, the HELP online training platform saw a 40% growth in number of users, from 46,000 in March to 64,000 in June. The demand has been significantly boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people’s lives.
“It is no coincidence that the most in-demand courses in recent times include those on data protection, violence against women, human trafficking, children’s rights, bioethics and Medicrime. The challenges in these areas have evolved, and sometimes grown, in light of the coronavirus,” Secretary General noted, stressing the role of HELP courses in tackling these problems.
The Conference addresses the current and future training activities in such areas as execution of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments, the MEDICRIME Convention (fighting counterfeit medicine), bioethics, freedom of expression and safety of journalists, human rights in sport, environment, and alternatives to immigration detention. It will also discuss a new initiative of the Open Council of Europe Academic Networks (OCEAN) which is intended to strengthen the interaction between Council of Europe and university education and research.
The event is organised under the auspices of the Greek Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. Initially aimed at Judiciary Schools and Bar Associations, this year the conference is held in a fully online format and broadcast for the general public in English, French and Russian.