Dr Amna Nazir provided her consultancy services to the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights to deliver a bespoke human rights training programme to the Board of Trustees of the UAE’s National Human Rights Institution.
Dr Amna Nazir, Reader in International Human Rights, designed and delivered an intensive training program on freedom of expression and religion in June 2022, to the Board of UAE’s newly established National Human Rights Institution. Members comprised of varying backgrounds including, but not limited to, lawyers, journalists, academics and those with technical and professional expertise in human rights.
In recognition of her leading expertise in human rights law, Dr Nazir was invited by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights to create the specialised training course.
The UAE has participated in the Universal Periodic Review for three cycles and during its previous cycle, accepted the recommendation to establish an Independent National Human Rights Institution. The recently-elected members travelled to Geneva in June to participate in the activities of the United Nations Human Rights Council and complete the interactive training course delivered by Dr Nazir.
Dr Nazir discussed the legal principles of freedom of expression and religion, the importance of enabling a safe environment and having a clear understanding on the limits of these rights. Dr Nazir also arranged for sessions with key experts including the UN Special Rapporteur on Counterterrorism Professor Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin, the Chief of Branch at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Dr Ibrahim Salama and the key architect of the UN #faith4rights toolkit Dr Michael Weiner.
Dr Nazir said: "It was a privilege to be invited to deliver a bespoke human rights training programme at Geneva Academy and to hear from various experts in the field. We received excellent feedback from the participants and the ultimate goal is for the UAE NHRI to implement what they have learnt in this training to help safeguard freedom of expression and freedom of religion for all citizens of the country."
At BCU, Dr Nazir is Associate Director of the Centre for Human Rights, which regularly engages with the work of the United Nations, among other international bodies, and her work has frequently been cited by the United Nations Human Rights Council. She has also served as Course Director of the LLM International Human Rights Law programme.
Following the successful training, Dr Nazir was also invited by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, between 5-6 July 2022, in London. The conference brought together government, civil society, faith and belief groups to agree action to prevent Freedom of Religion or Belief violations and abuses and protect this right internationally.
Pictured (left to right): OHCHR Staff and architect of Faith4Rights toolkit Dr Michael Weiner, Dr Amna Nazir, UN Special Rapporteur on Counterterrorism Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Executive Director, Geneva Human Rights Platform Felix Kirchmeier.