A successful year for the Protective Fellowship Scheme

News | Posted on Tuesday 5 July 2022

CAHR hosted three human right defenders (HRDs) on its Protective Fellowship Scheme for HRDs at Risk in 2021/22.

CAHR hosted three human rights defenders (HRDs) on its Protective Fellowship Scheme for HRDs at Risk in 2021/22. We had hoped to host another defender on the Protective Writing Fellowship scheme but due to family circumstances this defender was in the end unable to take up the fellowship. The HRDs spent three or six months in York, from September until the end of June, participating in human rights skills training and conducting research relevant to their work in their home countries and communities.

Despite the smaller than usual number of defenders, it is widely agreed that this year’s fellowship programmes have been extremely successful. Both the staff group and the Friends network have commented on the highly engaging talks given by the Fellows, the high quality of their research projects and their enthusiasm to learn as much as they can from the classes and training sessions. They were encouraged to dedicate some time to rest and wellbeing, to enjoy days away from their studies and discover the local area, culture and nightlife.

The HRDs were accompanied on a networking and advocacy visit to London, to meet with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group and Rachael Maskell MP in Parliament. They also visited a number of international civil society organisations and funders, building networks that will hopefully support them upon their return home both in terms of greater protection in situations of risk and in accessing funding for their human rights work. We feel very privileged to have hosted such an amazing HRD cohort and look forward to welcoming some new defenders in September.