Human Rights Advocates Training Program at Columbia University



The Human Rights Advocates Training Program at Columbia University is designed for experienced human rights workers, seeking to: (a) study international human rights; (b) develop their advocacy skills; (c) meet colleagues from other parts of the world; and (d) become better acquainted with international human rights organizations. The Program is designed for rights workers who cannot participate in more extended academic programs, such as a Master degree in Law or International Affairs. 14-15 Applicants are accepted to come to Columbia for the Spring Semester (January-May). Advocates will live in New York's International House and are required to follow a program that combines:

1) auditing human rights courses chosen from the Columbia Law and Human Rights & Humanitarian Affairs curricula;
2) participating in group seminars on human rights issues;
3) participating in practical skills training workshops;
4) visiting human rights institutions in New York and Washington D.C.
5) conducting independent research; and
6) working as an intern with a New York-based human rights agency (optional).

Professor Louis Henkin and Dr. J. Paul Martin and other Columbia faculty members act as academic advisors to the Advocates. All instruction will be in English.

The Program offers opportunities which can be adapted to the varied needs of professionals wishing to learn more about human rights advocacy, including the opportunity to meet some of the principal actors who work in the United States. Participants also act as teachers, sharing information on the problems in their various countries with human rights groups, students and the general public.

Selection of Participants

The Program is designed for lawyers, journalists, teachers and other human rights activists from non-industrialized countries where human rights advocacy is limited. Participants are selected on the basis of their previous work experience and future commitment to the human rights field, as well as the appropriateness of a semester-long stay at Columbia. Preference is given to candidates from countries where human rights work is most difficult, where the existing human rights network is least developed, and where human rights specialists rarely have the opportunity to study abroad. Advocates must commit a minimum of two years of field work upon completion of the Program. Fluency in English is required.


Ten fellowships are offered each year, and two positions are reserved for those able to obtain outside funding.

Deadline for program year 2000 is: September 7, 1999

Application Forms

More information and application forms are available online at:

To receive an application form by mail, contact:

Ms. Chivy W. Sok
Program Director
Human Rights Advocates Training Program
Center for the Study of Human Rights
Columbia University
420 West 118th Street
1108 International Affairs Building
New York, NY 10027
Tel: (212) 854 2479
Fax: (212) 316-4578

Last updated:    May 1999

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