Launch of the HELP course on asylum and human rights for a group of EU legal professionals


The Council of Europe / UNHCR HELP course on asylum and human rights was launched during an online seminar bringing together legal professionals from several EU countries (Bulgaria, France, Latvia , Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden). The online session took place on May 26, 2021 and was organized by the European Union and the “HELP in the EU II” project funded by the Council of Europe.

Participants familiarized themselves with the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Training Program for Legal Professionals (HELP) and its online platform which includes a catalog of nearly 40 human rights courses.

The group was greeted by Andreas Wissner, Representative of the UNHCR 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 pasrana, Head of the HELP Unit, Council of Europe.

The webinar began with a presentation of Delphine Leneutre, Lawyer at the UNHCR Representation to the European Institutions in Strasbourg, on the challenges and perspectives of 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 project “HELP in EU II”, presented the HELP program and the EU funded project and introduced the participants to the online HELP platform.

Tamas Molnar from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights presented the work and resources of the EU FRA in the field of asylum, borders and immigration.

Guardians, Danai Angeli and Noemi Alarcon, will guide participants through the course over the next 7 weeks. They gave details on the implementation of the course and presented the material prepared. Participants also had the opportunity to share their expectations of the course and discuss with their colleagues.

After the online launch event, all participants will be registered on the course page and take the course online. Those who successfully complete it will receive HELP certificates issued by the Council of Europe.

The HELP course “Asylum and Human Rights” interactively covers key concepts, the international and European framework (UN, CoE and EU) related to asylum and the impressive case law of the European Court of Human Rights. man (CEDH) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). One of the main reference documents to develop this course has been the Handbook on European asylum, border and immigration law, jointly developed 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 Program for Legal Professionals (HELP) of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR). It was updated in 2021 as part of the EU-CoE project “HELP in EU II” to contain the most recent developments.

The course consists of a introductory module, as good as 4 specific modules address the main aspects related to asylum: non-refoulement; the right to life and the prohibition of ill-treatment; detention and reception; family life and effective remedies.

the HELP Online course on asylum and human rights is also available as a self-study on the online learning platform HELP to any legal professional interested in the subject. It can be taken in English and French as well as in Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Greek, Flemish, Italian, Georgian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and Turkish. Those who complete it in self-study mode can obtain an electronic “certificate of achievement”.

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