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Indigenous Fellowship Programme


>>English speaking programme (sessions imparted in English):

The English speaking component of the Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP) was established in 1997.

The Fellows are based at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland. The programme is an inter-active process, which consists of briefings on several topics (OHCHR’s mandate and activities, the UN system, Human Rights instruments and mechanisms, including those more specifically dealing with indigenous issues) and individual and group assignments.

Fellows will also have the opportunity to receive training/briefing sessions with other UN and specialized agencies (ILO, WIPO, UNESCO, UNDP, UNITAR) and with other international organizations and Geneva based Human Rights NGOs.

At the end of the Programme, each Fellow will have a general knowledge on the United Nations system, international human rights instruments and mechanisms, in particular those relevant to indigenous peoples and be capable of giving training sessions within their communities/organizations on the knowledge acquired.

Fellows attending the English speaking component of the programme are entitled to the following: a return ticket (economy class) from the country of residence to Geneva; modest accommodation in Geneva for the duration of the Programme; basic health insurance for the duration of the Programme; a monthly grant to cover other living expenses in Geneva.

New: in 2014, the English linguistic component of the IFP will run from 16 June to 11 July in Geneva, Switzerland, and fellows will be able to participate in the 7th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Candidates selected to attend the 2014 English language component of the programme are:

  • Mr. Patrick Yepe Lombaia, Strickland River, Papua New Guinea
  • Mr. Leonard Govin Alaza, Kadazan, Malaysia
  • Mr. Bawi Lian Thang, Chin, Myanmar
  • Mr. Pragati Chakma, Chakma, Bangladesh
  • Ms. Avelina Tarrago, Wangkamadla, Australia
  • Ms. Martha Ntoipo, Maasai, Tanzania
  • Mr. Edward Tunyon, Maasai, Tanzania
  • Mr. Aeoub Sofian, Amazigh, Libya
  • Ms. Sreyneang Loek, Bunong, Cambodia
  • Ms. Angelia Scott, Maori, New Zealand

Please note that the deadline to receive applications for the 2015 English speaking programme is:  26 May 2014.


>>Spanish speaking programme (sessions imparted in Spanish):

The IFP initially required the candidates to have a basic understanding of English. However, it became clear that this requirement prevented many indigenous peoples around the world from participating. Therefore, in 2000, the programme developed a Spanish speaking component particularly open to candidates from Latin America. Since then, the Spanish programme has been organized in close cooperation between OHCHR and the Human Rights Institute of Deusto University in Bilbao (Spain).

The Spanish speaking programme lasts for approximately four months and is divided in two parts: a first session, which takes place in Deusto University and provides training/lectures (170 hours) on human rights, international organizations, and international mechanisms for human rights protection. During this first phase, Fellows also attend English classes (50 hours), as an introduction to the language. This session generally takes place in April, May and June. The second session of about four weeks duration is then held at OHCHR in Geneva generally during June/July. This second phase, which is more practical, gives the Fellows the possibility to participate in the work of OHCHR and to participate in the sessions of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It also enables them to have brief training sessions within other UN agencies.

New: In 2014, the Spanish speaking programme will take place from 29 April to 13 June at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain and from 16 June to 11 July at the OHCHR in Geneva, Switzerland.

The candidates selected to participate in the 2014 Spanish speaking indigenous fellowship programme are:

  • Mr. Marcelino Higueras Saavedra, Marka Tarabuco, Bolivia
  • Ms. Silvia Dali Angel Pérez, Zapoteca, Mexico
  • Mr. Miguel De Leon Ceto, Maya-Ixil, Guatemala
  • Ms. Samantha Ro’otsitsina de Carvalho Juruna, Xavante, Brazil
  • Mr. Carlos Gilberto Gualtero Ramirez, Pijao, Colombia
  • Mr. Delfin Buelva Fila, Puruhua, Ecuador
  • Ms. Ana Maria Pablo Tercero, Maya Q’anjob’ai, Guatemala
  • Ms. Kelly Jhoana Quilcué Viva, Nasa, Colombia
  • Ms. Lilia Patrico Galvan, Mixe Ayuujk, Mexico
  • Ms. Yamila Martha Gutierrez Callisaya, Aymara, Bolivia

Please note that the deadline to receive applications for the 2015 Spanish speaking programme is: 26 May 2014.


>>French speaking programme (sessions imparted in French):

The French speaking component of the programme was launched in 2002 in order to benefit indigenous communities from Africa, Canada and other French speaking regions. It used to be organized in partnership with the University of Bourgogne in Dijon (France) and was running for 2.5 months during the months of September, October and November. However, given that the University of Bourgogne faced funding difficulties to implement the first part of the programme, this partnership came to an end in 2008. The Geneva component of the programme organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva was kept.

The programme is an inter-active process, which consists of briefings on several topics (i.e. OHCHR’s work, the UN system and mechanisms) individual and group assignments. Fellows also have the opportunity to receive training sessions with other UN agencies, including ILO, WIPO, and UNESCO.
Fellows attending the French speaking component of the programme are entitled to the following: a return ticket (economy class) from the country of residence to Geneva; basic health insurance for the duration of the Programme; a monthly grant to cover modest accommodation in Geneva and other living expenses for the duration of the Programme.

At the end of the Programme, fellows have a general knowledge of the United Nations system, international human rights instruments and mechanisms, in particular those relevant to indigenous peoples, and should be able to give training sessions within their communities/organizations on the knowledge acquired.

New: in 2014, the French linguistic component of the IFP will run from 23 June to 18 July in Geneva, Switzerland, and fellows will be able to participate in the 7th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The candidates selected to participate in the 2014 French language programme are:

  • Ms. Kamira Nait Sid, Amazigh, Algeria
  • Ms. Zahra Ouhssain, Amazigh, Morocco
  • Mr. Callixte Hategekimana, Batwa, Rwanda
  • Mr. Yves Minani, Batwa, Burundi
  • Mr. Simon-Pierre Ekondou-Mindou, Aka, Central African Republic

Please note that the deadline to receive applications for the 2015 French speaking programme is:  2 June 2014.


>>Russian speaking programme (sessions imparted in Russian):

The Russian speaking component of the programme started as a pilot project in 2005. It was imparted in cooperation with the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and the Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North/Russian Indigenous Training Centre (CSIPN/RITC). Since 2008, it has been implemented in cooperation with the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR).

The programme consists of two distinctive sessions: a first session in Moscow and a second session in OHCHR Geneva. The training session in Moscow lasts for four weeks and includes introductory sessions to the UN system, introductory sessions to the work of UN agencies, briefings on UN mechanisms and procedures dealing with Human Rights in general and more specifically, the rights of indigenous peoples. Study-tours to governmental authorities also take place.

The Geneva component generally lasts for four weeks. It complements the Moscow component and includes introductions to the Human Rights Council, Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures, the instruments and mechanisms dealing with issues specific to indigenous peoples as well as practical exercises. Visits to other UN agencies and NGOs are also organized.

In 2014, the Russian speaking programme will take place in June at the PFUR in Moscow, Russian Federation and their training will be complemented in Geneva, Switzerland, where the fellows will be given the opportunity to participate in the 7th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

New: the candidates selected for the 2014 Russian language training programme are:

  • Mr. Shkliaev Aleksei, Udmurt, Russian Federation
  • Ms. Savitskaia Margarita, Nenets, Russian Federation
  • Ms. Toltaeva Liudmila, Shor, Russian Federation
  • Ms. Passar Irina, Nanay, Russian Federation
  • Ms. Ogava Tatiana, Uilta, Russian Federation
  • Ms. Gerasimova Anna, Veps, Russian Federation
  • Ms. Popova Raisa, Khanty, Russian Federation

Please note that the deadline to receive applications for the 2015 Russian speaking programme is:  2 June 2014.

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