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Indigenous Fellowship Programme


English language programme


The English language component of the Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP) was established in 1997. It takes place at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland and lasts for 4 weeks, usually coinciding with the annual meeting of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP).

The objective of this training programme is to enhance the knowledge of indigenous peoples on existing international human rights instruments and mechanisms, so they can use them to more effectively advocate for the rights of their communities and raise their concerns at the international level. At the end of the Programme, trained fellows are also in a better position to share and give training sessions on the knowledge gained to their indigenous communities and organizations.

The training combines theoretical sessions with briefings on the UN system, OHCHR mandate and activities, international Human Rights instruments (Treaties, Conventions, Declarations) and mechanisms (Human Rights Council, Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures) - including those more specifically dealing with indigenous issues (UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ILO Convention 169, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, EMRIP). Practical assignments and exercises also help better integrate the theory. Fellows are also given the opportunity to actively participate in the annual meeting of EMRIP. Additionally, they get introduced to the work of other UN and specialized agencies (ILO, WIPO, UNESCO, UNICEF) and of Geneva based Human Rights NGOs, including DoCip. You can have a better idea of the type of sessions included in the agenda by clicking on: 2016 training programme.

Participants of the Fellowship Programme are entitled to the following: a return ticket (economy class) from their country of residence to Geneva; a daily or monthly stipend to cover their basic needs in Geneva, including modest accommodation, food and transport; a basic health insurance for the duration of the Programme. OHCHR will not cover any additional expenses such as visa fees and travel insurance.

New: Candidates selected to participate in the 2016 English language training programme are:

  • Deed Jaidessa Kontoma, Wayu Oromo, Ethiopia
  • Milka Chepkorir Kuto, Sengwer, Kenya
  • Brazeau Carole, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Canada
  • Muktasree Chakma, Chakma, Bangladesh
  • Dattatary Bhandalkar, Ramoshi, India
  • Laofang Bundidterdsakul, Hmong, Thailand
  • Khalil Alamour, Bedoin, Israel
  • Charlene Apok, Inupiac, US
  • Eddie Cubillo, Larrakia/Wadjigan,/Central Arrente, Australia
  • Buddha Kumari Lama, Tamang, Nepal

The deadline to apply to the 2017 English language programme was: 30 April 2016.


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Indigenous Fellowship Programme
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These two videos (long and short versions) feature testimonies of persons who attended OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Programme:

Long video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZP_tfbGTM0
Short video: https://youtu.be/q2k8Z5SW2hQ