On the margin of the Council of Europe Programme on Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) annual conference organised on 6 and 7 July 2023 in Strasbourg, 14 professionals of the Southern Mediterranean region (judges, prosecutors, lawyers, law enforcement officers, academics) contributed to the first meeting of the HELP Southern Mediterranean Network.
The meeting aimed to further introduce the work implemented in Southern Mediterranean countries and share experience and good practices. It also provided a platform for HELP tutors and focal points to discuss priority areas in the region, as well as ways to improve the cooperation between Southern Mediterranean tutors, and with their European peers.
The Council of Europe Programme on Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) aims to enhance the capacity of legal professionals to apply the human rights standards in their daily work. It does so by building capacities through the HELP online courses that cover human rights topics, the HELP training methodology to develop online courses and the HELP Network already in place for the 46 CoE member states and beyond, composed of Judicial National Training Institutions and Bar Associations.
Since its introduction in the Southern Mediterranean region in 2019, the HELP programme has been implemented as a transversal initiative in several cooperation initiatives including the joint European Union/Council of Europe South Programme V, which main objective is the enlargement of a common legal space between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean based on key CoE Conventions and standards.
Through its activities since 2019, the HELP programme provided training to 190 tutors from 6 countries in the region and contributed to the translation into Arabic of 18 courses. 31 editions were adapted to national legal contexts in Morocco and Tunisia, with ongoing adaptations in Lebanon and Libya, ensuring ownership of the products developed.
This event was supported by the South Programme V, a joint programme of the Council of Europe and the European Union, financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe and voluntary contributions provided by Council of Europe member States as part of the Neighbourhood Partnership with Tunisia 2022-2025.