The 2019 Oslo Diploma Course (ODC) took place from the 15th to 31st May in Oslo, Norway. The ODC, part of the Angola Human Rights Project, is a three-week intensive course on international human rights law for participants from the Angolan government and Angolan civil society. The three-week programme focuses on international and regional human rights norms and standards and existing mechanisms and challenges in relation to the implementation of these norms and standards. The ODC also addresses particular human rights issues identified as pertinent to Angola. For this year´s course, that included the UN reporting system[1] and human rights and corruption.

The 2019 ODC was implemented by The Governance Group in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. This year’s participants came from a variety of Angolan Government Ministries both at central and provincial levels, including the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Ministry of Interior, and the Office of the Attorney General. In addition, we received participants from various civil society organisations including SCARJOV (Youth and Children Reintegration Association) and VIS (International Volunteering and Civil Service).

Throughout the three weeks the participants attended lectures on international and regional human rights law, including refugee and asylum law, business and human rights, human rights and trafficking, and participated in a workshop on how to train others in human rights. New topics were also introduced for this year’s ODC, including on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Corruption. Alongside their daily lectures, the participants also visited a number of Oslo-based institutions and organisations of relevance to Norway’s commitments to human rights, at home and abroad. These visits aimed to facilitate a more profound understanding of how human rights may be integrated in the day-to-day running of a society. Institutions visited included the Norwegian national human rights institution, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Supreme Court, and the Norwegian Defence International Centre. More practical visits also included an introduction to Bredtveit Prison, a women’s high security prison in Oslo, Refstad transit centre for asylum seekers, and Oslo Crisis Centre, an emergency centre for women, men and children who are exposed to violence in close relationships. (Please see our gallery page for more information on the various institutions that were visited.)

During their stay, the participants also had the opportunity to explore the city of Oslo and visited museums such as the Nobel Peace Centre and the 22nd  July Centre[2], as well as joining the festivities on Norway’s National Day and watching a local football match.

The overall aim of the ODC is to develop a basic theoretical and practical understanding of human rights. At the same time, the course creates space for discussion and prepares the ground for further cooperation between Angolan and Norwegian individuals and institutions. The course is designed to broaden the participants’ perspectives and enhance their opportunities to integrate both key principles and practical approaches into their daily human rights work in various sectors across state and civil society. The Governance Group looks forward to further collaboration on human rights in Angola with the graduates of the 2019 Oslo Diploma Course.

 

[1] Angola is due to conduct the 3rd cycle of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review this year.

[2] The 22 July Centre hosts an exhibition that documents the terrorist attacks that took place in central Oslo and on the island of Utøya on 22 July 2011