The Icelandic Human Rights Centre (ICEHR)
The Icelandic Human Rights Centre (ICEHR) is a registered non-profit umbrella organisation, established in 1994, consisting of 15 partners, including Amnesty International (Icelandic Division), The Icelandic Red Cross, UN Women, The Women’s Rights Association, the LBGT organisation, the Association of Disabled, the Universities of Reykjavík and Akureyri.
Among the Centre’s many activities is human rights education (equality, discrimination, LBGT rights, civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights etc.), publication (A report on hate speech, a brochure on the rights of transgender people in Iceland, a brochure on discrimination etc.), comments on law bills, shadow reports to UN and CoE bodies and legal counselling for immigrants. ICEHR organizes seminars, workshops and study trips on domestic and international level, on human rights issues. ICEHR is also the main NGO contact point for partner searches in Iceland for projects under the EEA Grants NGO Programmes.
ICEHR provides education programmes to enhance understanding of concepts such as gender-based violence and violence against women and girls (VAWG). These programmes include lectures, case-studies, monitoring, strategy building, situation testing etc. All participants are required to be active in the education and to render their understanding of various issues and problems for group discussion and for clarification. The programme also includes education on the Istanbul Convention (CoE Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The aim is also for participants to:
• Gain an overview of some of the key issues related to violence against women
• Be able to identify different types and sites of gender-based violence, its main victims and perpetrators
• Understand how violence against women is a human rights issue
• Be familiar with the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women
• Gain an overview of the causes and contributing factors to VAWG
• Be familiar with factors that can reduce VAWGs risk of violence
• Be familiar with different theories that explain victim-blaming.
• Be familiar with the effects of VAWG
• Gain an overview of the guiding principles when designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policies, procedures and services related to addressing VAWG.
ICEHR provides education programmes on trafficking in human beings which indlude education on the Palermo Protocol to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the CoE Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, and national legislation on trafficking. The programme includes education on the definition of trafficking and prescribed actions under the CoE Convention aimed at Prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships. Key prevention measures include education which entails identification of victims, resources and offers available to them, outreach, addressing the demand, awareness raising etc. Partnerships must include a clear definition of the role and tasks each institution, NGO etc., shall have and an effective, well organised system with clear channels and procedures as well as assignment of responsibilities, etc.
Equal treatment of women and non-discrimination on the basis of sex is a fundamental right, enshrined in all major human rights instruments. ICEHR provides education on UN Gender Equality Bodies. This programme includes education on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), UN WOMEN, Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the United Nations Gender Equality Studies and Training (UNU GEST) and the role of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.
Hate speech and sexism against women. The education includes information and research on how hate speech on the internet manifests itself differently against women. Also, information on legislation against hate speech, awareness raising, training of public officials, internal supervision and codes of conduct, the role of the media and means to control social media, media literacy, government action plans against prejudice and discrimination, gender studies, data collection, registration and research as necessary tools to establish the status of minority groups, the extent of discrimination in society and to systematically counteract prejudice which might lead to hate speech.
Counseling and support for women. Legal and social work counseling for women, rules of conduct, confidentiality, outreach and more. Special focus on education on ways and means to overcome the isolation of immigrant/migrant women and their poor access to justice.
Key person involved in the education:Margrét Steinarsdóttir is a lawyer, specialized in human rights and has vast experience in human rights education. She has organised and directed various human rights education programmes as well as seminars, work-shops and conferences regarding human rights issues. She also has 15 years of experience as a legal counsellor to immigrants in Iceland. Her areas of expertise include gender equality and gender based violence, trafficking in human beings, legislation on discrimination, legal advice, immigrant women ‘s status and issues, hate speech and sexism.