CES Summer School

Human Rights today: Foundations, challenges and opportunities

July 1 to 5, 2019

CES | Lisbon



This summer school is led by a team of academics and practitioners and offers a perfect introduction for people who want to know more about Human Rights. The course will provide you with a good basic understanding of human rights through short and dynamic presentations, concrete case studies and lively discussions. It will examine specific thematic topics in human rights such as children’s rights and refugee rights. You will get a chance to meet public and not-for-profit organisations working to realise human rights.

The course will provide an overview of the philosophical and conceptual foundations of Human Rights, and an introduction to the main international and regional human rights instruments and monitoring mechanisms. It will address the current trends in Democracy and Elections, seeking to identify the main threats, with insights from the field. The course will also examine specific thematic areas such as children’s rights and refugee rights; and advocacy and communication strategies towards the realisation of human rights. The course will end with a discussion on current challenges, trends and opportunities facing human rights. This course will give you a unique opportunity to meet public and not-for-profit organisations working to protect and implement Human Rights. This course offers a balanced combination of a theoretical background and a practitioners’ approach, with concrete insights from the field.

Applicants must show an interest in human rights, but no specific degree is required for this summer course.

Coordination team | Carla Luís and Veronique Lerch


The course uses an interdisciplinary approach, being led by a team of academics and practitioners. It offers a perfect introduction for people who want to know more about Human Rights. It can be useful for researchers, professionals, and people seeking to work in the field, Human Rights activists, as well as civil servants, lawyers, members of the judiciary, policy-makers, and Human Rights practitioners in general. 

Registration fee:
€300 – until 30th April 2019.
€350 – from 1st May on.

What does the fee cover?
The fee includes all sessions, visits, coffee breaks and lunch on the first day.

A Certificate will be issued in English (and Portuguese, upon request).
If you are not based in Lisbon, the fee does not cover accommodation or transportation.
If you require an acceptance letter, in order to apply for funding or scholarships, please let us know, and we will process it shortly.

Three places in the course are reserved for people based in Portugal, passionate about Human Rights and with limited financial means. Send us an e-mail to explaining why we should waive the fee for you. Deadline: May 31, 2019



Monday, 1st July 2109
Human Rights: Foundations

9:30 - 10:00    Registration of participants  
10:00 - 10:30  Introductory words and logistics for the week         
10:30 -13:00   Historical and conceptual foundations of Human Rights. Human Rights instruments.  Véronique Lerch and Carla Luís    

13:00 - 14:00  Lunch > Tayybeh – Syrian food (Catering service by Syrian refugees)        

14:00 - 15:00  Mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights at the international and regional levels. Véronique Lerch and Carla Luís
15:00 - 16:30  How can the United Nations make a difference regarding Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? Virgínia Brás Gomes, Former Chair of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
17:00 - 19:00  Migrantour - Lisbon | Tour of Lisbon ran by migrants, coord. by Renovar a Mouraria (Portuguese ngo)

Tuesday, 2nd July 2019
Democracy, Elections and Human Rights

10:00 - 13:00  Democracy, Elections and Human Rights. Populism and other current challenges to a democratic society and fair elections.  Carla Luís

13:00 - 14:30  Lunch 

14.30 - 16.00  Fake news, Democracy and current challenges. A first hand report from the Portuguese experience. Paulo Pena, journalist Grand Reporter. Member of Investigate Europe

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019
Human Rights: Specific Areas

10:00 – 13:00 Children rights: are children’s rights Human Rights?  History of children’s rights in the context of human rights; Child’s right to participation; Child protection. Véronique Lerch

13.00 - 14.00  Lunch
14.00 - 15:30  The Portuguese Ombudsperson and her role on Human Rights protection. Maria Lúcia Amaral, Portuguese Ombudsperson
16h00 - 17:30     Refugee rights and contemporary challenges. Ana Rita Gil, Law Faculty – New University of Lisbon


Thursday, 4th July 2019
Human Rights in Practice

10:00 - 12:30  Aljube Museum – guided visit (Aljube is a former political prison till 1974, and is now a museum on the Portuguese fight for freedom and democracy) . Luís Farinha, Aljube Museum Director.

Conversation with Diana Andringa, CES researcher, journalist and activist on memory issues.

12:30 - 14:15  Lunch 

14:15 - 18:00  Workshop: Human Rights advocacy: e.g., strategic litigation, lobbying, communication strategies, monitoring EU and UN institutions. Veronique Lerch and Carla Luís

Human Rights in Europe, the situation in Hungary – a case study from Amnesty International
Gauri van Gulik, Europe Director, Amnesty International

Friday, 5th July 2019
Human Rights under threat: current challenges

09:30 - 11:00  Current challenges to Human Rights and emerging Human Rights issues: The links between Human Rights and environment, business, corruption and human rights defenders. Carla Luís and Veronique Lerch

11:00 - 11:30  Coffee break 

11:30 - 13:00  How to campaign for Human Rights? Crossed perspectives: NGOs, activists and the media
Roundtable with:  Paulo Fontes, Amnesty International Portugal, Head of Communication and Campaigns; Marta Ramos, ILGA Portugal (ngo working on lgbt rights); Aline Flor, Público (reference daily Portuguese newspaper)

13:00 - 14:30  Lunch 

14:30 – 17h – Closing session:
Hope-Based Communications: Using values-based messaging and narrative change strategies
Thomas Coombes, Head of Brand and Deputy Communications Director, Amnesty International

Departure of participants.

Coordenation Team Bio Notes

Carla Luís works on Elections, Democracy, and Human Rights. Currently she coordinates a Training Programme on Elections, Democracy and Human Rights. She coordinates a Training Programme on Elections, Democracy and Human Rights, aiming at raising awareness regarding the main aspects of Democratic Elections. This includes advanced training courses on Electoral Observation, Elections and Democracy, among others. She worked with International IDEA on the Electoral Justice Toolkit in 2018. Visiting researcher in The Electoral Integrity Project, coord. by Prof. Pippa Norris, Sydney University - Harvard University, 1st semester 2015. UNDP Electoral Legal Adviser in Timor-Leste, on the 2012 Electoral Cycle. Researcher in the Project "Peacebuilding and sustainable peace: UN missions in Timor-Leste and Portugal's contribution" (2012-2014). Board Member of the Portuguese National Electoral Commission since 2010. PhD on International Politics and Conflict Resolution, University of Coimbra. European Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation, Law Degree by the New University of Lisbon.

Véronique Lerch is an international human rights consultant, specialized in child rights and governance issues, working for institutions as UNICEF and the European Commission. Her areas of expertise are: policy development, child and youth participation, alternative care, advocacy and communication for change, organizational development and capacity-building. She was previously the Head of the Advocacy department of a large child rights organization: SOS Children’s Villages International. She notably led an advocacy campaign to improve the rights of young people ageing out of the care system in over 20 countries of Europe and Central Asia and introduced participatory methods in the campaign allowing children and young people to be change agents. She also worked for the Africa department of the global anti-corruption coalition, Transparency International. She holds a European Master degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA) from EIUC and a Master in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Bio notes

Maria Virgínia Brás Gomes was Born in Goa, India. Member of UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights since 2004. From 2008 to 2010 she served as Vice-chair of the Committee, from 2012 to 2014 as Rapporteur and from 2017 to 2018 as Chair. She was co-rapporteur for the Committee’s General Comments nº 19, on the right to social security, and nº 23, on the right to just and favourable conditions of work.

She works as Senior social policy adviser in the Ministry of Employment, Solidarity and Social Security of Portugal and is Chair of the Board of the Portuguese UNICEF Committee.  She is also a Distinguished Guest Lecturer in the LLM Program in Intercultural Human Rights at the St. Thomas University School of Law (2018); Invited expert at the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University / College of Asia & the Pacific (2015); Faculty member of the Leadership Institute in Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2011 to 2015). She has participated in a number of national and international conferences on economic, social and cultural rights, social security, and sustainable development, and conducted training in treaty body reporting and on human rights in Africa, Asia and Europe, on behalf of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Associação Renovar a Mouraria was created in 2008 by a group of residents with the aim to revitalise the historical neighbourhood of Mouraria located in the centre of Lisbon. This is a non-profit private organisation with public utility status.The Associação Renovar a Mouraria promotes a wide array of activities with the major goal to strengthen the social inclusion of various communities by fostering cultural interaction and mutual support. It undertakes its activities mainly at the Communitarian House in Mouraria, a former derelict building which was thoroughly revitalised. Teaching Portuguese as a foreign language for immigrants, literacy education, study support for children and youngsters, legal support services, traditional Chinese medicine or the solidarity hairdresser are its leading community development projects.  However, the scope of activity of this Association goes much beyond the walls of the Communitarian House, with projects such as the community newspaper Rosa Maria, guided tours with local national and immigrant tour guides (Migrantour) and the Atelier Ideal, which aims at improving the image and communication of local trade.

Paulo Pena
, studied journalism in Lisbon and in Washington DC. For years he was a reporter, and editor, of the weekly newsmagazine Visão, since 2014 he has been senior reporter at the daily newspaper Público. Paulo has won several awards (for his reports on the Genoa G8 Summit, on Iceland and about labour market reforms), most recently the 2013 Gazeta journalism award for his reporting on the Portuguese banking scandal, also published as a book under the title “Jogos de Poder” (“Power Games”) (2014). Paulo lives in Lisbon.

Maria Lúcia Amaral, The Ombudsperson (Since November 2017) was born in Angola. She is a Law Professor in the Faculty of Law of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and was a Justice of the Constitutional Court between April 2007 and July 2016. She dedicated her academic life to the study and teaching of Public Law, especially Constitutional Law. She is an author of studies in this domain and a member of several international scientific associations. Maria Lúcia Amaral was elected, by the Parliament, as the Portuguese Ombudsman on October 20th 2017 and took office on November 2nd the same year.

Ana Rita Gil has graduated in Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra (2003), where she completed a postgraduate degree in Child Protection (2005). She holds PhD in Law, awarded by the New University of Lisbon in 2016, with a thesis on Human Rights of Immigrants. She works in the areas of Human and Fundamental Rights, in particular Migrants, Refugees and Children, and is the author of scientific works published in Portugal and abroad. She is Professor of the Masters in Law at New University of Lisbon, and in the Faculty of Law of the Portuguese Catholic University. She was Advisor to the Judges’ Office of the Constitutional Court (2010-2018).

Aljube Museum - Resistance and Freedom is dedicated to the history and memory of the fight against the dictatorship and the recognition of resistance in favour of freedom and democracy in Portugal. It is a musealised site and a historical museum that intends to fill a gap in the Portuguese museological fabric, by projecting the appreciation of the memory of the fight against the dictatorship onto the construction of an enlightened and responsible citizenship, and by taking on the struggle against the exonerating and, often, complicit silencing of the dictatorial regime that governed the country between 1926 and 1974.

Luís Farinha is the Director of the Aljube Museum Resistance and Freedom and a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History (FCSH-UNL).

Diana Andringa was born in Dundo, Lunda-Norte, Angola. She came to Portugal in 1958. In 1964, she enrolled at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, dropping out later to dedicate herself to Journalism. In 1968, she attended the 1st course in Journalism implemented by the Portuguese Union of Journalists, joining Viva Mundial journal, quitting the job as a result of a collective resignation. Unemployed, she was a marketing copywriter until she was arrested by PIDE, in January 1970. Sentenced to 20 months prison term for supporting the independence of Angola, she then restarted her career in journalism. From 1078 to 2001, she was a journalist at RTP. She was also a columnist at Diário de Notícias, RDP and Público, and short-term associate director of Diário de Lisboa. Currently, she is an independent documentary filmmaker - Timor-Leste, O sonho do Crocodilo; Guiné-Bissau: As duas Faces da Guerra; Dundo, Memória colonial, Tarrafal: Memórias do Campo da Morte Lenta. She re-attended University, concluding her PhD degree in Sociology of Communication at ISCTE, in 2013. She is a researcher at CES project CROME - Crossed Memories, Politics of Silence: The Colonial-Liberation Wars in Postcolonial Times.

Gauri van Gulik is Amnesty International’s Europe Director, responsible for leading all research, campaigning and communications in the EU, the Balkans and Turkey. Before joining Amnesty International, she worked for Human Rights Watch for seven years as a researcher and head of global advocacy for women’s rights. Before that she worked for Marie Stopes International on reproductive rights and for the European Parliament civil liberties committee. She has a background in European law, comparative law and a second masters in human rights and democratization from the European Master's Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA) in Venice.

Paulo Fontes, Amnesty International Portugal, Head of Communication and Campaigns, is the director of communication and campaigns at Amnesty International - Portugal. He has worked as a researcher at the University of Porto, as a teacher and as project manager in communication and marketing. His background is in communication and marketing,  with a focus on alternative strategies for public engagement in non-commercial contexts, which is the scope of his PhD research.

Marta Ramos, ILGA Portugal (NGO working on LGBTI rights) is currently the Executive Director of Associação ILGA Portugal. With a background in Law and a major in Human Rights, she has previously worked at the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Parliament and the Portuguese Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality. Marta is a member of Associação ILGA Portugal since 2011, where she has developed specific work and expertise in the area of combating and raising awareness on anti-LGBTI hate crimes, in particular via the projects Observatory on Discrimination and UNI-FORM.

Aline Flor is a journalist at Público and author of "Do Género", a podcast about women and equality. She writes about gender equality, the feminist movement and the Istanbul Convention, and has produced "A Europa que conta", a podcast about the everyday life impact of European policy. She collaborates with the Portuguese journalists' union in a media literacy project running in public schools. She holds a Journalism degree from University of Porto (2011) and a Masters degree in documentary film by the Polytechnic Institute of Porto (2014).

Thomas Coombes is a global communications strategist who aims to make a difference by changing minds. He has developed an approach called Hope-Based Communications to help the human rights movement develop new narratives for social change. Currently Head of Brand and Deputy Communications Director at Amnesty International, Thomas’s personal mission is to help NGOs communicate as effectively as politicians and businesses. Before joining Amnesty International, he spent a decade working in communications for the anti-corruption NGO Transparency International, the European Commission and PR firm Hill & Knowlton. Thomas is a proud Global Campus alumni with an EMA in Human Rights.


About Programme Coordenation Team Bio Notes Bio notes Registration