Friday, June 21, 2024

Seminar on Temporary Protection in the European Union and Launch of the new HELP Course – Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals –

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Over 60 legal professionals from across EU member states and Ukraine convened in Brussels and online on April 11th, 2024, for a seminar on the Temporary Protection Directive in the European Union. This pivotal event marked the publication of the new HELP online course on the Temporary Protection Directive. The first launch of the course in tutored format was also held on this occasion.

Organised by the ‘HELP for Ukraine including during wartime’ project, in collaboration with the Barreaux Francophones et Germanophone de Belgique and the EU-CoE project ‘Judicial Training on Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights’, the seminar provided a platform for crucial discussions and knowledge-sharing among legal experts.

The seminar commenced with welcoming addresses from Mr. Pierre Sculier, President of the Order of French-speaking and German-speaking Bars of Belgium, Mr. Andriy Zayats, Head of the Council of Europe Liaison Office to the European Union in Brussels, and Mr. Wojciech Postulski, Team Leader of European judicial training at DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission. They set the stage for an engaging exploration of the Temporary Protection Directive.

Ms. Elena Gobbetti from the European Commission’s Asylum Unit presented a comprehensive overview of the Temporary Protection Directive, highlighting its two years of implementation and its significance in providing protection to displaced persons from Ukraine.

Following this, the seminar featured several sessions focusing on the developments in the implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive in relation to the war in Ukraine and related procedures.

Ms. Ave Lauren, Migration Policy Analyst at the OECD, provided an overview of the Ukrainian displacement crisis in Europe, shedding light on the magnitude and complexity of the situation.

Ms. Ana Isabela Trifescu, Information Assistant at the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), discussed the challenges and considerations in providing temporary protection to displaced persons from Ukraine, based on recent case law from national courts, emphasising the need for coordinated efforts and effective policies.

Ms. Martina Huber from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights addressed the implementation challenges arising at local levels regarding access to core TPD-related rights such as housing, employment, healthcare, and education. Her insights underscored the importance of ensuring the effective implementation of legal frameworks to protect the rights of displaced persons.

Ms. Gemma Woods, Senior Legal Officer at UNHCR Regional Bureau for Europe, presented UNHCR’s perspective on questions posed from Ukrainian refugees about temporary protection.

The seminar concluded with a final session dedicated to the presentation and official launch of the new HELP course on Temporary Protection in the European Union.

Mr. Viacheslav Liubashenko, expert and manager of the Ukrainian HELP Asylum/Migration eDesk, introduced the course, outlining its objectives and structure. Ms. Noemie Alarcon, Chair of the Migration Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe CCBE, who will be co-tutoring the course, discussed challenges related to the implementation of the directive and presented the online course format, emphasizing its role in enhancing legal knowledge and skills among practitioners.

Additionally, Ms. Alina Kokhanko, President of the NGO “Ukrainian Voices RC,” shared insights on legal assistance to Ukrainian people fleeing the war, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts in providing support and protection to affected individuals.

The seminar and course launch concluded with reflections by Ms. Ana-Maria Telbis, Head of Justice and Human Rights Training Division at the Council of Europe, and Ms. Olga Kostenko, International Manager of the HELP for Ukraine project, underscoring the significance of legal education and capacity-building initiatives in promoting human rights and addressing humanitarian crises in the European Union.

In addition to its self-learning format, the course was launched to be offered in a tutored format, providing participants with the opportunity to delve deeper into the Temporary Protection Directive under the expert guidance of two tutors, Ms Noemi Alarcon and Mr. Alessio Sangiorgi. As seasoned experts in the field, their mentorship promises to enrich the learning experience, offering valuable insights and practical guidance to over 30 lawyers from EU member states seeking to enhance their understanding of the directive and its implementation.

By fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development, the HELP course on Temporary Protection in the European Union reaffirms its commitment to advancing human rights education and promoting legal excellence on a global scale.

The HELP course on Temporary Protection in the European Union stands as a source of knowledge, aimed at enriching the understanding of legal professionals and relevant stakeholders regarding the practical application of the EU Temporary protection regime.

Spanning across three modules, with an approximate duration of 2.5 hours, the course provides an in-depth exploration into the workings of the regime and its first activation after Russian armed forces launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. The participants will learn about the 2001/55/EC Directive on Temporary Protection (TPD), the activation of the temporary protection regime with the EU Council Implementing Decision of 4 March 2022 and possible approaches on the future of the current temporary protection regime.

The course has been developed in 2024 by the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe, within the Project “HELP for Ukraine, including during wartime“, which is implemented as a part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine “Resilience, Recovery and Reconstruction” (2023-2026), as well as the EU-CoE “Judicial Training on Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights”, funded by the EU Justice Programme (2021-2027). The course benefitted from valuable contributions by representatives of UNHCR, EUAA, FRA and EC.

Its comprehensive curriculum draws from a wealth of resources, including materials from previous HELP seminars and national HELP E-desks, ensuring a rich and immersive learning experience.

The course is available free-of-charge in self-learning format on the CoE HELP e-learning platform. Upon completion of the course, participants are awarded an electronic ‘Statement of Accomplishment’. To access the course, you need to have a HELP account. If you haven’t created one yet, you can sign up here – it only takes a few minutes.

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