International Course on Human Rights 2018

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Human Rights Investigation Fact-finding, documenting and monitoring

The International Center for the Promotion of Human Rights (CIPDH-UNESCO) presents the second edition of its International Course on Human Rights.

Ever since World War II, it was never such a priority to discuss the universal ideal of human rights, the serious emerging challenges and possible ways to solve global problems and recurrent threats it is facing. There is also an urge to improve international protection mechanisms and investigation technics of human rights violations. The 2018 edition of the international course will address these issues in line with the UNESCO human rights agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The central topic of this course will be: “Human Rights Investigation. Fact-finding, documenting and monitoring” and will be held at the UNESCO Observatory Villa Ocampo in Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno, auditorio Jorge Luis Borges, Agüero 2502, Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 30 October to 2nd November 2018.

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This international course intends to tackle the particularities and differences that exist among investigation, fact-finding, documenting and monitoring human rights violations (individual or systematic) through case studies and the analysis of new technologies and methodologies.

Investigation in the field of human rights has several purposes, for example: to determine the truth about what happened, to put an end to human rights violations, prevent future abuses, contribute with evidence and information to sanction those responsible or to provide reparations to victims. Each one of these objectives determines and shapes the type of investigation to be carried out, presents particular challenges and should respect specific legal frameworks in order to achieve results.

The Course will reflect on the following questions:

  • Which is the purpose of the investigation?: The purpose defines the type of investigation.
  • Who investigates?: human rights investigation and documentation will differ depending on who is carrying it out, be it the State (who has duties to investigate in accordance with international law), NGOs (that interact with national and international authorities, civil society and public opinion) or international organizations or tribunals.
  • What do we investigate?: it is possible to investigate individual cases or patterns (massive violations, structural discrimination, etc.)
  • How to investigate?: practical challenges during investigations.
  • When is the investigation carried out?:: after or during the events. During peace time or during armed conflicts.
  • What do we use the investigations results for?: to present shadow reports, to make public denounces, for a specific judicial case (national or international), to make recommendations to governments regarding legislative reforms, among others.


The course will start on Monday 29 October with a keynote speech by Professor César Rodríguez Garavito, which will be open to the public and with the participation of authorities from the Argentinean Ministry of Justice. This event will take place at down town Buenos Aires. During the rest of the week the course will take place at UNESCO Observatory Villa Ocampo located in the north of the city.

The course will have four sessions dedicated to the study and analysis of specific cases of investigation of human rights violations, such as the enforced disappearance of students in Ayotzinapa, México. Each of those sessions will count on the participation of actors that were directly involved in those cases as well as commentators. The event will also include classes by renowned experts in their fields, a public interview to an outstanding personality in human rights investigation and a special session aim at learning about practical tools for such tasks. Additionally, two visits will take place to ESMA Memory Site Museum and the Park of Memory and Monument to the Victims of State Terrorism, both located in the city of Buenos Aires.

The course intends to become a place to bond among participants and the professors leading the different sessions and that is why meals and other social activities are also part of the course program.

The course is aimed at professionals with experience in the field of human rights, be they staff of non-governmental and international organizations, officials from national governments, researchers or academics.

The teachers and speakers are experts, public officials and activists that will share their experiences and thoughts with the selected participants. The course will integrate various dynamic learning approaches, such as simulation exercises, group discussions, traditional teaching and interviews, among others. Sessions will revolve around specific real-life cases of human rights investigations with the participation of actors that were involved in them.

The course format doesn’t respond to the traditional teacher-centered model, but seeks to enhance the quality of teaching and learning by encouraging each participant to actively take part and become a rich source of information and experience for their peers.

The 5-day intensive face-to-face course is designed not only to promote learning and the exchange of knowledge and information, but also to create the conditions to foster closer ties between all participants and the lecturers responsible for each course segment.

Languages: Simultaneous translation in English and Spanish.



The following experts will be part of the faculty, among others:

Víctor Abramovich (Argentina)

Víctor Abramovich (Argentina)

Attorney General to the Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina.

Regular professor at the University of Buenos Aires and the National University of Lanús.

He served as a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS, as Executive Secretary of the IPPDH-MERCOSUR, and as executive director of the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS).

Francisco Cox (Chile)

Francisco Cox (Chile)

Lawyer from the Diego Portales University of Chile, with a Master’s Degree in Law from Columbia University (LLM). He participated in the International Human Rights Law Summer Program of the Universities of Oxford and Georgetown. He works as a lawyer in various causes of complex litigation both nationally and internationally. Founding partner of the Balmaceda, Cox lawyers firm (BCP Abogados). He is a professor of Human Rights and Public Interest Clinics of the University of Valparaíso and a professor in International Human Rights Law at the Diego Portales University, among other subjects.

He was designated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS as one of the five experts in charge of investigating the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, Mexico. He is also the only Chilean lawyer who has litigated before the International Criminal Court.

Before founding BCP Abogados, he worked in the International Justice Program of Human Rights Watch and was a partner in Hermosilla y Cía. He is a board member of the Fundación Teatro a Mil.

Due to his professional work particularly in the field of human rights, he was the recipient of numerous international awards and recognitions.

Guillermo Fernández-Maldonado Castro (Perú)

Guillermo Fernández-Maldonado Castro (Perú)

Mr. Fernández Maldonado is a lawyer from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Alcalá de Henares, Spain. He has more than 30 years of academic and field experience in the area of human rights and international relations.

Since 2014 he is the Deputy Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia.

Between July and August of 2018 he was the Senior Human Rights and Coordinator of the Mission in Nicaragua of the Regional Office for Central America of the OHCHR.

Between January and May of 2018 he served as Representative of OHCHR’s Regional Office for South America, based in Santiago, Chile.

Before assuming his current position, he was Senior Advisor in Human Rights of OHCHR for the United Nations System in Ecuador (2007 to 2014)

He also served as Deputy Director of the Human Rights Unit in the United Nations Mission for Afghanistan UNAMA, between 2004 and 2007.

Between 1994 and 2003 he worked in the United Nations Mission for Guatemala (MINUGUA) as Political Advisor to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, as Head of the Justice and Human Rights Section and also as Head of the Studies and Lessons Unit Learned from the Peace Process.

Mr. Fernández-Maldonado worked at the Truth Commission for El Salvador and later at the United Nations Mission for El Salvador (ONUSAL) as Legal Advisor and as Head of the Central Verification Unit of the Human Rights Division (1993-1995)

In his country of origin, Peru, he worked at the Senate as Senior Legal Advisor of the Foreign Relations Commission and Advisor of the Special Commission on the causes of violence and alternatives of pacification in Peru, between 1982 and 1992.

He has been a professor at the Faculty of Law of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a visiting professor at the National Institute of Public Administration at the University of Alcalá de Henares in Spain, and the Andean Simón Bolívar University in Ecuador.

Luis Fondebrider (Argentina)

Luis Fondebrider (Argentina)

Forensic anthropologist from the University of Buenos Aires. In 2014, he was distinguished by the University of Buenos Aires with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa. After the return to democracy in Argentina, in 1984, together with a group of students of archeology, anthropology and medicine, and under the guidance of the American anthropologist Dr. Clyde Show, he founded the Argentinean team of Forensic Anthropology (EAAF) with the objective of scientifically documenting the human rights violations that had occurred in Argentina between 1976 and 1983.

As a member of the EAAF, Dr. Fondebrider has participated as an expert before Argentine courts in more than 900 cases.

The EAAF has carried out research tasks in cases of political / ethnic violence in 50 countries of the world. As a member of the EAAF, he participated and / or co-directed research and advisory missions in countries on all continents.

Fabricio Guariglia (Argentina)

Fabricio Guariglia (Argentina)

Lawyer from the University of Buenos Aires. Doctorate at the University of Münster (Germany). Member of the Argentine delegation in the negotiation process of the Statute of the International Criminal Court at the Rome Conference. Director of the Prosecution Division of the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court (The Hague). Visiting Professor of International Criminal Law at the universities of Münster, Leiden (Holland), LSE (United Kingdom), Glasgow (Scotland), Galway (Ireland) and the American University (USA).

Graciela Karababikian (Argentina)

Graciela Karababikian (Argentina)

Sociologist and professor in sociology at the University of Buenos Aires. She worked in education as a teacher at different levels and participating in the development of articles and books on social science teaching. During the last fifteen years she took training courses and specializations in archival.

Between 1998 and 2004 he was part of the directive committee of CeDInCI and of the Editorial Board of its journal Políticas de la Memoria (Politics of Memory). She was coordinator, between 2004 and 2011, of the Documentary Heritage program in Memoria Abierta, a human rights NGO. Between 2011 and 2015, she coordinated the Working Group on Documentary Surveying in the Argentine Federal Police, under the Human Rights Direction of the Ministry of Security of Argentina.

During 2013 and 2014, she was a consultant for the IPPDH Mercosur, publishing the Directory of archives and documentary collections linked to repressive coordination in the Southern Cone. Since 2016 she has been a teacher of the archives and human rights specialization course at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She wrote articles on the subject of archives and human rights.

Natalia Luterstein (Argentina)

Natalia Luterstein (Argentina)

Natalia Luterstein is a lawyer graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and professor of Public International Law at the same university and the University of Palermo. She has PhD from the University of Buenos Aires and has obtained a Master’s degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Since 2014, she has worked in the Institutional Relations Unit in the International Area of ​​the National Ombudsman’s Office and has served as legal advisor to the Legal Affairs Department of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina (2006-2014).

Julissa Mantilla Falcón (Perú)

Julissa Mantilla Falcón (Perú)

Lawyer and former member of the Criminal Policy Commission of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Colombia

She is a lawyer from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP). She has a Diploma in Gender Studies from the PUCP and an LLM from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Professor at various universities.

She has appeared as an expert in issues of sexual violence in armed conflict and gender stereotypes before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and as international expert in the Symbolic Court of Colombia for the victims of sexual violence in the armed conflict (2011) and in the Court of Conscience of Peru for victims of sexual violence and forced sterilization (2013). She was an international adviser in Gender and Transitional Justice for UN Women in Colombia (2008-2015), as well as member of the Criminal Policy Commission created by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Colombia.

She served as gender manager of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru (2001-2003). She is Amicus Curiae Foreign Jurist before the Court for Peace of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in Colombia. She has published numerous articles and documents in her specialty.

Juan Méndez (Argentina)

Juan Méndez (Argentina)

He is a lawyer from the Catholic University Stella Maris and a recognized human rights defender in Argentina. He has been special rapporteur of the United Nations on torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment between November 2010 and October 2016.

He is a visiting professor at the American University – Washington School of Law and professor emeritus of the International Center for Transitional Justice. He was advisor on prevention for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and co-president of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. Between 2004 and 2007, Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations, appointed him special adviser for the prevention of genocide.

He was a law professor and director of the Center for Human and Civil Rights at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (1999 to 2004). He has also been a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (2000 to 2003), an organization where he served as president in 2002.

As a result of his outstanding work in human rights, he has received numerous international awards and recognitions. He is the author of numerous articles in specialized publications.

Ana Peyró Llopis (Perú)

Ana Peyró Llopis (Perú)

Principal Legal Officer with the Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) in the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) of the United Nations Secretariat in New York. In this capacity she is the Team Leader for international criminal justice and provides advice on different public international law questions, in particular with regard to international human rights and humanitarian law. 

Ms. Peyró Llopis earned an LL.M. and a Ph.D. in International Law from Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. As an academic, she has worked, among others, in Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, New York University, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (‘Sciences-Po’), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She has obtained distinctions and grants for her academic work (Suzanne Bastid Prize, French Society for International Law; Global Crystal Eastman Research Fellow, New York University; Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow, Universidad Complutense de Madrid). As a legal adviser, she served as Senior Adviser at the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Justice, in Spain, and worked as a consultant for different international institutions.

César Rodríguez Garavito (Colombia)

César Rodríguez Garavito (Colombia)

Lawyer from the Los Andes University and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a master’s degrees in Law and Society from the University of New York, in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in Philosophy from the National University of Colombia. He is the director of Dejusticia and the Global Justice and Human Rights Program.

He served as a visiting professor at the universities of Stanford, Brown, Melbourne, Pretoria, Cairo, American University, Central European University, the Getulio Vargas Foundation, the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico and the Andean University of Quito. He is co-director of Open Global Rights, co-director of the Globalization and Human Rights collection at Cambridge University Press, and a member of the academic board of the Annual Review of Law and Social Science and the Business and Human Rights Journal.

He was a member of the Constitutional Court of Colombia, expert witness before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and litigant in constitutional and international cases on human rights, the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples.

He is a member of the board of directors of WITNESS and the Business and Human Rights Resource Center. He writes weekly a column for El Espectador and is the author of numerous publications and articles on human rights with a legal approach.

Roberto Saba (Argentina)

Roberto Saba (Argentina)

Lawyer from the University of Buenos Aires (1990), Master of Law from Yale University (LLM 1995) and Doctor of Law from the same university (JSD 2011). He served as dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Palermo. He currently directs the Center for Graduate Studies of that Faculty.

He was co-founder and executive director of the Association for Civil Rights (ADC) of Argentina (2001-2009) and executive director of the Poder Ciudadano Foundation, Argentine Chapter of Transparency International (1995-1998). He has been a professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at the Universities of Buenos Aires and Palermo (Argentina) since 1997.

Patricia Tappatá Valdez (Argentina)

Patricia Tappatá Valdez (Argentina)

She is the director of the International Center for the Promotion of Human Rights – center category II of UNESCO – and professor of the course Justice during transitions in the Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires. She was the director of the Truth Commission for El Salvador (UN, 1992), coordinated the Human Rights Department of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference (1979-1987) and participated in the founding of the National Coordinator of Human Rights in Peru.

She directed the programs “Justice in Argentina” and “Political Representation” of the Poder Ciudadano Foundation (between 1991-1992 and 1993-1997). Between 1997 and 2000 she coordinated the Regional Program on Social Responsibility and Leadership that the Kellogg Foundation developed in seven Latin American countries.

She directed Memoria Abierta until June 2012, an organization that created and led in its development for more than a decade. She also integrated Steering Committees and Advisory Councils of several national and international institutions.

Carolina Varsky (Argentina)

Carolina Varsky (Argentina)

Lawyer from the University of Buenos Aires and coordinator of the Prosecutor’s Office of Crimes against Humanity of the Attorney General’s Office. She worked at the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) from 1998 to 2013. She was director of the Program Memory and Fight against the Impunity of State Terrorism and then Director of Litigation and Legal Defense.

He taught in Human Rights and Constitutional Law and the Right to Information in the University of Buenos Aires.

She is the author of several articles in books and specialized magazines.

Pablo Vassel (Argentina)

Pablo Vassel (Argentina)

Expert and advisor of the International Center for the Promotion of Human Rights (UNESCO).

Lawyer from the University of Buenos Aires and specialist in Procedural Law of the National University of the Northeast. He was director of Human Rights of the Council of the Judiciary of the Nation and representative of the Council of the Magistracy of the Nation before the Supreme Court of Justice in the Superintendence Unit for crimes against Humanity.

It was convened by the CIPDH for the “Consolidation of the Process of Memory, Truth and Justice” of the Directorate of Truth, Justice and Reparation of the Ombudsman of Paraguay, approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship in 2017 and 2018.

He dictated a large number of lectures and seminars, mainly on the theme of Memory, Truth and Justice and crimes against humanity. In 2006 he received the prize “B’NAI B’RITH HUMAN RIGHTS”, awarded by B’nai B’rith Argentina.

María Sonderéguer (Argentina)

María Sonderéguer (Argentina)

She is a researcher at the Center for Studies in History, Culture and Memory of the National University of Quilmes and a professor of graduate studies at several universities.

Member of the Academic Committee of the Specialization in Gender, Public Policies and Society of the National University of Lanús and the Academic Committee of the Master in Human Rights and Democratization for Latin America (of the International Center for Political Studies of the National University of San Martín), associated with the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratization (EIUC).

She was Director of the Human Rights Center “Emilio Mignone” of the National University of Quilmes, Expert and co-editor of the Argentinean National Plan against Discrimination and National Director of Training in Human Rights of the National Human Rights Secretariat.

She directed researches on issues of recent history, memory and sexual and gender-based violence in contexts of political repression and armed conflicts and has published numerous articles in books and specialized publications.