The Indigenous Fellowship Programme was launched in 1997 by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the context of the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. The aim of the programme is to give indigenous persons the opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with human rights issues in general and indigenous issues in particular. Trained participants are better equipped to assist their organisations and communities in protecting and promoting their rights. This training programme is available in 4 languages: English, Spanish, French and Russian.
The program consists of two components. The first takes place in Moscow at RUDN University, lasts 3 weeks and is mostly theoretical training. It includes introductory lectures on international human rights instruments (conventions, declarations) and mechanisms (Human Rights Council, treaty bodies, special procedures), and also focuses on the special situation of indigenous peoples in the Russian Federation. In addition, the program includes a study visit to relevant government institutions. The second component takes place in Geneva and lasts for 3-4 weeks. It complements and deepens the knowledge gained in Moscow in a more practical way: a review of the UN system, the mandate and activities of OHCHR, international human rights instruments and mechanisms, including those directly related to indigenous issues (UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ILO Convention 169, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues) is accompanied by practical exercises and exercises that help to better assimilate information.