I was really pleased by the quality of the Core
Training. The individual benefits attending this training are
remarkable, since it provides a substantial set of paths that one can
follow with further studies. For NGOs/UN practitioners this course helps
in contributing to the overall definition of strategies thanks to a
better understanding of legal frameworks distinctive of crisis contexts.
In my experience, there is plenty of room and opportunity for a very
open participation and so for true learning, also thanks to simulations,
examples, and opinion/fact sharing among participants. As in previous
experiences, PHAP staff as well as lecturers were professional, and at
the same time friendly and extremely careful in making sure that
everyone was comfortably benefitting by the course. I recommend this
I took the basic course in NYC over the summer.
The PHAP class is different because it makes an effort to combine "real
world" experiences with the basic substantive learning of the Geneva
Conventions and other elements of IHL. Our course had a good mix of
presentations from academics and practitioners. It was a good refresher
for me, and I would recommend the course to others.
For the last several years, I have been working at
the International Criminal Court and I have taken part in the legal
representation of hundreds of victims of atrocities. Working at the ICC
requires a high degree of knowledge in international law and, in
particular, IHL. I am of the view that, in order to fully understand the
rules of IHL, besides judiciously studying the relevant provisions of
IHL, one must truly understand the context within which armed conflicts
occur and the roles played by various actors. In December 2012, I
participated in the “Core Training in Humanitarian Law and Policy” and
“Thematic Workshop on Protection of Civilians in Internal Conflicts” in
Geneva, Switzerland. These trainings organized by PHAP in collaboration
with the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard
University were a good choice for updating my knowledge of IHL and
helping me deepen my understanding of the complexity of the humanitarian
problems presented during armed conflicts. Especially, I was glad to
learn about the profound impact that decisions of international courts
may have on the ground and how the behavior of the main actors in armed
conflicts are influenced by actions of international judicial
institutions. I was also impressed by the participation of mature and
mid-level professionals whose real life stories and shared experiences
greatly complemented the lectures provided by highly reputed professors.
In my opinion, it is a very useful training and it
is an excellent chance to have reflections on various topics from the
different parts of the world round one table. The discussions are very
rich and we will learn a lot as they always bring in excellent experts
that you might resort to in any future cooperation. Regarding the
thematic workshop, it is really interactive and creates room for
innovation and better interpretation of what is available in the law.
I really enjoyed the training. I found it a very
well organized course giving you the tools to go into more depth in IHL
but also a vast source of information and access to resources. It was a
great opportunity for me to interact with people working in this area,
to exchange views and understand their work in this field. I really
enjoyed the several case studies which were part of the course. In
general it was quite an interactive course with excellent speakers.
The training I joined in Jordan in Feb, 2012 was
important because topics were related to current challenges and emerging
trends in field. Moreover participants from conflict related countries
contributed their experience and lesson learned how to work with parties
to the conflict for improving civilians’ protection. The training in
real sense equipped me to carry on successfully my service as a Human
Rights officer for protection of civilians in current NIAC conflict of
PHAP's training courses in IHL and the thematic
workshops are excellent. My experience in Bangkok in May 2011 was that
the course was by far the most professional, in-depth, informative and
relevant of all the workshops in which I've participated over the last
fifteen or twenty years. I would also add that it was a lot of fun,
socially as well as academically. One element that makes a course
successful is that the other participants are also interesting people as
well as experienced professionals. It's this aspect too that makes PHAP
My very positive experience is that these
trainings and workshops are not ‘just another conference’, but that they
actually manage to bridge the gap between theory of humanitarian action
and the operational experience.
I realize that, just like me, many of my
colleagues would need the kind of training PHAP offers. Therefore, I am
certain that PHAP will play an important role for my organization in the
I found the core training and the thematic
training on occupation law in March 2012 very informative and
interesting. The trainings are organised very well, those leading the
sessions were clearly experts in their fields, and the combination of
presentations/ discussions/ simulation exercises helps bridge between
the theoretic principles and practical application. I would definitely
recommend the training, and would suggest taking the thematic training
that follows the core training.
Having the sort of theoretical knowledge that PHAP
trainings contribute to is important for humanitarian professionals, in
order for them to reflect upon their role and how it interacts with
those of others and to find new and better ways to serve the populations
we work with.
I found it extremely relevant, particularly in
terms of external communication where we have to make sure that our
terminology is accurate.
I really liked the case studies and discussion of specific contexts - this works.
The online trainings were a fantastic background
for the training and workshop. Good quality and excellent idea. Proved
to be very useful to better understand the training.
It was an eye opener to the reality on the ground
especially during emergencies. Decisions that are timely can be very
useful and avoid a crisis situation.
Fantastic training session. Will be useful for almost any future assignment. Great mix of theory and practical discussion.
Very refreshing and orienting; while on the legal
side much of the curriculum was not novel to me as I am a military
lawyer, the perspectives that I was exposed to are critically important
and different from the way I normally view these issues.
Overall it has been a great balance of
information, grounded in practical examples from facilitators and the
group. Great energetic and engaging facilitation.