Respite Program for Human Rights Defenders at the Villa Grebovka
The CEELI Institute continues to expand its successful program to provide respite stays for human rights defenders working under pressure and in extreme situations. Since initiating the project in summer 2015, the Institute has now hosted seven of these brave and inspiring human rights attorneys through the program. Respite stay participants, to date, have worked in areas of anti-torture litigation, access to information, NGO defense, children’s rights, and freedom of expression. Each participant creates his or her own program based on their interests and amount of time they will spend at the Institute. Examples of past projects have included learning documentary film making skills (for use in documenting and filming torture victim testimonies), providing interviews with international media on their work, and improving legal English. Respite participants also frequently participate in ongoing programs at the Institute. The participants reside at CEELI Institute facilities in Prague, near the Villa Grébovka. Participants have a safe, peaceful and comfortable space in which to work during their stay. Recognizing the important role that family plays in the well-being of human rights defenders, CEELI is also able to make accommodations for sabbatical participants to bring along partners and children. We look forward to continuing this novel and innovative program and to welcoming more of these brave people to CEELI this year!