Read more about our human rights summer course in Lebanon.

Middle East and North Africa

 Our work in the Middle East and North Africa

The Institute started its cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the 1990s through an initial collaboration in Tunisia, and then later a bilateral cooperation in Palestine. Support through Swedish development cooperation further expanded our work in the MENA region from 2003. Since then, an extensive number of regional training programmes and other regional initiatives on various human rights issues, including on gender equality and good governance have been carried out. For nearly a decade, over 100 key stakeholders from Academic Institutions, National Human Rights Institutions, government representatives and civil society organisations mainly from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Syria gained increased capacities on the implementation of human rights in relation to their respective roles and functions at their institutions. The programmes were implemented with local partners in e.g. Morocco, Jordan and Lebanon.

Our current regional MENA programme (2018-2021) aims at increasing the application of international human rights standards in national judicial systems in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia with a particular focus on the role of the judiciary in the protection of rights and freedoms. By strengthening the capacities of primarily judicial institutes in the MENA region to actively integrate international human rights standards in their curricula and improve their teaching methodology, the ambition is that more judicial professionals will have the knowledge and tools to increasingly support the use of human rights standards by courts in the region. Results thus far include legislative amendments in favour of human rights (Jordan, Morocco), and international standards being applied in new court decisions (Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco).

The Institute’s current and recent MENA programme is implemented within the framework of the International Legal Assistance Consortium’s (ILAC) MENA programme, which is financially supported by Swedish Development Cooperation. Under ILAC´s Syria Programme, we also piloted a programme on higher law education and skills training of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

Since 2011, we have an established office in Amman, Jordan.

For more information on our activities in MENA, please contact:

Amelie Sällfors

Amelie Sällfors

Deputy Director of Programmes

Phone: + 46 46 222 12 32

Amelie holds both a Swedish LL.M and a Master in International Human Rights Law from Lund University. She has been working as a Programme Officer at RWI since 2005. Before joining RWI, she worked at UNHCR in Nairobi, Kenya, the Swedish Migration Board in Malmö, Sweden, and at the European Council for Refugees and Exiles, in London, UK.

At RWI Amelie has primarily been working with academic cooperation programmes in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. She is currently working with capacity development cooperation with universities in Belarus. She has also been involved with developing methodologies on Monitoring and Evaluation as well as on Human Rights Education within the Department.