Read more about our human rights summer course in Lebanon.

Middle East and North Africa

 Our work in the Middle East and North Africa

RWI started its cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the 1990s through initial collaboration in Tunisia and 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. These programmes have also been implemented with local partners in e.g., Morocco, Jordan and Lebanon.

The most recent MENA programme (2018-2021) aimed at further increasing the application of international human rights standards in national judicial systems in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. By strengthening the capacities of judicial training institutes in the MENA region to actively integrate international human rights standards in their curricula and improve their teaching methodology, more judges currently have the knowledge and tools to increasingly support the use of human rights standards by courts in the region. This programme was implemented within the framework of the International Legal Assistance Consortium’s (ILAC) MENA programme, financially supported by Swedish Development Cooperation. Under ILAC´s Syria Programme 2017-2018, RWI also piloted a programme on higher legal education and skills training of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

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

Key results in MENA

  • International human rights standards are increasingly being applied in new court decisions as a result of strengthened knowledge among recently graduated judges on the integration of international human rights standards in national systems. RWI’s support can be attributed to this result in at least Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
  • New reference material with jurisprudence from Arab courts and analysis of how international human rights standards can be applied in court proceedings and judicial rulings. In total seven national studies and three regional jurisprudence books as well as one manual on the integration of human rights in the teaching at Judicial Training Institutes have been published.
  • 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.

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

Amelie Sällfors

Amelie Sällfors

(On leave) 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.