Brid at event

Internally Displaced Persons in Europe

Dr Bríd Ní Ghráinne has been appointed as an Expert Member of the Council of Europe HELP Working Group on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Dr Ní Ghráinne is developing an online training course for the implementation of the international rights of IDPs at national level, together with the Council of Europe and the Working Group’s three other Expert Members – Dr Costas Paraskeva, Professor Elizabeth Ferris, and Kim Mancini-Beck.


The European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) supports the Council of Europe (47) member states in implementing the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) at the national level, in accordance with the Committee of Ministers Recommendation (2004) 4 on the European Convention on Human Rights in university education and professional training. Other Committee of Ministers’ documents have reinforced HELP’s position and role, notably the 2015 Brussels declaration that called on states to increase efforts at national level to improve the training of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and national officials. The HELP programme has been developed to ensure appropriate and high quality training throughout the European continent that meets the training of all (current and future) legal professionals as well as university students. It has become the main platform for all human rights capacity development endeavours undertaken by the Council of Europe and, through its HELP free online platform it ensures that limited resources are used as effectively as possibly.

HELP courses cover topics such as anti-discrimination, property rights, data protection, human trafficking, bioethics, counterfeiting of medicines, children´s rights, hate crime, and freedom of expression, as well as international cooperation in criminal matters, reasoning of criminal judgments and alternatives to detention.

The HELP course on IDPs

As part of the Working Group, Dr Ní Ghráinne is developing an online training course to be launched on the HELP platform before the end of 2017. This course is being developed with the support of the CoE project ‘Strengthening the Human Rights Protection of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine.’ The course aims to raise awareness of the international and Council of Europe protection standards relating to IDPs, and show how these standards can be invoked. The course is primarily aimed at judges and legal professionals but will also be of interest to civil servants, students, IDPs themselves, and the general public. The course will be interactive, available online in English, free to all, and will be translated into various languages. It will also be adapted at a national level in Ukraine – and possibly elsewhere – and will be taught by the help of national tutors.

Dr Ní Ghráinne’s work on IDPs

Brid at CoE event
Dr Ní Ghráinne wrote her doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford on the relationship between IDP and refugee protection, and she has published widely on IDP issues in peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal on Refugee Law and the Max Planck Encyclopaedia on Public International Law. She teaches IDP rights on the LLM in International Law and Global Justice at Sheffield, and on the distance-learning MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies at the University of London. Most recently, she participated as an International Expert at the Roundtable ‘Protection of the rights of internally displaced persons: Council of Europe standards and national challenges’ in Kharkiv, Ukraine on 6 October 2017. Details of the event are available here

There are over 2 million IDPs in Europe, and raising awareness of their international rights is more important than ever. It is a privilege for me to be part of such an exciting and important project and to further the practical impact of my research on IDPs.


More information

Dr Ní Ghráinne has given an interview on the development of the HELP course available here

You can read more information about the Council of Europe Project here

You can read more about the HELP programme and HELP related courses here