HELP is the main educational platform of the Council of Europe for legal professionals. Its aim is to train judges, lawyers and prosecutors, but also other professionals including penitentiary and prison officers, where relevant, on European human rights standards.
Apart from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, HELP covers other Council of Europe instruments, like the European Social Charter, the modernised Convention 108 on data protection, or the Convention etc. Since 2015, HELP also covers the EU legal framework and the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU.
Many HELP courses have been developed and implemented at the national level with EU support. This is the case of prison-related courses such as Radicalisation Prevention, with specific modules for prison and probation officers, Managing Foreign National Prisoners (developed jointly with Europris), CPT Standards (Committee on the Prevention of Torture) or Prohibition of Ill-treatment.
All these courses are available free of charge to any user in the HELP online platform. HELP courses (initially developed in English) have the potential to be translated into national languages, adapted to the national legal orders.
The coordinators of the HELP courses are open to collaborate with penitentiary training academies on specific joint actions. Eva Massa coordinates the joint EU-CoE Project on “Radicalisation Prevention, Judicial Response to Counter-terrorism and International Cooperation in Criminal Matters”. For any interests on joint actions, please contact Eva Massa: Eva.MASSA-ARRANZ@coe.int.
Coordinators of HELP are already in touch with many penitentiary training academies in EU countries under this project, and they are planning to further contact other institutions as, during these COVID times, the resort to the HELP methodology (virtual + online) is proving very effective and is very much welcome by penitentiary institutions/officers.