Development of Human Rights Education and Research at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL)
The premises of the UNTL Human Rights Centre were inaugurated on August 27th 2019, after extensive reconstruction and refurbishment works carried out in a space allocated for this purpose at the UNTL Faculty of Social Sciences. The location at the historic Caicoli Campus in Dili is highly symbolic, as it was the birthplace of the student resistance movement during the country’s struggle for independence.
Providing adequate and conducive facilities for the new Centre has been one of the key priorities of this project given that the UNTL, like numerous other educational institutions in the country, is still suffering from the legacy of wartime destruction and subsequent decay, placing students and staff in a precarious position and hindering educational outcomes.
The refurbishment of the premises and sanitation facilities, conducted over a period of three months, was implemented by a local company. Furthermore the three main areas, namely the office space, the library and meeting space, and the teaching room, have been furnished by a Timorese social project using locally sourced and environmentally-friendly materials.
UNTL staff and students, as well as civil society representatives, can now use the Centre’s library and benefit from access to the internet and technical equipment. The educational and extracurricular activities organised and hosted at the Centre have attracted numerous visitors, thus turning it into a lively hub for students and activists.