Development of Human Rights Education and Research
at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL)
Three structural “Human Rights Studies & Training Programmes” have been developed to forge a team of human rights scholars, researchers and junior practitioners who will constitute the backbone of the Human Rights Centre. They will be equipped with knowledge, tools and skills to conceptualise and lead courses, research and learning activities that will become a new area of expertise for the UNTL. In addition, selected beneficiaries of the training programmes will be teaching a new compulsory undergraduate course in human rights to be introduced across all nine UNTL Faculties in 2021.
Group 1: Human rights defenders
Six emerging HR defenders from different sectors of civil society have been selected to participate in the “Human Rights Studies & Training Programme” for Nationals of Timor Leste. This 18-month programme is divided into three phases.
- Phase 1: a pre-Master preparatory period focused on English language, soft and academic skills, team building and field trips
- Phase 2: the GC Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Asia Pacific (GC Asia-Pacific)
- Phase 3: a postgraduate internship period at the Human Rights Centre will provide defenders with an opportunity to apply their academic expertise in various complex tasks that are instrumental to mainstreaming human rights education and research at the UNTL, including co-organizing academic events and learning the basics of project management and fundraising
Group 2: UNTL professors and lecturers
Fifteen UNTL lecturers have been selected to develop skills and knowledge to incorporate human rights education into the curricula of their respective departments and degree courses. This 12-month programme is comprised of three phases.
- Phase 1: a customized English for Human Rights language course
- Phase 2: an intensive training programme in human rights and democracy fundamentals, as well as a workshop on the history and practice of human rights in Timor-Leste. These will be implemented in cooperation with the national Ombudsperson Office for Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ) and CNC-Centro Nacional Chega!, the national institute for memory and dealing with the past
- Phase 3: a fellowship period at the GC Asia-Pacific in Bangkok will provide beneficiaries with an opportunity to study and cooperate peer-to-peer with senior human rights scholars with the goal of developing the curriculum and teaching materials for the new compulsory undergraduate course in Human Rights
Group 3: Graduating students and alumni
Six graduating students and alumni from the Faculty of Social Sciences, home to the Human Rights Centre, have been selected to attend an 8-month programme including:
- Phase 1: English language classes and peer-to-peer learning activities
- Phase 2: an academic training programme in human rights and democracy and fundamentals of project cycle management
- Phase 3: a traineeship period providing the beneficiaries with an opportunity to gain insight into the basics of human rights research and teaching methodology, and the practicalities of project cycle management
UNTL Human Rights Academy
At the end of the training programmes the three groups will reconvene in Dili. Together with the GC staff they will co-organise an academic activity named “UNTL Human Rights Academy” which will put their freshly acquired skills and knowledge into practice.