300 participants joined the “Dili Human Rights Education Week” and celebrated the handover of the Human Rights Centre
From 10 to 15 December, the EU Delegation to Timor-Leste together with the Global Campus of Human Rights and the National University (UNTL) jointly organised a closing event to present and discuss the results of the four-year capacity building project “Development of Human Rights Education and Research at the UNTL” as well as the final handover ceremony of the newly established UNTL Human Rights Centre.
This umbrella event comprised a series of academic and outreach activities under the patronage of the Presidency of the Republic and in the context of year marking the 20th anniversary of the Timorese independence. The opening session took place on 10 December, the international human rights day, with the launch of the trilingual textbook “Our Human Rights, our Future!”, the first editorial initiative of this kind, aiming at supporting students and lecturers of the new undergraduate course available across all Faculties. This was also the occasion to award 21 UNTL lecturers with their diplomas for having finalised the training of trainers on human rights education organised by the Centre in 2022.
Other activities of the week included the presentation of the master’s theses by the Timorese human rights defenders who successfully completed the Global Campus Asia-Pacific programme; the publication of the first research project of the UNTL Human Rights Centre, focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state of human rights; the sub-regional launch of the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberties; the screening of the awarded documentary “Bigger Than Us” together with the Embassy of France; and a stakeholders workshop to discuss the future perspectives for the UNTL Human Rights Centre.
Surely, the most important moment of the week was represented by the high-level handover of the Human Rights Centre from the Global Campus to the National University. This was organised as part of the ceremony for the awarding of the prestigious “Sergio Vieira de Mello Human Rights Prize”, conferred by the President of the Republic since 2009. This event represented the deserved conclusion for all tireless efforts made during the project implementation, and to proudly celebrate the success story of this new academic institution aimed at contributing to a more just and equitable Timor-Leste for the generations to come.
With the closing of the project, a new chapter opens up for the UNTL Human Rights Centre which will continue its core activities while also enduring the close collaboration with the Global Campus thought joints projects, and as an associate of the regional network for the Asia-Pacific. At the same time, the Global Campus will build on this successful model and continue supporting other emerging universities of developing countries.