“Our Human Rights, Our Future!” a new textbook for the National University of Timor-Lorosa’e

The Global Campus of Human Rights is particularly glad to present “Our Human Rights, Our Future! An Introduction to Human Rights in Southeast Asia and Timor-Leste”, a key resource for the mainstreaming of human rights education at the National University of Timor-Lorosa’e (UNTL).


The realization and publication of this textbook is part of Global Campus’ efforts, from 2019 to 2022, to build UNTL’s capacities in the field of human rights education and research, with the aim of contributing to the enhancement of democracy, human rights and sustainable development of Asia’s youngest nation. This process, made possible thanks to the support of the European Union, entailed the creation of a UNTL Human Rights Centre tasked with developing training, research and outreach activities.


During the four-year project, a team of lecturers, teaching assistants, researchers and staff was trained to mainstream human rights education across all UNTL faculties. In this context, a curriculum revision led to the adoption of a compulsory human rights module as part of a renewed general undergraduate course now including “An Introduction to Human Rights in Southeast Asia and Timor-Leste”.


“Our Human Rights, Our Future” has been specifically developed to support teachers and students of this new course, as well as any other effort to promote human rights higher education in Timor-Leste and beyond. The textbook is an adaptation of “Introduction to Human Rights in Southeast Asia - Vol. 1, 2, 3” published by the Southeast Asian Human Rights Studies Network (SEAHRN), a teaching tool that aims at the promotion of human rights education in current and perspective ASEAN countries.


Available in English, Tetum and Portuguese, “Our Human Rights, Our Future” lays out the fundamental notions and standards of human rights, followed by a thematic selection of subjects related to the most pressing issues in Timor-Leste. The textbook was abridged and then adapted to UNTL’s needs, as well as tested with students to ensure it is well suited to their learning purposes. Moreover, several Timorese civil society organizations have contributed to the development of the materials, especially in the preparation of boxes with local examples and practices.


Very importantly, “Our Human Rights, Our Future” is complemented by a Digital Learning Initiative which makes the three e-books, over six hours of video-lessons, PowerPoint slides and a glossary freely available. This education tool, entirely designed in Tetun and English, makes it possible to combine training and in-class participation with e-learning materials, thus contributing to the academic innovation of the National University.


This textbook is an open and not-for-profit publication distributed under Creative Commons Licensing. Anyone is invited to use, reuse, adapt and redistribute this book to support the promotion of human rights education in Timor-Leste and elsewhere.

We hope that lecturers and students will enjoy teaching and studying with the support of these new materials!

Access the textbook here: English | Tetun | Portuguese


For more information about this project, visit its web-page or contact the project manager Adriano Remiddi at adriano.remiddi@gchumanrights.org

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