The course has been implemented for the first time as a pilot edition in 5 of the 9 UNTL faculties, involving 13 departments, 21 lecturers and 1130 enrolled students, of which 532 men and 598 women. About 85% of them have successfully passed the exam, some with the highest grade as Fazia Maria Pinto Ferreira. Fazia thinks that “human rights are universal, open to everyone without discrimination of race, ethnicity, language, sex, religion etc. So, as UNTL students, I feel proud that this subject is in the UNTL curriculum, and I wish to learn more in the future”.
During the course, students could learn and discuss the history and fundamentals of human rights, the international and regional protection mechanisms, the rights of specific groups as well as various thematic issues that are particularly relevant locally.
The expertise and tools to implement this course were developed with the Global Campus of Human Rights and the GC Asia Pacific regional programme based at Mahidol University (Bangkok). The process also involved the cooperation with strategic partners such as Centro National Chega (CNC), the Provedoria for Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ), the ASEAN University Network (AUN-HRE) and the consultation of the local CSOs in Timor-Leste to prepare case studies and examples.
According to Prof. Bernardo Idalina Leto, one of the trainees of the Centre who has become a human rights lecturer, "incorporating the human right course in the UNTL curriculum as a mandatory subject for all students deepens their knowledge of human rights andis one of the milestones achieved so far. It is a guarantee for them to uphold the human right values during their life".
The course will take place from 2022-23 throughout all UNTL faculties thanks to a team of 40 lecturers which includes the second cohort of the Human Rights Centre trainees who have successfully finalized the training of trainers organized by the Centre in 2022.
The UNTL Human Rights Centre is the result of a capacity building project implemented together with the Global Campus of Human Rights and supported by the European Union from 2019. This project aims at the development of human rights education at the UNTL, and is currently in its follow-up phase for the gradual consolidation of the Centre and its activities. The handover of the Centre to the National University is planned for December 2022.