Fundamental Human Rights Training and Exchange Visit
Fundamental Human Rights Training and Exchange Visits participated in by some law students and faculty members from East Yangon University, Dagon University, and Mandalay University as Legal Information Center (LIC) members with aims at enhancing their existing Human rights knowledge and exchanging LIC work experiences. It is co-organized by the 3-universities and Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) under the “ Denmark-Myanmar Programme on Rule of Law and Human Rights”.The fundamental human rights training was held at CBCM (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar) - 292/A, Pyay Rd., Myae Ni Gone (North) Ward, Sanchaung Township, Yangon Region) on 20 Feb 2020 and Exchange Visits were at Legal Information Centers and Human Rights Resource Centers located at Dagon University and East Yangon University on 21 Feb 2020.
The total participants are 14 persons from EYU LIC (12 students and 2 teachers), 12 persons from DU LIC (11 students and 1 teacher), and 23 persons from MU LIC (20 students + 3 teachers).
A Community Outreach by EYU LIC, 17 Dec 2019
The Legal Information Center (LIC), established in June 2018 at East Yangon University (EYU) with the support of the Denmark Myanmar Programme on rule of law and human rights, conducted a comprehensive community awareness-raising activity ensuring outreach to more than 369 community people in the six villages within Than Lyn Kyauk Than township on 17 December 2019.
The outreach sessions conducted by LIC students with supervision by law lecturers provided an introduction to fundamental human rights, rule of law and labor laws. got involved in the sessions by the group. They had carefully planned and crafted this outreach activity, as they were to provide the legal information and human rights sensitization in X teams, and to more 5 remote communities as these are across the Than Lyn River and further away from EYU., Due to being the remote and outlying area, the community is in great need of such as the knowledge provided by the LIC. Despite enormous energy and time took, the activity ended up being the biggest benefit to community and LIC members as well as the law department for the year 2019.
As inputs, a tremendous amount of effort has been, in fact, made by the LIC members to make it happen. They had to spend around 15 days in preparation of the activity obtaining the permission from the respective township General Administration Department (GAD), identifying the needs of the community through consultation with the community leaders and village administrators, organizing the venue and transportation in collaboration with the community, designing the sessions, researching the required materials, and practicing the session activities (presentation, group discussion. etc.). In addition, the training provided by the program had equipped them with the knowledge and skills required for such an activity. In this activity, the Denmark – Myanmar Programme team only provided minor couching on preparation and carried on the consistent supports of motivating the LIC members.
As process, there are six groups that consists of students and teachers. Each group carries out a session in a single village. The session roughly starts from 10:00 Am and ends by 12:00 PM. It basically involves the presentation, question and answer, and then group discussion in which the LIC group members discussed particular cases in a certain group and provide possible options to their cases. Most of the participants demonstrated high interest in the topics and greatly appreciate the LIC for the session. The simplified legal message and the examples familiar with the community used by the presenters seem quite understandable and useful to the participants. The common cases raised and discussed are labor cases, debt cases, child cases, and citizenship cases, and so on. further more, a number of books related to rules of law and human rights are provided to all villages. Participants are basically village/ward administrators, 100 household leaders, community people, and primary school teachers. The sessions were held at the community centers and ward administration offices. Some villages provided lunch and refreshments. From the LIC side, the small refreshments are provided to the participants. All the people from the university greatly enjoy the outreach.
Impact, the key outcomes of the community outreach included:
- 369 community people (male 220 + female 149) had enhanced knowledge and understanding of fundamental human rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights- UDHR) and Myanmar labor laws.
13 community people received relevant legal and human rights information for disputes and cases ongoing within their community. Several participants described that the LIC outreach was extremely valuable for them and highlighted the need for further and more frequent service being a key need as these communities faced many violations of labor and land rights.
- 45 LIC students (male 17 + female 28) and 6 LIC teachers (male 1 + female 5), as well as 5 non-LIC member teachers (all female), gained significant experience of community outreach through this activity. One non-LIC teacher commented “I never experienced such as community outreach in my life” it is very interesting to know the community’s problems and how the LIC works. Some students commented “this outreach has maximized our motivation and confidence of LIC works and we received many compliments from both LIC and non-LIC teachers following the activity. Subsequently, they have even more passion to contribute to the work of the LIC. Some LIC teachers said, “it brings about a great benefit of practicing and enhancing our leadership skills and getting to know the community context through the process of the outreach”, and glad to see the significant improvement of the LIC students including enhanced knowledge levels of the law and human rights and management skills. from participating in this outreach activity.
Finally, and most importantly, the communication between LIC and local authorities (GAD, village administrators, hundred household leaders, and community leaders) was also boosted and LIC was appreciated greatly by these authorities. It has created a bridge for the community to access the LIC where the community people in need will be able to access relevant information for the cases and problems facing them.