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UNTL, Global Campus of Human Rights and EU celebrate Human Rights Day together with more than 20 diploma recipients

10.12.2021

The National University of Timor-Lorosa’e (UNTL) together with the Global Campus of Human Rights and the support of the EU Delegation to Timor-Leste are proud to jointly celebrate the International Human Rights Day with the diploma ceremony of the “Human Rights Study & Training Programmes”. 

The event is organized in the morning of December 10 at the symbolic premises of Centro Nacional Chega! with the participation of former President and Peace Nobel Laureate Dr. José Ramos-Horta, representatives from local institutions such as the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Justice, members of academia, of human rights organization of Timor-Leste, and of the international community.

The three Programmes are the flagship capacity-building activity of the ongoing project for the creation of the UNTL Human Rights Centre, based at the UNTL Faculty of Social Sciences. Started in 2019, they have allowed to successfully train a team of among lecturers, researchers, and managers to become the resource persons for the mainstreaming of human rights education at the University, hence contributing to the promotion of human rights, democracy, and sustainable development for a more equitable and just Timor-Leste.

In this regard, EU Chargé d’Affaires Dörthe Wacker stated that “standing up for your rights starts with being aware of having rights. This is not given in any country of the world. Without awareness raising and education on human rights people cannot contribute to the promotion of human rights and to the creation of a better world. This is why the UNTL Human Rights Centre is so important for the European Union, it empowers young people to become an actor for change. We are encouraged by the good results achieved so far and wish UNTL, the Human Rights Centre and the next batch of students all the best for a fruitful continuation of this and new learning activities”. 

Thanks to the programmes 6 emerging Timorese human rights defenders, 15 UNTL professors and 6 UNTL alumni were trained in Dili and in the region by the Global Campus, with the support of international and local experts, also in cooperation with Provedoria dos Direitos Humanus e Justiça, Centro Nacional Chega and the ASEAN University Network. Notably, the first group has successfully attended and finalized the Global Campus Asia Pacific “Regional Master Degree on Human Rights and Democratization” (GC APMA) coordinated by Mahidol University in Bangkok.

The Global Campus Project Manager, Adriano Remiddi, explains that “the expertise of the training participants, 5 of which are now the staff of the UNTL Human Rights Centre, will allow the National University to further develop interdisciplinary human rights courses, research and learning activities, and hopefully become a member of the Global Campus of Human Rights by 2022”.

In fact, after the already established and successfully implemented new introductory course for all first graders, new specializations are being created with selected Faculties such as in the area of children rights. Moreover, plans for postgraduate human rights-based education have also started, with the UNTL Human Rights Centre to act as a strategic platform of academic development for the University. 

The UNTL Rector, Prof. Dr. Joao Soares Martins declared that “the UNTL is proudly housing the Human Rights Centre with the continuous support of the Global Campus of Human Rights, with the main objective of promoting Human Rights in Timor-Leste and globally, through academic work and research”.

The UNTL Human Rights Centre project is currently in its follow up phase for its gradual consolidation. The handover of the Centre to the National University is planned for December 2022.