Promotion of human rights and peace education through capacity building, empowerment and dissemination of knowledge among academics, scholars and students in Southeast Asia.
The Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP), Mahidol University, has more than a decade long experiences in promoting human rights and peace education in Southeast-Asia. To ensure sustainability of human rights and peace education and their relevance in local context, the IHRP focuses on capacity building for scholars, academics and students in the region.
In wider Southeast Asian context, the IHRP, in its capacity as the Chair of the ASEAN University Network - Human Rights Education (AUN-HRE) and the secretariat of the Strengthening Human Rights and Peace Research and Education in ASEAN/SEA Programme or SHAPE SEA, continues to provide human rights education in Southeast Asia. With the support from the Norwegian Center for Human Rights, the AUN-HRE organizes regular Regional Lecturer Workshop on Teaching Human Rights and Peace and on-demand national lecturer workshop on teaching human rights. In 2022, one Regional Lecturer Workshop was organized and one national workshop was offered for the lecturers from Myanmar and Malaysia.
To disseminate further knowledge on human rights, the project continues to produce human rights textbook through the collaboration with SHAPE SEA (funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency - SIDA). Currently it is working on textbook Volume 5 on Environment, Climate Change and Human Rights and started to review and update the first two volumes of textbook it produced several years ago. Other outreach activities include Student Essay Competition on “ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD): Ten Years On” which received 174 submissions from youths in 10 countries in the region.
After the coup d’etat in Myanmar in February 2021, education system in the country was disrupted. Large number of students left schools/universities while many teachers and lecturers left their job. The work on human rights education thus focuses on the participants from Myanmar. Through the support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), in 2021-2022 the IHRP engaged in Strengthening Human Rights Education and Research in Myanmar Project to strengthen knowledge and capacity of the independent academics and independent academic institutions in Myanmar in teaching and researching human rights and peace. The Project offered 3 online human rights courses on Introduction to Human Rights Standards, Human Rights of Vulnerable Groups; and International Organizations, Peace and Rights, to almost 400 students in Myanmar. To strengthen research capacity, IHRP lecturers organized research workshop and provided research mentorship to 35 independent Myanmar scholars. Part of the research was published in the book “Voices from Myanmar during Crisis” by IHRP while a number of research articles were published in different academic journals.
The Project also provided 20 full scholarships for students from Myanmar to study in the MA in Human Rights and MA in Human Rights and Democratization offered by the IHRP. The Program significantly contribute to human rights education in Myanmar which was suspended after the February 2021 coup d’etat. In addition, the Norwegian Center for Human Rights offered two PhD scholarships to Myanmar students to enroll in PhD in Human Rights and Peace Studies at IHRP.
Future collaboration to offer similar human rights education program to Myanmar scholars is being discussed after the success of the Strengthening Human Rights Education and Research in Myanmar Project in 2022.