Next stop Myanmar

The Institute has been selected to work with Myanmar´s newly established National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC), for the coming four years. The MNHRC has a nascent existence, having only been recently established in September 2011.

A year ago the Institute was invited to have a workshop with the newly established human rights institution in Myanmar. Several consultations followed allowing  the Institute to come up with suggestions of how to support the newly established Commission.

-They seemed to gravitate towards our independent status and the fact that we so closely focus on capacity building, says Jason Naum, Head of the Thematic Unit at The Institute. We have a distinct methodology when it comes to NHRI capacity building and after discussing our methods and their ambitions, we decided to go forward and develop a joint project.

A work plan was put together, which today includes translating of human rights texts, several human rights workshops, including one on business and human rights; and training of the commission´s members, a new website, publishing outreach materials, study visits to other NHRIs and a possible future training program for partners. The Institute´s librarian Lena Olsson will also be going to Myanmar to help building up a human rights library. The program will run for four years, with a first phase of two years.

-Myanmar is incredibly interesting and dynamic at the moment, comments Sue Anne Koh, program officer at The Institute who will run the program from Lund on a day to day basis. I focused on Myanmar in my previous job which has familiarized me with the country and its challenges. I see this as a great opportunity to work in a promising yet challenging environment.

Jason Naum is also pleased.

-This will mean that we can be at ground zero in Myanmar and support a human rights culture right from the beginning.