We are working for increased institutionalisation of human rights in Myanmar through cooperation with the National Human Rights Institution and academic institutions.
We initiated cooperation in Myanmar in late 2011, as the first international organisation to engage with the then newly established National Human Rights Institution.
In the beginning of 2013, we began work to provide support and technical advice to the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC), focusing on its human rights and operational capacity.
In 2014, we expanded cooperation to include support to academic institutions, with a specific focus on human rights research and education.
Currently, we are working to further strengthen MNHRC’s protection mandate, with a focus on developing tools and internal mechanisms to efficiently handle complaints and carry out investigations. We are also supporting MNHRC’s human rights outreach activities, including through developing relevant materials in Burmese and ethnic minority languages, and its engagement with civil society and government institutions.
The focus of our current cooperation with academia is on strengthening human rights education, knowledge and research skills among staff at universities across Myanmar. Our main partners are the law faculties at the universities of Mandalay and Yangon.
Through cooperation with MNHRC, we have contributed to increase knowledge and skills of staff and Commissioners regarding international human rights law, as well as on the Commission’s role as a National Human Rights Institution.
Building on these achievements, the Commission has implemented wide human rights outreach activities targeting government officials and civil society organisations. On the protection side, the cooperation has contributed to the development of increased capacity as well as enhanced internal tools to handle complaints and carry out inquiries.
Academics in Myanmar have developed substantive human rights knowledge, research skills and regional peer networks through:
• a series of workshops for lecturers from all university law faculties
• research support through year-long mentorships
• provision of human rights literature materials to law libraries as well as engagement with human rights centres in the Southeast Asian region
Our current cooperation programme in Myanmar is financially supported by Swedish Development Cooperation.
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