Introduction to International Law and Human Rights

Introduction to International Law and Human Rights

The first phase of the project started with a learning and development trip from January-March 2014. The first in-person workshop took place March 30 - April 3, 2015 at Yangon University. This training provided an overview and introduction to the topics -  introduction to human rights and international human rights law — and the course more generally. 
 
From April to December of 2015, faculty participated in a distance learning course that included 14 modules and entailed video and audio presentations, discussions, research exercises, case studies, and other interactive assignments designed to foster community-building and inter-university dialogue. 
 
The second in-person training took place on January 5-8, 2016 at Yangon University. This intensive four-day training reinforced and built upon the foundational knowledge that the project cultivated over the previous year, while emphasizing critical skills related to curriculum development, research methods, and pedagogy. 
As part of this training, project participants also met with representatives of human rights NGOs working throughout the country, who discussed their advocacy efforts and shared their insights regarding the work of human rights in Myanmar.
 
As part of this training, project participants also met with representatives of human rights NGOs working throughout the country, who discussed their advocacy efforts and shared their insights regarding the work of human rights in Myanmar.
 
Following the second in-person workshop, the project resumed its online component.  The focus of the sessions pivoted towards collaborative, research-based assignments through which the faculty developed elements of the human rights curriculum that they will be teaching
The third in-person training took place over three days from June 20-22nd, 2016. The workshop served as a culmination of the online work and preparation that the faculty undertook, individually and within their rights groups, over the preceding months. During this workshop, faculty members applied their human rights knowledge and pedagogical skills in order to teach human rights topics to their colleagues individually and in small groups.
 
By the conclusion of the training every faculty member had multiple opportunities to lead presentations, facilitate learning exercises, and participate in critical discussions. Faculty demonstrated their own expertise, developed valuable presentation skills, and were exposed to diverse human rights topics and teaching approaches. Moreover, they cemented interdepartmental relationships with their colleagues and strengthened ties to local civil society representatives.  
 
The second phase of the project began in 2017.  In early 2017,  the project developed detailed presentation notes and learning activities for four introductory human rights course sessions that provided the conceptual basis for a human rights and international human rights law course. 
An in-person training that took place in May 2017 focused on developing human rights analytical skills that could be transferred and incorporated into their varying classroom sizes and types, expanding the participants’ knowledge and understanding of human rights laws and concepts, improving pedagogical skills, developing teaching materials that they could use in their classroom, further developing a strong cohort of colleagues who offer support and feedback to one another and preparing faculty for campus visits in July 2017. The campus visits were an opportunity for faculty to further develop and demonstrate their subject-matter expertise and pedagogical skills. Faculty preparation for the session included online support and an additional day of training and small group work at Yangon and Mandalay Universities with the project facilitators. 
 

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Faculty participants
Caption: 
Faculty participants engaged in group exercise. Photo credit: Basam Khawaja.
In December 2017, ISHR conducted a human rights training workshop and co-organized the Human Rights Seminar on Human Rights Education in Myanmar in which 50+ faculty and six NGOs participated. This Human Rights Seminar was co-organized and co-hosted with the Denmark-Myanmar Programme on Rule of Law and Human Rights of the Embassy of Denmark in Myanmar and took place at East Yangon University.
 
The workshop was facilitated by ISHR to prepare faculty participants for the seminar. The Human Rights Seminar provided peer training on specific human rights issues by selected faculty and pedagogical skills such as curriculum development and facilitation skills. It also provided faculty the opportunity to discuss and share common challenges and best practices for teaching human rights. Finally, it convened both human rights practitioners and faculty and concluded with the launch of the Myanmar University Human Rights Education Network. The goal of this network is to share best practices, develop a stronger community of human rights educators, and facilitate collaboration among educators and practitioners in Myanmar.