The third phase of the University Human Rights Education in Myanmar project is focused on minority rights. The purpose of this initiative is to develop the capacity of faculty in Myanmar to teach minority rights - including, but not limited to, religious, ethnic/racial, gender, sexual, indigenous, and intersectional issues - in their classroom using rights-based, participatory methodologies.
This project aims to develop not only knowledge of minority rights, but also norms of respect, non-discrimination, and solidarity and the skills to defend and promote minority rights. The proposed project builds on our previous work in human rights education, which included elements of minority rights education.
Through this project, we hope to enable individuals to recognize network and issue linkages across minority communities in order to strengthen rights norms and counteract a historical tendency of isolationism, factionalism, and competition amongst vulnerable groups. It also seeks to strengthen the community of human rights educators inside and outside academia and to strengthen opportunities for collaboration among universities and NGOs.
ISHR offers regular online modules and materials that focus on different aspects of minority rights in order to enhance the effectiveness of the in-person workshops. The materials and training modules remain available online after the project ends so that faculty will be able to continue to reference and utilize materials as needed.
The first in-person training for this phase of the project took place on August 20-23, 2019 in Mandalay University. It provided an overview and introduction to the topics and included interactive small group discussions on minority rights that were facilitated by faculty participants.
The second in-person training took place on January 7-10, 2020. It built on the foundations laid during the first in-person training and the online course. Among the topics covered in this training were racial discrimination, hate speech, statelesness and citizenship, genocide and ethnic cleansing and sexual orientation and gender identity rights. It also provided training for developing and delivering a minority rights curriculum.