University Human Rights Education in Myanmar

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights, in collaboration with 20 universities in Myanmar and with the support of Open Society Foundations and OSF Myanmar, has been engaged in the University Human Rights Education in Myanmar Project since 2014. Enhanced capacity to teach and promote human rights is essential during this period of transition and this project is part of a larger effort to foster human rights within the formal education system of Myanmar.

The overall goal of this project is to develop the capacity of Myanmar university professors to promote and engage in human rights education. Specifically, this project’s goal is to enable university educators to more effectively incorporate human rights into their teaching and research practices. In addition to developing greater knowledge and understanding of human rights, this project seeks to develop pedagogical skills, foster a greater interest in human rights and rights-based teaching approaches, develop a stronger community of human rights educators, and connect educators more deeply to the practice of human rights. Since the launch of the project, International Human Rights Law has become a required course for third-year LLB students and many of the faculty participants are now teaching this course. 
The first two phases of the project focused on teaching introduction to international human rights law and developing curriculum development and teaching skills. Key activities included six in-person workshops, two phases of online training, the hosting of visiting scholars in the United States, curriculum development, campus visits, and the launch of an online human rights education network. Approximately 25 core faculty participated in this project, but approximately 75 other faculty and 150 students participated in certain aspects. Click here for full project details. 
The third phase of this project began in 2019 and focuses specifically on minority rights education and aims to enhance the capacity of Myanmar law faculty to promote knowledge, values and skills for the defense and promotion of minority rights within the Myanmar context using learner-centered, rights-based pedagogical approaches. This project adopts an intersectional approach to minority rights, and will explore issues that include, but are not limited to, politics, gender, sexuality, religion, race/ethnicity, language, and indigenous rights. Key project activities include the online study of minority rights issues, co-curriculum development, and three in-person training and teaching workshops. Approximately 30 faculty members are participating in this project. Other faculty and students attend selected elements of in-person workshops. Click here for full project details.