Aug 26, 2008

Speak Out! 2008, Clingendael

25 young human rights defenders met last week in The Hague for a training programme on human rights activism.

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UNPO, together with No Peace Without Justice and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), hosted a human rights training programme on 21-22 August 2008 for young activists, with a regional focus on Asia.

The session saw participation from representatives of UNPO members West Papua, East Turkestan, and Khmer Krom, as well as other university students with a special interest in human rights defence in Asia.

The training included an introduction to international human rights law, as well as practical training seminars on effective lobbying at the United Nations, creative nonviolent activism, human rights activism in the media, and financing human rights initiative. Participants took part in a networking evening with representatives from the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, KREDDHA (International Peace Council for States, Peoples and Minorities), Global Human Rights Defence, and more.

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The training also saw a visit to the International Criminal Court and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, where participants sat in on a session in the Trial for Charles Taylor.

“I learned new things. I guess this is just the beginning of a new journey in activism,” one participant wrote to UNPO.

Two jam-packed days later, the programme concluded with a group brainstorm on future action plans for the individual campaigns of each participant.

UNPO hopes that the training succeeded in challenging, teaching, and inspiring its participants in their individual human rights activism. We sincerely thank Clingendael, No Peace Without Justice, The City of The Hague, Van Der Stroom Computers, and the Haëlla Foundation for their support. We would also like to thank Mr. Larry Wang, Representative of Taiwan to the Netherlands, and Senator Marco Perduca of Italy for their participation.

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Above all, UNPO would like to congratulate all participants for an excellent training session. We hope you will apply the lessons learned here to your everyday activism. On your journey, remember what we talked about:

 Whoever comes is the right person,
Whenever it happens is the right time,
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened,
Whenever it’s over, it’s over.

Good luck all!

Click here for a statement on the event by Khmer Kampuchea Krom Youth Federation.

 To download the report, please click on the link in the right column.