The May Newsletter is now available
The Diplomacy Training Program - Making a Difference for Human Rights
The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) is an independent, Australian NGO committed to advancing human rights and empowering civil society in the Asia Pacific region through quality education and training, and the building of skills and capacity in non-governmental organisations and for individual human rights defenders and community advocates.
The DTP was founded in 1989 by HE Jose Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Timor-Leste with Emeritus Professor Garth Nettheim.
Since January 1990, the DTP has provided practical human rights training to over 2500 human rights defenders and community advocates in the Asia-Pacific Region.
It's practical, participatory courses develop the website knowledge, networks and skills for human rights defenders in Australia, Asia and the Pacific to help them be more effective in making a difference for human rights.
The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) in partnership with Migrant Forum Asia (MFA) and the Middle East Centre for Training and Development (MECTD) organized a regional workshop – ethical business and recruitment practices in labour migration, from 27-29 April, 2016 in Dubai. The objective of the workshop was to build knowledge and awareness of relevant international standards, explore the practical challenges affecting their implementation and enable dialogue and sharing on good practice, and enable network building and collaboration between the private sector and civil society representatives.
Emeritus Professor Paul Redmond and UNSW Associate Professor Justine Nolan played a key role in sharing their in-depth knowledge on Human Rights and Business and in leading many of the discussions. Business and consular representatives provided an unparalleled set of insights into their own activities and challenges in safeguarding the rights of workers. And participants from each side of the issue joined together for productive group work, exploring how they might co-ordinate for practical progress in the future.
Held over three the workshop brought together an extraordinary cross-section of 30 civil society advocates, private sector representatives and senior consular staff from the governments of several countries. Intensive training and discussion sessions explored international human rights standards and their obligations for companies and their own corporate responsibilities, as well as the key human rights issues in countries of both origin and destination across the region.
The Diplomacy Training Program in partnership with Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), and WARBE Development Foundation (WARBE DF) with the Support of the Swiss Agency Development Cooperation (SDC) organized its third of the five module program/course from 3-6 May 2016 in Dhaka.
In Bangladesh, the program precedes and coincides with the country’s chairmanship of the GFMD in December 2016. It focuses on the key issues on migration in the context of Bangladesh and the civil society’s struggle to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers.
The course is designed to take place over five modules beginning December 2015 – and includes assignments for participants between modules to help in the knowledge and skills building process. The previous modules of the course have shed light on the international standards and UN mechanisms and also on the national legal and policy frameworks. The recently concluded module had a focus on issues and situation of migrant workers in countries of destination, role of missions and labor attaches, and case documentation.
The sessions for this module were facilitated by Ms Sumitha Shaanthinni - Malaysian Bar Council, Ms Noha Roukoss - Caritas Lebanon, reflecting on the practices, issues, situation of migrant workers in the countries of destination; Ms Ellene Sana – CMA Philippines, providing insight into the practices on safe migration with the perspective from country of origin; Ms Alexis Bautista – MFA, providing a comprehensive practical session on case documentation and analysis of data; Mr Kazi Abul Kalam – former joint secretary of the Ministry of Expat Affairs Bangladesh, providing reflection on the role of missions and labour attaches in the countries of destination.
The training was attended by 32 participants from various civil society organizations all over Bangladesh working with and for migrant workers in a range of different roles.
Alumni in Bangladesh
We would like to thank the alumni from Bangladesh for a meeting session with the DTP team on 1st May 2016. It was a great opportunity to network and connect with other human rights defenders from the country and share experiences. It was also a valuable meeting as it sets forth the importance of establishing DTP alumni network in Bangladesh.
Working together to end capital punishment: Australian Parliamentary Inquiry Recognises Value of Asian Civil Society Advocacy for Abolition of the
The Inquiry’s report “A World Without the Death Penalty: Australia’s Advocacy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty” endorses the value of building civil society capacity on human rights advocacy.
Recommendations made by the DTP have been picked up in the Australian Parliamentary Inquiry Final Report (find link here).The recommendations highlight the important role civil society advocacy in Asia plays in moving towards abolition of the death penalty. DTP has had a focus on the rights of migrant workers from Asia in recent years and emphasised their vulnerability to the death sentence when brought before the courts in the Middle East and Malaysia. Migrant workers, and victims of trafficking, are sometimes used as drug “mules” and fall prey to mandatory death sentences for drug crimes in different jurisdictions.
DTP’s submission was prompted by the involvement of DTP’s Indonesian alumni in the efforts to prevent the execution of Myuran Sukhamaran and Andrew Chan and others in 2015, DTP made a written submission (find link here)to the Australian Parliament. DTP Board Member, and Chair of the Australian Human Rights Centre, Professor Andrew Byrnes was subsequently called to appear to give Oral Evidence and UNSW Law PhD candidate Bhatara ibnu Reza provided additional information.