23rd Annual Program 2013 - Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste, November 18th – 29th, 2013

23rd Annual Program Report

The Diplomacy Training Program’s 23rd Annual Human Rights and Peoples’ Diplomacy Training for Human Rights Defenders in the Asia-Pacific was held in Dili, Timor-Leste from November 18th – November 29th 2013. This year, twenty-six participants, representing ten countries; Fiji, Indonesia, India, Vanuatu, Australia, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, attended this two-week capacity-building program.  The expertise of the participants ranged from domestic workers’ rights, sustainable development to journalism and children’s rights.

Since 1989 the DTP has established its reputation for delivering relevant and practical human rights training programs for human rights defenders in the Asia-Pacific region. DTP recognises the changing nature of human rights and development challenges facing the region and the need to look at the practical challenges of implementing human rights agreements and values in different political and social contexts across the Asia-Pacific.


Course content reflects the dynamic nature of human rights and advocacy practice, and focuses on developing both knowledge and skills. DTP’s trainers – experienced local, regional and human rights academics, diplomats, media and UN professionals – led the intensive, interactive training sessions. The participants gained a comprehensive understanding of international human rights laws and principles, and the relationship between development, poverty and human rights. Participants developed their skills in lobbying, strategic advocacy, video advocacy and monitoring. By gaining practical skills in using UN Charter-based and human rights treaty-based system of mechanisms and procedures, the capacity of participants to engage with governmental and intergovernmental processes was also enhanced. The program also provided participants with an opportunity to share their own experiences and skills, and to network with one another, governmental officials, DTP alumni and trainers.


DTP’s 23rd Annual Program was organised in partnership with local human rights organisation Forum Tau Matan, and was made possible through funding from the Australian government, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Asia Foundation and the Ford Foundation – as well as the Friends of the Diplomacy Training Program.  DTP expresses its heartfelt appreciation for this support – and for the very generous pro-bono contribution of the trainers who gave their time and expertise.

The training program was extensively evaluated by the participants who completed anonymous questionnaires during the program and at its conclusion. This report draws from these evaluations, and provides a background to the program, its content, highlights, and recommendations for future training needs.