26th Annual Program 2016 - Timor-Leste


The Diplomacy Training Program’s (DTP) 26th Annual Human Rights and Peoples’ Diplomacy Training for Human Rights Defenders in the Asia-Pacific was held in Timor-Leste from October 10 to October 26, 2016 in partnership with the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP). Twenty two human rights defenders from Nepal, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Australia and Timor-Leste participated in this eighteen day program of intensive learning, sharing and skills building. Thirteen of the participants were women.

Timor-Leste holds a special significance for DTP.  It is the home of the organisation’s Founder and Patron, José Ramos Horta. DTP has held a number of its Annual Programs in Timor-Leste and today there are many DTP alumni in government and the country’s civil society organisations. Timorese alumni contributed to this year’s program and José Ramos-Horta provided the welcome keynote address and a master-class on advocacy.

DTP believes that there is real and symbolic value in holding the Annual Program in Timor Leste. The country has an inspiring story to share about the impact of committed and strategic advocacy. DTP is committed to supporting the ongoing human rights work of civil society.

Program participants from the region, working on a diverse range of human rights concerns including child labour and trafficking, land grabbing, LGBTIQ discrimination, freedom of expression, rights of persons with disability, Indigenous peoples rights, domestic violence, and struggles for self-determination appreciated the opportunity to visit Timor-Leste.  

The program began with a focus on international human rights standards, mechanisms and principles. Some of the specific issues the participants worked on were explored in sessions on the rights of women, the rights of persons with disability, Indigenous peoples rights and the impact of land conflicts. There was a strong focus on practical advocacy strategies; and participants had the opportunity to apply program content in practical exercises including developing a short video, group role-plays on a land conflict scenario and the Universal Periodic Review, drafting submissions and lobby meetings with diplomats from the Australian Embassy.  Sessions focused on developing communication strategies to share human rights issues.   


See Program Report