Promoting Human Rights in Timor Leste

2013-06-17,TimorTraining 050 08-29-47  The freedom to gather and speak openly about human rights was not possible for the people of Railaco Kraic under the Indonesian occupation of Timor Leste which only ended a little over ten years ago.

In the discussions that took place in the two workshops on human rights and advocacy offered by Edmund Rice International earlier this month, the right to education, health and food were now the focus of concern rather than the denial of civil and political rights such as freedom of speech, thought and assembly that had been the pre-occupation under Indonesian rule.

The Christian Brothers came to the Ermera district in the remote hill country behind Dili in the late 1990s at the invitation of the local bishop. With assistance from Australian school communities, service clubs, volunteers and members of the Edmund Rice Network the Brothers are supporting a range of health, education and development projects in partnership with five village communities in the district.

The workshops raised awareness about human rights (copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the local Tetun language were distributed and discussed) and introduced participants to the UN mechanisms which were intended to promote, protect and bring about the realisation of human rights.

ERI looks forward to supporting the people of Timor Leste in their desire to ensure a future for themselves and their children fully commensurate with human dignity.

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