Myanmar: ICJ helps train Kachin State lawyers and civil society on international human rights law

From 9-12 August, the ICJ-supported trainings on human rights and the law for lawyers, youths and activists from Kachin and Shan states in Myanmar’s north.

On 9 and 10 August, the ICJ joined a “training of trainers” organized by the Humanity Institute, a civil society organization based in Myitkyina.

This aims to improve the capacity of local youths and activists from Kachin and Northern Shan State on basic human rights concepts and measures to engage with Regional and UN Human Rights mechanisms.

The ICJ’s national legal researcher, Ja Seng Ing, shared information about the advantages and limitations of regional human rights mechanisms, including the Europe Commission of Human Rights and the ASEAN Commission of Human Rights. She provided an overview of the UN human rights framework and human rights mechanisms.

In addition to explaining how these work, she also focused on how human rights defenders can communicate with and participate in UN human rights mechanisms by reporting on human rights violations.

Then on 10 and 11 August, the ICJ facilitated a legal training for senior law students, and junior lawyers hosted by the Kachin Legal Clinic, an independent lawyers network.

The Kachin Legal Clinic seeks to develop a pool of young lawyers and with knowledge on the role of lawyers in the field of domestic and international human rights setting and the independence of the lawyers.

On the first day, a national legal adviser from the ICJ shared experiences of litigating for human rights in Myanmar. She also noted the critical role of independent lawyers in protecting human rights, by representing clients from all communities in different parts of Myanmar.

On the second day, Ja Seng Ing gave an overview of global and local law and standards and issues related to accountability and redress for gross human rights violations.

The ICJ’s international legal adviser, Sean Bain, gave an overview of international laws and standards related to the protection of human rights in times of conflict or crises, sourced from international human rights law as well as international humanitarian law and international criminal law.

These activities are part of the ICJ’s ongoing support to civil society actors in Myanmar, from community to national level.

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