AUN-HRE continues to propel human rights and peace education forward

By Chawanvit Panprasert, Programme Officer
30 August 2020

ASEAN/Southeast Asia is propelling human rights and peace education forwards. While the region houses a number of courses in those subjects, full degree programs are still lacking in half of the ASEAN Member States. AUN-HRE is starting an initiative to fill that existing void. Based on the formal endorsement of both SOM-ED and the AUN Board of Trustees, the AUN- HRE Meeting held on 25 August 2020, kicked off an ambitious but much needed project towards the establishment of a regional collaborative graduate program in human rights and/or peace where students and academics from multiple institutions across the region come together.

The meeting was attended by 35 participants from 23 AUN-HRE members and 2 associate member universities.

To ensure proper information sharing, the Meeting updates on the endorsement by the ASEAN Senior Officials of Education and the AUN Board of Trustees of a list of activities to promote human rights and peace education in ASEAN/Southeast Asia, including the initiative to establish a regional collaborative graduate program in human rights and/or peace.

Then, the participants shared and updated the existing national/international courses/programs in human rights and related fields in their respective universities. Also, the meeting explored and comprehensively analyzed the advantages and challenges of different modalities of the existing collaborative programs in human rights and/or peace in other regions, i.e. a common curriculum, a regional program and a collaborative program.

The meeting also discussed creating a regional collaborative degree program where universities would partner up to offer a regional human rights and/or peace degree program. Possible partnerships and methods of implementation were discussed extensively. Many present expressed strong interest in offering contributions to the program, either through individual effort or with the support of their institution.

The meeting is yet another step closer to borderless Human Rights and Peace Education in the region which would be crucial for inculcating a culture of human rights and peace, a key step towards building a caring and sharing ASEAN community in which the rights of peoples are respected and protected. Human rights and peace education will contribute to building sustainable and peaceful societies in ASEAN and beyond.