Ravi, previously a law student at University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, participated in 2015 DTP’s Human Rights and Development Program in Myanmar. Prior to the DTP training program, Ravi did not know much about diplomacy, lobbying and advocacy. He only knew how to apply student activist tactics. He was a representative of Students for Human Rights in Sri Lanka. And through Students for Human Rights, he worked with others in providing legal support to students. He is now a Coordinator for Asia-Pacific at International Movement of Catholic Student (IMCS) – Pax Romana. At IMCS, he teaches and employs many of the methods taught on the DTP program in his work activities. On the DTP program, he was particularly interested in video and social media activism.He found the session on video and social media activism interesting and useful to his work.
“I have incorporated advocacy techniques from the DTP training in my work. The DTP training has supported me, in the sense that I am able to educate the methods I learnt to my fellow members of the organization in the Asia Pacific region.”
IMCS–Pax Romana works with students, indigenous communities, women and migrant workers. At IMCS, Ravi and his colleagues map out the pressing issues in the region. ICMS has a ‘special consultative status’ with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The consultative status provides NGOs with access to not only ECOSOC, but also to its many subsidiary bodies, to the various human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, ad-hoc processes, as well as special events organised by the President of the UN General Assembly. As part of the ‘special consultative status’, NGOs are required to submit a ‘quadrennial report’ every four years – which includes information about the NGO’s contributions to the work of the UN. The quadrennial review presents an opportunity for NGOs to inform UN Member States about their activities, and at the same time, receive feedback from Member States. At IMCS, Ravi plays an integral role in bringing together the negotiations and consultative discussions between governmental bodies and civil society organisations (CSOs). Ravi is able to apply the lobbying and advocacy skills he learnt from DTP training.
“I have the opportunity to do the lobbying – bringing together the UN processes with IMCS UN advocacy team. The advocacy mechanisms taught on the DTP training helped me to bring together negotiations with governmental bodies and CSOs. Other activists who participated in the training program have also been supportive in IMCS’s actions.”