2023 31st Annual Program – Timor-Leste


21 August - 1 September 2023

This program has concluded

The two-week 31st Annual Human Rights and People’s Diplomacy Training Program for Human Rights Defenders from the Asia-Pacific Region and Indigenous Australia is a partnership between the Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO), Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), The Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) and the UNTL Human Rights Centre.

This annual, comprehensive human rights and advocacy course is the longest established human rights training program held in the region. It builds knowledge of international human rights standards and the UN system and skills in strategic advocacy. There are intensive sessions on human rights and development, strategic advocacy and video advocacy, and media skills.

Civil society advocacy, peoples’ diplomacy, is vital in promoting and defending shared values of human dignity expressed in international human rights standards. Advocacy, engagement and solidarity are key drivers of accountability and better governance. This course will increase the capacity of civil society advocates to use human rights standards and to engage effectively with governments and others – locally, nationally and internationally, and to build solidarity networks.

The program will build practical links between advocates in the region. It will focus on contemporary human rights challenges including violence against women, SOGI, land-grabbing and forced displacements, freedom of religion and freedom of association, the rights of migrant workers and of Indigenous peoples, transitional justice, protecting human rights and human rights defenders in repressive and authoritarian environments and integrating human rights into the sustainable development goals and advocacy on climate change.

The course will be held in Timor-Leste, home of DTP’s Patron and Founder, the Nobel Peace Laureate, José Ramos-Horta. It is timed to coincide with the anniversary of Timor-Leste’s vote for independence in August 1999, and the honouring of international solidarity for human rights.

Holding this program in Timor-Leste strengthens the domestic movement for human rights and enables international participants to learn the lessons from Timor’s successful struggle for solidarity and self-determination, to seek justice and build reconciliation and peace.

What will participants learn?

  • Knowledge of international human rights law and principles, including civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights;
  • Understanding of the relationship between development, poverty and human rights, the human rights-based approach to development;
  • Practical skills in engaging the UN human rights accountability mechanisms and UN system;
  • Practical skills in strategic advocacy, lobbying, media, and ‘peoples’ diplomacy’.

Who should apply for the training?

The program is for human rights defenders working with NGOs in the Asia-Pacific region committed to developing and sharing their knowledge and skills in human rights advocacy.


Trainers are experienced and respected local, regional and international human rights practitioners, academics, and officials who understand and support DTP’s philosophy of participatory learning.

Training Methodology

DTP recognises and values the experiences and skills that participants bring to its programs. The opportunity to share experiences and lessons with other participants and trainers is one of the real benefits and highlights of participating in the program. The training methodology is interactive with an emphasis on group work, role plays, case studies and discussion.

Course Fees

Course fees are an important source of income for DTP.  The course fee of USD $4000 covers tuition, accommodation, food, field trips and resource materials during the training. Travel expenses to and from the training are not included in this fee. DTP and its partners recognise that it will not be possible for all applicants to meet the course fee. Participants are encouraged to submit their application and, if successful, DTP will work with selected applicants to identify and apply to relevant funding bodies for financial assistance. Some scholarships will be available.

Links and resources

HE Aung Myo Min, Human Rights Minister of the National Unity Government of Myanmar opens DTP’s 31st Annual Human Rights and Peoples’ Diplomacy training program in Timor-Leste.


 PIANGO logo  Migrant Forum Asia logo

AIPP logo   


The Diplomacy Training Program's 31st Annual Human Rights and People's Diplomacy capacity building program receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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