2023 31st Annual Program – Timor-Leste


21 August - 1 September 2023

This program has concluded

The 31st Annual Human Rights and Peoples’ Diplomacy Training for Human Rights Defenders in the Asia-Pacific was held in Timor-Leste from 21 August – 1 September, 2023 in partnership with 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. Timor-Leste with its Asian and Pacific identity is an ideal place for advocates from the two regions to learn and to share together, strengthening linkages and domestic human rights movements in both regions.

Twenty-four human rights defenders from 10 different countries participated in this two-week intensive residential program of learning, sharing and skills building. The participants work on a diverse range of human rights concerns including rights of migrant workers, women and children, LGBTIQ+, gender justice, the rights of persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples rights, peace-building and struggles for self-determination, the environment and climate change.

Trainers in the program included DTP’s Founder and Patron, President José Ramos-Horta and HE Aung Myo Min, Human Rights Minister of the National Unity Government of Myanmar. The program began with a focus on the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the international human rights standards and mechanisms developed to promote and protect human rights over the last 75 years as well as looking at the struggle for democracy in Myanmar and Timor-Leste, with the importance of solidarity across the region stressed. Participants explored human rights in the context of the climate emergency, geopolitical concerns, shrinking civil society space and commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sessions focused on the rights of women, human rights and business, LGBTQI+, migrant workers, Indigenous peoples’ rights, child rights, and the rights of persons with disabilities. Skills building included advocacy strategies and the opportunity to apply program content in practical exercises including developing a short video, group role-plays, and exercises to engage with the UN Human Rights System.

DTP thanks its partners, its trainers for their pro bono contribution, the participants who shared their knowledge, and the funders – particularly the Australian Government and the President of Timor-Leste.

Links and resources

Six month follow up report from 2023 31st Annual Human Rights and Peoples' Diplomacy Training program, Timor-Leste
Program report from DTP's 31st Annual Program held in Dili.


Abu Sayed Piqul
Bangladesh, Malaysia
Alexandra Chua
Aman Ravindra-Singh
Australia, Fiji
Anna Thimyoe
Belizia Maria Mesquita Dias
Bertha Samponu
Indonesia, Philippines
Crispim Gomes de Jesus
Francelino dos Santos Serra
Jane Elizabeth Nabong
Joanita Antonita Pinto
Kobinath Jayaraman
Sri Lanka
MC Meetei


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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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