Human Rights Training Course (2013)

$19,433 of $19,433 raised

2013-07-20 ~ 2014-07-20
Agency: Karenni Social Development Centre

This project will provide education and training in democracy, government, human rights and environmental preservation to thirty-four (34) Karenni young adults living as refugees on the Thai-Burma border. By participating in this program, the students will receive educational opportunities that have previously been limited, if not completely denied, and their knowledge will help spread throughout the community to create a foundation for new perspectives and ideas in their struggle against the realities of displacement.

Over the past twenty years, more than 20,000 Karenni refugees have fled Burma to Thailand because of persecution in their native Burma. Even though there are many thousands of young Karenni people in the refugee camps, they have very limited opportunities for education and training. They cannot easily apply for further education outside the camp due to security reasons and restrictions of the Thai authorities.

The students have all expressed an interest in nonviolent social change, human rights and law, and environmental issues. The 34 participants include 18 women and 16 men. Over the year-long program, courses will cover:

Knowledge of Earth rights, human rights, environment, women’s rights, non-violent social change, democracy and government, courts and the judiciary, rule of law, and constitutions;

Daily English and computer classes, in order to improve students’ skills for future employment; and

Current events, including radio, print, and internet news sources on Burma, Thailand, refugees, and international human rights.

Students will increase their skills and ability to work in local community-based organizations and will work closely with previous graduates to promote continuity throughout the KSDC and the community as a whole.

Additional information

The KSDC training school has from 2002 to 2013 produced 179 human rights and environment activists already. Many Social Development Center graduates have become involved in community-based organizations, such as women’s organizations, youth organizations, camp administration, justice and other human rights and environmental organizations. Still others have returned to the still perilous Karenni State to gather information related to human rights and environmental abuses Karenni people are facing.


The Karenni Social Development Center have successfully completed three basic trainings inside camp covering law, human rights and environmental courses with 35 local villagers attending each of the trainings. The participants gave feedback that the training and knowledge acquired was useful and the SDC received several requests for further and future training.

In addition to the basic training, SDC held their fourth advance course with 15 students who all graduated in December 2013. This course also included fieldwork and report writing, as well as several events through the year where the students were allowed to compete in debates and competitions.

Case study

“I didn’t know anything about articles and procedures. During this course I learnt about procedures and how to address the prosecution and accused equally. If people like me become lawyers in the future this will be very beneficial to build a peaceful future.” Student at SDC School.