Promoting Human Rights through Competence Building

The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR), International Department recently concluded a report of our main work and activities during 2017-2019.


For the past three years NCHR has through financial support, substantial assistance or capacity building contributed to more than 200 training/teaching activities, with more than 8000 participants, as well as more than 30 publications. Additionally, we have produced 136 news published on our web-pages (visited more than 20 000 times).

In 2016 we set aim to have impact on several ambitious and far-reaching goals regarding human rights and the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The global climate for working with human rights issues, as well as the situation for academic freedom has become more difficult throughout the period. Strategic priorities, long-term commitments and dedicated partners have made it possible for NCHR to promote human rights even in challenging times.
With reference to our impact goals we believe we have contributed to:

Human Rights Education

Securing more accessible and quality ensured human rights education in ASEAN and China, thereby supporting the achievement of SDG 4.7 (ensuring amongst others that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote human rights and gender equality).

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The Official Launch of the book "Remapping and Analysis of Human Rights and Peace Education in ASEAN/Southeast Asia" at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta October 2019. 

Rule of Law

A more just prosecution, and preventing torture in several countries. The methodology «investigative interviewing» has been taught and disseminated in several countries and has become two multilateral tracks. NCHR is currently developing universal UN Guidelines for police interviewing, and a manual for UN police (UNPOL).

Image may contain: People, Community, Adaptation, Youth, Event.
NCHR cooperates with the UN Department of Peace Operations to draft a manual on Investigative Interviewing, which is also intended for supporting and training host-State police and other law enforcement counterparts (©UN Photo.)

Freedom of Religion or Belief

Publications and the stimulation of reformist thinking on freedom of religion or belief has influenced the Indonesian law on child marriage and provided a safe space for Christian-orthodox reform thinkers to debate previously closed subjects, such as gender and sexuality.

Staff at the NCHR partner institution Rumah Kitab in Indonesia showing the book Islamic Jurisprudence of Guardianship: Re-reading Guardianship Rights for the Protection of Women from forced Marriage and Girls from Child Marriage. The book challenges traditional ways of thinking about the father’s role in child marriage. (Photo: Rumah Kitab)  

Inclusive Societies: Equality and Non-discrimination

Increased access to education in gender, equality and human rights in China in support of SDG 5, as well as having provided a forum for discussing disability, gender and sexuality (intersectionality) in Asia.

In March 2018 Dr. Si Li started the first undergraduate course on gender and human rights at Guangzhou University after participating in teacher training seminars under the auspice of NCHR partners RWI and CUPL. 

Business and Human Rights

Strenthening public participation in village administration, especially in areas prone to corporate land-grabbing. In one district in Sulawesi, concisting of 217 villages, this has resulted in changes in how funds to villages are managed, making district authorities less able to undermine local decision-making processes.

Reflections on three years with Indonesia’s Village Law: In January 2018, around 180 people gathered in Jakarta to discuss implementation of the village law. NCHR, in collaboration with Ecosoc Institute and Lakpesdam NU, have developed a training manual Guide to rights-based implementation of the Indonesian Village Law, for use at village level. The signs read: "Stop ruining the forests and the earth", and "The village funds are stuck". (photo: Ecosoc Institute).

UN Human Rights Mechanisms

Participants of the UN Human Rights Mechanisms programme have acquired and disseminated knowledge about the work of the UN Human Rights Council to ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms (SDG 16.10).

Participants of the 2018 Geneva training in front of the Geneva Academy where the training is hosted (Photo: Olivier Chamard)

First joint human rights curriculum in Southeast Asia

The Education Committee of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the first time adopted a joint human rights curriculum for the entire region. NCHR assisted partner SHAPE SEA in the development of three textbooks and manuals which were adopted by ASEAN so that academic institutions in Southeast Asia have access to university level human rights study materials, both in print and online.

Human Rights and Islamic jurisprudence

With the support of the NCHR-based Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion and Belief, the UIN University of Indonesia has conducted education of religious officials (KUA) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on human rights and Islamic jurisprudence. Based on the success of the programme, Indonesia's Ministry of Religious Affairs has decided to apply the expertise and material developed in Yogyakarta to the rest of the 5495 KUA offices in Indonesia.

Increased access to gender and human rights education in China

75 Chinese university teachers have participated in NCHR-supported training courses on gender and human rights. When the training project started in 2017, three Chinese universities had courses on gender and human rights. By the end of 2019, a total of 14 separate courses were initiated by former course participants. In addition, China's first textbook on gender and human rights has been finalised.

Many of the 2017-2019 projects are further developed and extended into 2020-2021.

Published Apr. 3, 2020 3:12 PM - Last modified Apr. 6, 2020 10:15 AM