Programs and Projects
Areas of Work
The Internship Program is the flagship and pioneer program of the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC). It is not limited to teaching, nor is it an ordinary apprenticeship or training. Instead, it is concerned with the personal growth of the interns as well as their development as human rights advocates. It involves the proper formation of law students to instill them in the tenets of Jesuit education and to acquaint them in the field of alternative law practice. It introduces law students to grassroots life and human rights advocacy in the Philippines. The program aims to address the need for peace and human rights advocates who are knowledgeable in the law and the Philippine legal system. The program has been replicated in other law schools and is adopted by Alternative Law Groups (ALG). Currently, the program implements three main activities, namely, the Summer Internship Program (SIP), Semestral Break Internship Program (SBIP), and the Replication Program.
Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
The Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (“Working Group”) is an informal coalition of individuals and groups from the Southeast Asian region working for human rights institution-development in the ASEAN (Association for Southeast Asian Nations) region. It is organized into national working groups (“NWGs”), which may be composed of representatives of government institutions, parliamentary human rights committees, national human rights institutions (“NHRIs”), the academe, and NGOs. At present, there are NWGs in six ASEAN Member States: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Its primary objective is the establishment and development of credible and effective human rights mechanisms in Southeast Asia. The ASEAN Charter recognizes the Working Group as an “Entity Associated with ASEAN.” (ANNEX II of the ASEAN Charter) The Secretariat of the Working Group is the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC).
Adhikain Para sa Karapatang Pambata (AKAP) Child Rights Desk
Since its inception, AKAP has been an active advocate of children’s rights by providing access to justice for children through its child rights framework: child-friendly institutions, research and publication, education and awareness, and policy and legislative advocacy.
The Urduja Women’s Desk
Business and Human Rights
Since then, AHRC has organized and taken part in consultations and focus group discussions with government agencies and representatives of the business sector, as well as certificate courses on business and human rights.
Collaboratory: Investigators and Lawyers Identifying Practical Solutions to Complex Human Rights Problems
Prepared by the Ateneo Human Rights Center with the assistance of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and guided by the Capacity Gap Study of the CHR Investigators and Lawyers, Collaboratory is designed to respond to the training needs of the CHR and civil society organizations that work on investigating and reporting human rights violations. The course includes sessions on relevant human rights issues and important technical skills.
The course is particularly designed for CHR lawyers and investigators and CSO workers involved in investigating, documenting, and reporting human rights violations.
Legislative Advocacy for Refugees and Stateless Persons
The Ateneo Human Rights Center, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), implemented a legislative advocacy campaign for the pursuit of a rights-based policy, legal, and operational framework for refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, stateless applicants, and persons at risk of statelessness, collectively known as persons of concern (POCs). This includes the conduct of awareness-raising and lobbying activities targeted towards various stakeholders, including the Congress, Senate, civil society, academe, and the general public.
Special Project: Access to Justice Project in Dinagat Islands
The Project seeks to equip community leaders with knowledge and skills that will further develop their capacity to assist the residents as well as foster understanding and appreciation of human rights and the justice system among Dinagatnons.
To achieve these, AHRC and the Provincial Legal Office (PLO) went around the province, consulted local officials, talked with the residents, and administered surveys in the seven municipalities of the province specifically, the municipalities of San Jose, Cagdianao, Dinagat, Libjo, Tubajon, Loreto and Basilisa, to determine the concerns prevailing in the communities.
AHRC and PLO then conducted capacity building trainings for barangay officials, and organized community forums and legal aid missions. To date, the Project has been implemented in six out of seven municipalities. At the end of the Project, AHRC will submit to the Provincial Government its assessment and recommendations on how to improve the access to justice situation in the province.