Saturday, August 19, 2017

Advocacy group to tackle misconceptions on Human Rights Day

Public awareness is on the agenda during this year’s Human Rights Day, with activists deciding to take a grassroots approach to the occasion on December 10.

The Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP) network have this year opted not to hold any major events, but will take their cause to people in cities around the country. HRDP executive director U Myint Aye says he feels this personalised approach should be more effective.

“We will directly talk with people one-by-one and hand out our pamphlets, and small flags which have ‘Stand up for someone’s rights today’ on it, and also some booklets about human trafficking,” he said.

The awareness campaign will be carried out by volunteers dividing Yangon into cardinal directions: East, West, North and South. Towns in the Bago, Ayeyarwady and Mandalay regions are also on the agenda, as well as some parts of southern Shan State.

“We will do the awareness [campaign] in Yangon in Mahabandoola Park. There are around 300 primary members from our association who will be doing these activities nationwide and we also welcome anyone who would like to join us,” U Myint Aye said.

HRDP says it is crucial for people in Myanmar to have a thorough understanding of human rights and related issues, with Human Rights Day presenting a unique opportunity to tackle some widely-held misconceptions.

“Although people have been widely discussing human rights, 90 percent of them do not really know about human rights. They think human rights is whatever they want it to be,” said U Myint Aye. “We also want to give the information that one person’s human rights cannot disturb another person’s.”

Human Rights Defenders and Promoters was formed in 2002. In 2006, the group marked the internationally observed Human Rights Day openly for the first time.