contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Speak Truth to Power Blog

Human Rights and Domestic Violence Workshop at Pannasastra University

Laura Engshuber

On October 11, 25 students from Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh studying law and gender studies came together for a Speak Truth to Power workshop on human rights and domestic violence. 

photo leadpicblog.jpg

Over a course of 3 hours, the students learned about the history of the human rights movement and the international human rights law framework, contemporary human rights issues, and Marina Pisklakova, a prominent Russian human rights defender who fights against domestic violence. 

The workshop was adapted from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Right's Speak Truth to Power curriculum.

The workshop was adapted from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Right's Speak Truth to Power curriculum.

The day started off with students sharing their understanding of human rights, followed by a presentation on the history of the human rights movement, the international legal framework, and monitoring mechanisms. This included the students reading aloud and then discussing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Students broke into small groups and discussed case studies on 4 different topics: freedom of expression in Europe, torture in Guantanamo Bay, human trafficking in the fishing industry in Indonesia, and land rights of indigenous people in the Amazon. 

Students broke into small groups and discussed case studies on 4 different topics: freedom of expression in Europe, torture in Guantanamo Bay, human trafficking in the fishing industry in Indonesia, and land rights of indigenous people in the Amazon. 

Following this presentation, the students broke up into small groups and discussed contemporary human rights issues around the world. Each group was given a case study -- freedom of expression in Europe, torture in Guantanamo Bay, human trafficking and the fishing industry in Indonesia, and land rights and indigenous rights in Brazil -- that they read, discussed, and then presented to the entire class. 

A student shares his personal reflection on the issue of domestic violence in Cambodia.

A student shares his personal reflection on the issue of domestic violence in Cambodia.

The second half of the workshop focused on domestic violence. The students first learned about the meaning of domestic violence before reading about the life and work of Marina Pisklakova. Marina Pisklakova is Russia's leading women's rights activist. In July 1993, Pisklakova founded a hot line for women in distress, later expanding her work to establish the first women’s crisis center in the country. Today her organisation, ANNA, operates 170 crisis centers across Russia and the former USSR. The students read an interview with Pisklakova conducted by Kerry Kennedy for her book Speak Truth to Power  and discussed the problem of domestic violence in Russia and how to become an activist. They then wrote and presented personal reflections on domestic violence in Cambodia.

A student reads part of the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights aloud to her classmates.

A student reads part of the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights aloud to her classmates.

"I do not know other places where I will get this knowledge."

 

The students praised the training, many of them saying it was the first time they had learned about these issues. As students of gender studies the issue of domestic violence was very pertinent not only to their studies but to their experience of Cambodian society, with Marina Pisklakova proving an inspiring example of an ordinary citizen becoming a human rights defender and fighting for women's rights.

 

"The Speak Truth to Power curriculum on Marina Pisklakova was very helpful because I could learn from real examples and victims and learn about their solutions.”

 

Building on this success, the RFK Center and Pannasastra University are next looking to hold another Speak Truth to Power training for International Human Rights Day in December. 

 

Locations of Trainings

Laura Engshuber

1 year ...

12 provinces ...

15 trainings ...

Trainings were held in Kampong Chhnang, Takeo, Kampot, Kandal, Kampong Thom, Kampong Speu, Pursat, Battambang, Siem Reap, Svay Rieng, Kampong Som, and Phnom Penh.

Voices: Khem Khemra

Laura Engshuber

On October 9, 2011, the first STTP training in Cambodia was held at Ah Ranh Pagoda in Kampong Chhnang Province. There were 193 attendees, among them 112 teachers. This is one of their stories.


Khem Khemra
Teacher at Cherng Kreav School

"I shared [what I learned at the training] with people in my family and community. When I talk to people I now have more examples and knowledge to give. I have also taught my students. When I teach lessons on society, I tell them about the stories. I have 200 students.

The students are surprised because Cambodian society is experiencing the same problems as in the stories. Human rights concern all. Even young students are used to violence by their parents. Before, they didn't understand that they have rights. Now they know about the law and they're starting to understand that they can stand up and protect their rights."

Welcome

Laura Engshuber

Dear readers,

As we launch a new site, we're also striving to keep you -- our supporters, partners, donors, friends, and allies (and potentially our critics as well) -- better informed and up to date about our activities. In short, we want to make our work more transparent. Transparency is key to a good working relationship, and we could not do our work without you.

In that vein, this blog will shed greater light on Speak Truth to Power (Courage Without Borders) activities in Cambodia. The Robert F. Kennedy Center's STTP program was launched in Cambodia in 2011, and has since then reached thousands of people. Here, we seek to bring you a small sampling of the successes of the program. This blog will be filled with testimonials, pictures, videos, outtakes from the curriculum, updates on our trainings, and important announcements.

Whether you are a previous participant, hoping to partake in a training in the future (we're working on launching a new series soon!), or just a supporter of our work, we hope you enjoy these insights. We welcome any feedback on the blog or our activities, and please do not hesitate to get in touch directly at engshuber@rfkcenter.org.

Thank you for your continued support,

Laura Engshuber

About the Author:

Laura Engshuber is a fellow with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and a project development manager at CIVICUS. She received her BA in government and history focusing on international relations from Georgetown University in 2012 and her LLM in international law focusing on human rights law from The University of Edinburgh in 2013. She is pictured here at Ah Ranh Pagoda in Kampong Chhnang, the site of the first STTP training in Cambodia. She can be contacted at engshuber@rfkcenter.org