HURIGHTS OSAKA sponsored a group visit to the Philippines on 30 July - 4 August 2002 to study human rights education programs. The study visit attracted eighteen Japanese with diverse backgrounds.
The study visit program had equally diverse components. In a short period of four days, the Japanese group went to government and non-governmental institutions, roamed around Metro Manila and nearby mountain and lake, and met farmers, garbage scavengers and students. The group was exposed to a wide range of human rights education programs that exist in the country.
The program consisted of the following visits:
The group was briefed on the field (regional offices) operation of the Commission and its experience in the use of Barangay (Community) Human Rights Action Centers (BHRAC).
The group focused on the federation's campaign on agrarian reform and how farmer-members are educated about the law and the necessary skills in claiming their rights under the land reform program of the government.
The group was oriented on the work being done by an NGO to support people's organizations in their demand to stop a "mega-dike" project along a lake (Laguna lake) through a program for the empowerment of urban poor communities.
The group was informed about the idea of using legal resources to support farmers, urban poor and women in protecting their rights under the law. The discussion covered the concept of paralegalism, and the training of paralegals.
The group was briefed on the experiences of farmers in a mountain area in advocating for their rights under the agrarian reform law. Various cases of land problems were presented.
The group shifted from non-formal education programs to formal education program with a visit to the Philippine Department of Education. The group was briefed on the existing human rights education program in schools of the government. The presentations and discussions focused on the development and implementation of the program.
The group went to a classroom observation exercise. A teaching demonstration on a human rights lesson plan was held involving a high school class. The group had separate dialogues with students and the teachers after the class session.
The group had an exposure visit to an urban poor community. It was a community besides a big garbage dumpsite. The group had an orientation on the program of an NGO working in the community (Center for the Future of the Filipino Children) as well as the problems of the community. The group then proceeded to see different parts of the community and the garbage dumpsite. The members of the group went up to the top of the dumpsite to witness the dumping of garbage by trucks and scavenging by members of the community.
Another exposure visit was made to a community affected by a development project (dike project along the shore of Laguna lake). The group went to see the on-going construction of the dike, and met with representatives of the different sectors of a lakeside town. The community representatives explained their reasons for opposing the project.
For further information, please contact: HURIGHTS OSAKA, 1-2-1500 Benten 1-chome, Minato-ku, Osaka 552-0007 Japan, ph (816) 6577-35-78, fax (816) 6577-35-83, e-mail: webmail [a] hurights.or.jp; www.hurights.or.jp