EMK Small Grantee 2019 ELCOP’s Project SPIYCE successfully completed its training

MK Small Grantee 2019 ELCOP’s Project SPIYCE successfully completed its training part! SPIYCE trained 24 Law and Criminology students from Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong on Human Rights Fact Finding investigation.  From March till June 2019, these students learned how to design fact finding mission, interviewing skills, setting questionnaires, trust building with the victims of the human rights violations, and last but not the least, how to differentiate ‘fact’ from ‘perception’.

The 2nd Batch of Trainees with the President of ELCOP, Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman

After the theoretical training, the trainees participated in a SIMULATION. Simulation means ‘make believe’, or কল্পিত নাটক. ELCOP designed two simulations where 6 Law students acted in the roles of government officials, journalists, and victims. The 24 trainees honed their fact finding skills by interviewing the actors, and then presenting what they learned from their investigation.

Simulation exercise: 3 trainees are in the Mektaf Village of Adhikarbhumi ( a fictitious village in a fictitious country where a labor unrest took place) As Fact finders, they are interviewing “the widowed sister” of the disappeared labour union leader Milon Hamman. The interviewee is actually Nadia Rahman, Lecturer of Law, East West University, Bangladesh.

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Are you sure you know the interviewing skills to extract facts from a cunning and street smart local government official? Trainees are trying to interview the UP Chairman of Mektaf. The role is played by Morsalin Hider, LLM Candidate, University of Asia pacific, Bangladesh. Assistant Professor of Law, Muhammad Rezaur Rahman, can be noted in the corner, supervising the exercise.
Barrister Tapas K. Baul, prosecutor at the International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh was one of the expert trainers who talked about the stages of preparing a fact finding report.

The trainees were fortunate to receive training from some of the leading human rights experts of Bangladesh: Advocate Sultana Kamal, Mr. Towfiq Mannan (expert of report writing), Dr. Mizanur Rahman, former Chair, national Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh.

Professor Rahman explaining the difference between Crime/অপরাধ and human rights violation/ মানবাধিকার লঙ্ঘন
Sultana Kamal training the trainees
SPIYCE (Simulation Project for Integrating Youth through Community Empowerment) is designed and directed by Arpeeta Shams Mizan, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Dhaka. Ms. Mizan received her fact finding trainings at Harvard International Human Rights Clinic where she did her LLM.
Post Simulation, the Trainees are conducting a SGD (Small Group Discussion) at EMK Center to strategise their fact finding mission with the Hijra Community in Dhaka.
The trainees have visited the workplace and residences of the Hijra community in 5 parts of Dhaka ( areas kept confidential for security purpose). The trainees investigated the human rights violations of the Hijra community under 4 streams: freedom of religion, right to identity, right to employment and disintegration from family. SPIYCE interviewed nearly 40 Hijra victims to prepare a report, which will be published at the  Closing Ceremony to be held at EMK Center.

The trainees have visited the workplace and residences of the Hijra community in 5 parts of Dhaka ( areas kept confidential for security purpose). The trainees investigated the human rights violations of the Hijra community under 4 streams: freedom of religion, right to identity, right to employment and disintegration from family. SPIYCE interviewed nearly 40 Hijra victims to prepare a report, which will be published at the  Closing Ceremony to be held at EMK Center.

the second batch of trainees conducted fact finding with the Harijan community. They worked under 3 streams: Discrimination and Untouchability, right to education, and right to employment. The Harijans, also known as Dalits, are a community who were historically discriminated in the Indo-Pak-Bangla subcontinent for working as cleaners/ মেথর।
Fact Finding investigation is a tough job, and our trainees had to work in challenging atmosphere. The harijans often live in unhygienic and inhumane conditions. It was just before the Harijan Society elections, and the atmosphere was ripe with tension.

The most vital part of SPIYCE was the Community Leader training. The students selected 10 members from Harijan and Hijra community who received Street Law training on Human Rights so that they can serve as community lawyers in their own community.  Street Law, dubbed in Bangla as প্রতিদিনের আইন, is an interactive learning method where participants receive legal knowledge in an easy to understand approach. Our trainees used role play, debate, ranking exercises, and diagrams to explain human rights, arrest and detention, and property rights in Islamic and Hindu law for  Trans-people in the 2 day long training at EMK center.

“Apa, how to you describe বৈষম্য?”- Nila Hijra entices brainstorming during the sessions
the students are doing a role play to demonstrate how the Hijras and harijans are excluded from job interviews because of their identity, even though they hold full eligibility.
The students are explaining the “Pillars” of ensuring Rights and Duties for a better society.
the community leaders after training. Now, SPIYCE will monitor their service to the community through monthly SGDs.

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