Project Initiated to Support Peace Law Academy

27 September 2009

Thirty minutes drive from Mae Sot, a town on the border between Thailand and Myanmar, is the Peace Law Academy. Located in an area rich in greenery called Mae Ku, the academy hosts young Myanmar of between the ages of 20 and 25 from Myanmar or nearby refugee camps to study Law, Human Rights, and Democracy.
Rights Now (HRN) re-opened this once-closed school in February 2009,
and from August 2009, started supporting Human Rights education by
sending lecturers every month. This support will continue until
November 2009.
In their first mission, Kazuko Ito–the Secretary General of HRN–along with two interns, visited the Peace Law Academy from August 3rd to 13th and taught International Human Rights Law.
the Academy, 25 students between the ages of 20 and 25 live in dorms
and study. If you ask them why they decided to come to this
institution, most of them reply, “There are no human rights in Myanmar.
Everyone is suffering from dreadful violations of human rights.”
“People can do nothing but tolerate the situation because they do not
know that it is violations of human rights that they are suffering
under. When I go home, I want to tell everyone about human rights so
that we shall no longer get treated badly, that we can then protect
These 25 students are extremely keen to learn, and they
voraciously try to absorb as much knowledge as possible for the
improvement of not only their lives but those of their country’s
people. It was such a moving experience to be able to lectures to
students with such enthusiasm and dedication.

The First Lesson of International Human Rights Law
her nine-day stay, Ms. Ito delivered 19 intensive classes in English,
focusing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other various
treaties of human rights. Although this was the very first time for the
students to learn about International Human Rights Law, they were very
highly motivated. The military government of Myanmar
has repeatedly and seriously violated human rights. Normally states
have constitutions that protect human rights and such violations are
illegal. However, the Myanmar constitution does not convey such
protection of human rights. They do not teach ‘human rights’ in schools
because talking about ‘human rights’ out loud within the country will
put people at risk of being arrested. Under such circumstances, it is
extremely important for people to learn how human rights protections
are realized in the rest of the worl. One important step is learning
about international standards of human rights such as the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and other various treaties of human rights.

Call for Support from Japan
highly motivated students need more quality education. After their
first lesson in Human Rights Law, students are even more willing to
study harder. Before she left the country, they asked Ms. Ito, “When
will you be back?” “When is the next time you will teach us Human
Rights Law?” HRN is determined to continue this kind of education in
the future, responding to these voices of students. We want to share
the experiences of Japan and other Asian countries.
Please support this project through donations to our Peace Law Academy Fund

Please Donate Computers!
The Peace Law Academy
needs more computers to aid students’ learning. Currently 25 students
are sharing 8 computers. HRN wants to provide them with more computers
to better facilitate their studies. If you know of any used computers
that are available, please help to donate them to HRN.
Computers with following specifications are preferred:
Windows XP, ME, or 2000 installed or had installed
CPU Pentium 3, 800 MHz or above, Memory 256MB or above, Hard Disk Drive capacity 15GB or above
Portable and light laptops that visitors can easily take with them
Dell products preferred
Products of 2000 and later
* Please make sure to delete all personal data from computers before donating them
We would appreciate if you could make the donations by the end of October.

For inquiries please contact or call 03-3835-2110.