An overview of 18th Human Rights Summer School (ELCOP)
Empowerment through law of the common people; ELCOP in short, started their journey 18 years ago with a view to enlighten the spirit of legal mind in a sublime way breaching the common norms of bookish education and as remarks of success, recently ELCOP has successfully completed their 18th Human Rights Summer School (HRSS) at Proshika HRDC, Koitta, Manikganj, Bangladesh with the theme “Human Rights & Women”. Adikharbhumi (Land of Rights) was the playground for 42 promising law student from home and abroad, which was a celestial place for active participants to prove their ability for next ten days. Though the tasks were not easy but the joyful minds never demoralised from their endeavour.
Professor Dr Mizanur Rahman was the maestro of the programme, his aesthetic design extravagantly draw the participants to the core realization of Human Right issues. The cumulative effort of the wisdom of experience and the vigour of youth made the event effective keeping the concerns of real-world applicability in mind. Profound jurists, Human and Women Right activists, Media Personality, Judges, Advocates and Academicians from Bangladesh, India, and Nepal shared their knowledge and experiences through interactive sessions, debates, arguments, comments etc. The platform was open to all to exchange ideas, share hypothesis, analyse information or challenge any issue but was not the race of supremacy rather understanding and embracement of an idea was more appreciable, it was a place of cooperation, compassion and care. Participants tried their best to learn and that kept the night of Adhikarbhumi always young even at 3 am!
Human Rights and Women rights issues were discussed from a critical viewpoint, issues of restorative justice and reparative justice, constitutional approach to Human rights, intersection, cultural diversity of indigenous people and the proper way to address the situation was also brought on the forum by the experts of the respective field. Contemporary issues of emerging idea of cyberspace and personal right, feminism approach were also introduced.
The words of freedom fighter and Human Rights activist Sultana Kamal and the extraordinary performance of ICSF (International Crime Strategy Forum) snitched the participants to the war of 1971; made the participants more compassionate for those who suffered. The discussion of Dr Tureen Afroze and Barrister Tapas Kanti Baul who are currently holding the office of public prosecutor of International War Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh informed the challenges and the successes of the Tribunal to serve justice for the victims of 1971.
The in-depth view of professor Salimullah Khan opened a new avenue for the participant from the philosophical perspective of the relation of Men and Women. Most recent issues of national and international concern were also presented, especially the refugee and humanitarian crisis around the world with the collaboration of UNHCR official. The mesmerizing session of Dr Gauhar Rizvi especially enlighten the curious minds with his session on Human Right Culture and question-answer session afterwards.
ELCOP taught the students how to work with the people wearing the same shoe. The pioneering method of simulation was the key mechanism to understand the field condition and prepared the participants for future research programme of ELCOP named CLR (Community Law Reform) Moreover, some initial tasks were given to reach the community people to gather the first-hand experience of CLR. Mooting was another practical approach to introduce the participants in a real-life court situation where contrasting parties presented their knowledge in a persuasive manner with the skill of argument.
Participants also acted as the legislative body of Adhikharbhumi, they enacted a charter for the land named “Adhikharbhumi Charter for Freedom Mediated Empowerment” through a mock parliament following the true democratic process, even the words were debated where members were accountable for the viability of their notion, nevertheless the legislators came to an agreement with common conscientious of all.
HRSS was not only for education nor it only to tutor students rather it serves its purpose with the blend of culture, respect, parity; sharing the festivals without disparity. Participants learned how to challenge the ever-spreading default ideas to find the better means for the society, how to be rebellious and walk for a positive change. Human Right gets its best test with all the promised defenders at the land of Adikharbhumi where people rediscover their ability, rediscover the humanity and the rights and duties attached to it.
The author was a participant of 18th HRSS.
A similar succinct version of the experience of author has also published to the Daily Star’s Law & Our Right section; Have a look > A glimpse of experience from the 18th Human Rights Summer School
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