For Release Upon Receipt - January 24, 2017
The Faculty of Law (FOL) of The University of The West Indies, St Augustine (The UWI) will host its European Union (EU)-FOL Human Rights Open Day on Thursday 26 January. The formal opening will take place at the Noor Hassanali Auditorium from 10AM while the day’s activities will be held at The Greens at the Faculty of Law Greens from 12 noon till 4:00PM.
The Faculty won its first EU-funded consultancy project in August 2015: Growing Capacity for Elevating Trinidad and Tobago to International Human Rights Standards. The project focuses on three human rights areas, namely, the death penalty, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) and gender and is expected to run for a duration of 24 months. The EU-FOL Human Rights Open Day forms part of this overall project.
This Open Day is an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness on modern-day human rights issues. Members of the public will be invited to participate in a series of panel discussions as well as view student debates, short films and displays.
Outreach and continuing legal education are important to FOL and project such as this furthers its mandate. The Faculty’s Dean, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine believes that the Faculty must reach into the community and that the law must be in the community as a social engineer.
At The UWI, there is a concerted effort to maintain awareness of societal needs and how those needs can be met through the support of the institution. FOL, alongside The UWI, responds dynamically and appropriately to the vibrant, commercial, multi-ethnic and diverse community of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider region, engaging innovatively and directly in nation building and democratic governance, while at the same time building socially conscious legal practitioners. This project dovetails with the Faculty’s newly instituted International Human Rights Clinic. Commenting on the issue, Professor Belle Antoine said “This project is also involved with our clinic and vice versa. We always try to involve our students as much as we can in the work that we do. This project gives us an opportunity, and we are seeing more of that this year, for students to not just participate in the panel debate but the work they are doing involves active research. One of the things we plan to do is have them present cases on human rights violations to international bodies and also to partner with practitioners to get, not just our students but our lawyers more sensitised so that everybody has a part to play in growing the capacity for human rights.”
About the project
Growing Capacity for Elevating Trinidad and Tobago to International Human Rights Standards consists of various activities including developmental training for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders, public discussions, production and publication of research materials and producing visibility materials, including television advertisements, all of which will help to fuel law reform and policy change. Its work will also assist the Faculty in its collateral goal of producing shadow reports on such issues and assisting Parliament in reviewing proposed and existing legislation. The Faculty also envisages the project as a vehicle for engaging in collaborative efforts, both with varied stakeholders, such as NGOs, public authorities, religious organisations, the private sector and important policy makers such as the Parliament.
Members of the public are invited to participate in this EU-FOL Human Rights Open Day which will include an art exhibition and presentations of the work done on the project thus far.
About The UWI
Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website: www.uwi.edu (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the The”, hence The UWI.)
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