Empowerment through law of the Common People (ELCOP), a human rights NGO in Dhaka, organised the Human Rights Fact-Finding training session with its first batch of Simulation Project for Integrating Youth through Community Empowerment (SPIYCE). The training was held on 29-30 March, 2019 at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB) Auditorium. The first of its kind in Bangladesh, SPIYCE combines the model of simulation conducted by Clinical pedagogy of Street Law to train the participants in community-level engagement, rights-based fact-finding operation, and creating 20 community leaders. Ms. Arpeeta Shams Mizan, an alumna of the Harvard Law School, and a faculty member at the University of Dhaka is leading SPIYCE.
Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman, former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh, was the chief guest, while Barrister Tapas K. Baul, Prosecutor, International Crimes Tribunal-Bangladesh and Dr. S.M. Masum Billah, Associate Professor, Jagannath University were the special guests at the inaugural session of the training. The training sessions began with Dr. Mizanur Rahman introducing the students to the idea of human rights. Dr. Billah then conducted a session on Human Rights Fact Finding. Ms. Arpeeta Shams Mizan then talked about the technical aspects of human rights fact-finding. Following the lunch break, the afternoon sessions included Sultana Kamal, Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), elaborating on the key-concepts and techniques of fact-finding. Later Mr. Emraan Azad, Lecturer in Law, Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), discussed about the methods of report writing.
On the second day of the training session, the participants went through a real-time simulation. The participants were deemed to be members of a Fact Finding Commission under ELCOP who are investigating an alleged incident of communal riot and disappearance of a women rights activist in the fictional village of Mektaf in the country of Adhikarbhumi, which was under curfew. A total of six law teachers and law students played the roles of villagers, political goons, UP Chairman, police constables, etc. They each had their own set of confidential information about an alleged incident. The participants were divided in small groups, and their task was to interview these role players to find out the whole fact, incidents of rights violation, and responsible individuals/perpetrators in the violence. After the simulation, the groups presented their findings in the classroom and received feedback from the instructors.
From Law Desk.