Foundation successfully concludes a workshop for officers of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL)

A workshop on economic, social and cultural rights was conducted for officers of the HRCSL in Colombo.

This was the first collaboration between the Max Planck Foundation and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL). The workshop took place from 24-26 August 2023, and was attended by officers from the Head Office and the Matara and Puttalam regional offices, including several directors of the HRCSL.

The workshops began with an introduction to international law and human rights mechanisms, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. On day two, domestic implementation of ESCR was discussed, and participants explored challenges faced by different vulnerable groups in accessing the Commission. Finally, three core ESC rights were discussed – the rights to health, social security and education.

The workshops were implemented by Foundation Research Fellows and Consultants. The sessions built on the wealth of experience of the human rights officers and drew on insights from their cases. Exercises within sessions challenged participants to apply the principles covered in each, while the last session of each day was a group exercise drawing together different aspects of the officers’ work by discussing case studies and simulations. Participants workshopped challenges presented in hypothetical scenarios and discussed methods to overcome them.

This workshop was developed based on the commission’s training objectives and was the first project to be conducted with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka as part of the German Foreign Office funded project ‘Strengthening the rule of law and democratic principles in Sri Lanka in Times of Crisis’.