VIVAT Members in Timor Leste have submitted a report for the third cycle of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Timor Leste (Read here…). JPIC groups of the SSpS and SVD congregations and the Maliana Diocese in Timor Leste made the report in collaboration with VIVAT Indonesia, VIVAT International-Geneva, and Edmund Rice International.
It highlights the right to clean water and sanitation and the right to education. Access to drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental human right, indivisibly bound to the right to health. It includes an obligation to protect water sources that impact agricultural activities, urban and rural drinking water supplies, urban and rural sanitation, sanitation in schools, and hygiene promotion.
The enjoyment of the right to education is very relevant to the measurement of the living conditions of the Timorese population. Education is also the backbone of future generations. Due to colonialism, Timor Leste was deprived of good education and struggled for its linguistic and cultural identity, which is still reflected in today’s education system. Lack of adequate formation of teachers as educators, lack of primary education and sanitation facilities, lack of a proper study atmosphere in schools, and indistinct educational policies hamper the growth of education in Timor Leste.
The preparation for submitting the UPR report has taken a long time. It began with a workshop held in Dili in October 2019. Andrzej Owca from VIVAT International-Geneva, and Br. Tino from Rice International facilitated the workshop in collaboration with the secretariat of VIVAT International-Indonesia and the SVD and SSpS JPIC group in Timor Leste. Forty participants attended the workshop. Afterward, the SVD and SSpS regional leaders formed a task force of the UPR Team to gather information and data from the grassroots and governmental offices relating to water and sanitation and the quality of education.
The UPR session for the young country of Timor Leste will take place in January – February 2022.
Paul Rahmat SVD – VIVAT International, New York