Collaborations on human rights awareness

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Monash University Malaysia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), outlining four substantive areas of cooperation in raising awareness about human rights.

“SUHAKAM has been championing human rights, particularly in education. The objectives and focus areas of this MoU complements Monash Malaysia’s objectives and promises a synergy between our two organisations,” said Professor Helen Bartlett, President and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash University Malaysia.

She also said they look forward to developing the four areas and will start with engaging in collaborative research across the different schools in Monash.

The School of Information Technology, has initiated three joint projects with SUHAKAM:

  • Using an interactive humanoid robot activist, NAO, to introduce SUHAKAM, conduct Q&A session and games with kids.
  • Designing a mobile app featuring word puzzles and a test at the end of each chapter to educate children on basic human rights principles.
  • Developing an animated comic video promoting good practices for human rights.

The development of these projects involved technical assistance from a team of five students selected from both the Master’s in Business Information Systems and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science programs over a duration of 13 weeks and on a cost-sharing basis.

The involvement of these students was also in line with the purpose of the MoU, which is to equip students with human rights knowledge, as well as to enhance public understanding of human rights through the use of technology.

“This meaningful partnership is the result of a positive relationship between SUHAKAM and the Monash School of IT. It will help us enhance our work and promote human rights education in the country,” said Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, Commissioner for SUHAKAM.

Monash Malaysia’s School of IT students had previously also contributed to the development of SUHAKAM’s 15th Anniversary Video Documentary.

The MoU was signed by Tan Sri Hasmy representing SUHAKAM and Professor Helen Bartlett, representing Monash Malaysia. The four areas of cooperation outlined in the MoU are as follows:

  1. Developing human rights promotional tools through Information and Communications Technology (ICT), such as mobile applications, animations and human rights themed games.
  2. Undertaking activities such as exhibitions, talks and lectures to raise awareness on human rights.
  3. Launching internships and exchange programs.
  4. Undertaking a joint research study on human rights issues.