The Ateneo Human Rights Center was founded in July 1986, a few months after the historic EDSA Revolution drew attention to the indomitable might that is People Power. While the dictatorship infamous for human rights violations was overthrown through peaceful and bloodless means, it became obvious immediately thereafter that much work still had to be done in the field of human rights. AHRC was established as one of the first university-based institutions engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
Housed in the School of Law of the Ateneo de Manila, AHRC strives to do its part in espousing the university’s challenge that every Atenean should use the gift of excellence to be “lux in Domino” – light in the Lord. It keeps faith with the guiding principle of forming men and women for others which underlies Ateneo pedagogy. As Fr. Bievenido F. Nebres, S.J., former President of the University, once said: “The vigor of the Ateneo’s social centers and the many socially oriented activities on campus…reflect our commitment to place excellence at the service of others. “
AHRC’s initial program was the Summer Internship Program. It was designed to provide law students with exposure to human rights work and advocacy and produced the first crop of interns in the summer of 1987. Since then, the Internship Program has been expanded substantially.
To form and sustain human rights lawyers and advocates in the Philippines;
To make justice more accessible to victims of human rights violations;
To monitor and advocate for compliance with human rights laws and instruments;
To empower civil society towards peace, democracy, gender equality, good governance, and the rule of law.
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