We will be holding a workshop in York on 4-5 November 2019 on civil society strategies to push back against shrinking space. The workshop will ‘take the long view’ by focusing on 1) empirical, evidence-based studies of civil society resistance and resilience, and 2) historical precedents, lessons and insights of relevance to current situations. Panels will include human rights defenders from Turkey, Mexico, Hong Kong and Brazil. If you could like to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Oleske, professor of US constitutional law at Lewis & Clark Law School, discusses high-profile controversies pitting religious freedom claims against equality laws in courts in both the UK and the US. More details here.
Ali Gharavi, one of the Istanbul 10, will share his experience when a simple workshop on stress management and information security for HRDs turned into a 4-months long crisis of imprisonment, false charges and subsequent court battles that still continue. More information here.
The Centre for Applied Human Rights participates in this year's York International Women's Week with an afternoon of music and visual arts exploring creative activism. Art work and music created and performed by CAHR's visiting human rights defenders together with Newcastle-based Afro-Latin percussion and brass duet Ladies of Midnight Blue promises to be a fantastic afternoon for the whole family.
There will be opportunities during the event for Q&A with the activists and artists.
Speaker(s): Thabitha Khumalo Hon MP, Dr Alice Nah, Prosper Tiringindi and Wanjeri Nderu
Together with Unite the union CAHR is honoured to host a panel discussion with Thabitha Khumalo Hon MP for the movement of democratic change in Zimbabwe; Dr Alice Nah from the Centre for Applied Human Rights; and two of CAHR's visiting human rights defenders, Prosper Tiringindi (Zimbabwe) and Wanjeri Nderu (Kenya). The discussion will focus on women and human rights.
Andrei Paluda, a death penalty abolition campaigner, will talk about the procedures of executing people in Belarus, a tradition still in place from the Soviet Union era. He will speak about the suffering of people, secret burials and executions in central Minsk, and ask what do human rights defenders do, both in Belarus and around the globe, to put an end to capital punishment?
Ezequiel Heffes is a Thematic Legal Adviser for Geneva Call, a humanitarian NGO that is dedicated to promoting respect by non-state armed groups for international humanitarian norms in armed conflict and other situations of violence. In this public lecture, Ezequiel will speak about his experiences of engaging a variety of non-state armed groups in humanitarian dialogue, the successes of such work, as well as the challenges.
In this lecture Johncation will discuss defending human rights in Uganda today, under one man's 32-year-long military dictatorship.
Johncation Muhindo, is a movement leader and well-known activist in Uganda. His area of work focuses mainly on exposing and raising awareness of land grabs, increased civic participation, as well as protecting and promoting rights of excluded and marginalized communities.
Ameen Nemer is a human rights defender and researcher from Saudi Arabia who is currently living in exile in the UK. He will join us to talk about contemporary human rights in his home country. Nemer will discuss why topics including women's rights and Shia minority rights are political rather than religious in Saudi Arabia, and analyse the nature of the Crown Prince's policy reforms. Nemer poses the question: Will international pressure push for a positive change inside Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul on 2 October 2018?
Kazakhstan's human rights situation is regularly described as poor by independent observers. It heavily restricts freedom of assembly, speech, and religion. A visiting human rights defender from Kazakhstan will speak about some of the many issues defenders face in their daily work.
After two years of rule by state of emergency, Turkey has gone from bad to worse, incorporating autocratic measures into the new regime of the country. Human rights defenders and activists and advocates from independent civil society in the country have been living in an increasingly suffocating and intimidating climate since the Gezi Park protests. Many have been detained, prosecuted or threatened, deprived of their jobs and thus of the means of livelihood, or they have even had to leave the country.
M is a human rights defender from Egypt. He will talk about his work defending minority rights in the MENA region.
Prosper Tiringindi is the Coordinator of Masvingo Residents Trust (MRT), a human rights organisation which campaigns for transparency and public accountability in the delivery of social services in the Masvingo province of south-eastern Zimbabwe. The group advocates for the improvement of the socio-economic rights of communities in the province by supporting projects to reduce poverty and support sustainable development, and organising peaceful demonstrations demanding good governance from the Masvingo authorities. Prosper will talk about this work and his thoughts on a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe.
Singapore is known for its economic success. But how many people are aware of the human rights situation in Singapore? Singapore is the only country in this world where the government doesn’t spend a single penny on public housing, healthcare and pensions. Han Hui Hui organised the largest protest in the 21st century in Singapore which attracted more than 6,000 Singaporeans when she was 22. She will talk about the human rights situation in Singapore and the various methods she has used to highlight the abuse of power and human rights violations in Singapore.
Wanjeri, Nderu, a human rights and anti-corruption blogger, will talk about her work to expose criminal activity and human rights violations in Kenya. She will also speak about how this type of work affects the mental health and wellbeing of human rights defenders.
The Embroidery for Peace workshop we held as part of Arts + Activism was so successful we agreed to make this a regular event. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday 19th May, 10am, at King’s Manor York and you are welcome to come along - no need to be an expert sewer. At the workshop we will continue to embroider white handkerchiefs with the names of human rights defenders killed, missing or threatened, following the guidelines explained by Rosa Borras of Bordando por la paz (Embroidery for Peace) Puebla at the first workshop. All materials provided.
The Embroidery for Peace workshop we held as part of the Arts + Activism Workshop was so successful we agreed to make this a regular event. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday 14th April, 10am, at King’s Manor and you are welcome to come along - no need to be an expert sewer. At the workshop we will continue to embroider white handkerchiefs with the names of human rights defenders killed, missing or threatened, following the guidelines explained by Rosa Borras at the first workshop. All materials provided. There will also be some examples of work completed as part of a project with Afghan women to help inspire us.
Gerald Hayo works for the rights of lesbian, bi and queer women in the coastal regions of Kenya. In her talk she will discuss the challenges she has faced in her life both personally and professionally as an openly lesbian woman in a conservative culture.
A documentor of war crimes in Eastern Ukraine and annexed Crimea, Roman will be talking about the war which is ongoing at the centre of Europe.
Rosa Borras is a Mexican artist and activist who co-ordinates the group Bordadoras por la paz Puebla - Embroiderers for Peace (Puebla). She recently completed a quilt for the Security of Defenders project which will be displayed as part of the Arts + Activism exhibition we are hosting in January. Whilst she is in York for the exhibition Rosa has offered to run an Embroidery for Peace workshop.
Can doing and thinking like an artist expand the political imagination?
Sometimes human rights activists are so caught up with the everyday, with tactics for resisting injustice, that they forget to talk about what they are campaigning for - what they want the world to look like. But without imagining different possible worlds and ways of doing so, society is left with the dreams of the powerful.
Join Pica Studios for an evening of screenings and conversation with visiting Bangladeshi sculptor Shohrab Jahan, Ugandan director and screenwriter Patience Nitumwesiga, and the researchers behind the Centre for Applied Human Rights' research on creative alternatives and the political imagination.
Shohrab Jahan, Patience Nitumwesiga and Emilie Flower from Pica Studios have all been collaborating artsists in the creative alternatives research at the Centre for Applied Human Rights. Pica Studios are artist led studios in an 18th century printworks housing the workshops of eighteen artists, makers, writers and musicians. Shohrab Jahan is a sculptor and installation artist from Chittagong in Eastern Bangladesh, where he runs the artist led studios, Jog art space, and will be in residency at Pica Studios in January. Patience Nitumwesiga is a screen writer, director and activist based in Kampala, Uganda.
A performance at the Basement, City Screen York, by The Ladies of the Midnight Blue and John Otieno Rapasa.
The Ladies of Midnight Blue are an Afro-Latin percussion & brass duet who have performed all over the world for various festivals, charity benefits, peace rallies, and protest marches. Their music consists of powerful and upbeat combinations of percussion, brass, vocal chants, and mbira arrangements that inspires dancing and calls for audience participation. Today, the duet is comprised of Hannabiell Sanders - Percussion, Bass Trombone, mbira, and voice, and Yilis del Carmen Suriel - Percussion, mbira. In the last 7 years they have been workshop facilitators and guest artists for youth programs, grade schools, universities, and community organizations. Their art and music workshops focus on community building and raising awareness concerning issues of inequality on all levels.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Rapasa is a performing artist, multiinstrumentalist, vocalist, and dancer with roots in traditional music. Specializing in Nyatiti and Adung, Rapasa has studied with Owiny Sigoma and toured internationally. Rapasa loves to transmit his passion as a way to give back to the community.
The HRD Hub is hosting a workshop in York on 25-26 January 2018 on Arts, Activism and Research. The workshop will include presentations from activists, artists and researchers; performances as well as presentations and discussion; and an exhibition of artistic work produced by CAHR staff and partners.
In her talk M will address possible solutions to the pressure against civil society organisations (CSOs) in Azerbaijan; the development of an effective international human rights advocacy strategy on Azerbaijan; the European Court of Human Rights as an affective tool to challenge a biased legal system; and what can be done with the help of continuous emergency and development assistance to CSOs in Azerbaijan..
Speaker: Doaa Mostafa Hassan, visiting fellow at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms
Doaa Mostafa is a lawyer and Criminal Justice Programme Director at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), an NGO that was established in 2013 and has quickly become one of the leading human rights organisations in the country. ECRF have led the campaign to Stop Enforced Disappearances in Egypt, a human rights violation that has increased dramatically over the past few years.
Doaa will discuss her work defending the rights of protesters, who are often arbitrarily detained by security forces, and many put through unfair trials. She works in a hostile environment where critical, independent NGOs are viewed by the government as enemies of the state, and in a country where gender biases are high. She is currently the only female lawyer working on enforced disappearances in Egypt. She is also involved in trial monitoring and has won cases defending freedom of assembly.
Doaa Mostafa Hassan is currently a visiting fellow at the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) under the auspices of the Protective Fellowship Scheme for HRDs at Risk. The Learning from HRDs lecture series showcases front line human rights work conducted by CAHR's visiting human rights defenders.
Location: ARC/014, Alcuin Research Resource Centre, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD
Hub members involved in temporary relocation will be joining Martin and Sanna who are leading a 2 day workshop in Geneva to coincide with the UN Special Rapporteur's / Netherlands government side session on TIRIs. The workshop has three goals:
(i) to generate impact and disseminate current research findings on TIRIs;
(ii) to collect data on existing practices of and issues in the management of TIRIs; and,
(iii) to produce a large scale funding proposal for further collaborative research.