Dublin Human Rights Festival 2018: reaching out to a wider audience

November 16, 2018

Human Rights Festival Banner Image

To celebrate the voices and actions of human rights defenders from Ireland and around the world, leading human rights organisations [Front Line Defenders, National LGBT Federation, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Fighting Words & LASC] have once again come together to bring a weekend with interactive workshops, panel discussions, artistic performances: Dublin Human Rights Festival 2018, 23-24 November 2018. If only more countries would be able to organize things at this scale!

The list of Speakers and Presenters is quite impressive; here a selection:

Sindy JoyceDr. Sindy Joyce is a human rights defender (HRD). She was the module coordinator and lecturer in ‘Travellers, Rights and Nomadism’ and ‘Travellers, Ethnicity and Rights’ in University College Dublin with the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. Her research interests include both direct and indirect forms of racism, ethnicity/identity, social/political constructions of Irish Travellers and the production of space related inequalities. Sindy won the 2014 Traveller Pride Award for Education.

Khalid BaghirovKhalid Baghirov is a human rights lawyer who has taken on many high-profile and sensitive human rights cases. Only very few defense lawyers have dared to take such sensitive cases and defend persecuted human rights defenders, fearing repercussions for their work. Indeed, the government has targated those lawyers who have taken on cases of jailed political prisoners, activists and journalists. In 2016, Khalid Baghirov was selected as one of the finalists for the Front Line Defenders award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

Tara MaddenTara Madden (Moderator) has worked with Front Line Defenders since 2004. As Programme Manager, she contributes to organisational planning and reporting, including monitoring of annual business plans and results and oversees the day-to-day running of the Dublin office. She manages the Rest and Respite Programme and has a specific focus on the organisation’s work to address the protection needs of women human rights defenders.

Geovani KrenakGeovani Krenak is part of the leadership of the Krenak people in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. As an indigenous people the Krenak have struggled to protect their ancestral lands from countless invasions from the Brazilian government and multinational corporations. These entities are responsible for some of the biggest environmental crimes in Brazil. Since 2015, the presence of multinational corporations in the Minas Gerais area has had a hugely negative effect on the Krenak people. It has become impossible for the Krenak to practice their sacred rituals in the waters of the River Dolce. They can no longer eat the fish from the river nor teach their children to swim as the multinational corporations have severely polluted the river water. The Krenak people are resisting, but because of this resistance they are also at risk.

Elizabeth FarriesElizabeth Farries is the Information Rights Project Manager for the Irish Council for Civil Liberties together with the International Network of Civil Law Organizations. She is called to the Bar in British Columbia, and has a practice background in litigation, intellectual property, and human rights. Her research interests focus on how women’s privacy rights are encroached online. On this and other topics, she has numerous trade, academic, and community publications.

Siobhán CummiskeySiobhán Cummiskey is the Head of Content Policy of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Facebook.


Highlights at Smock Alley Theatre include an interactive circus skills workshop by Clowns Without Borders (for young children), a street art graffiti workshop (for older children & adults), a creative writing story-telling workshop (adults) and a panel discussion on women’s reproductive health entitled Right to Choice: Solidarity and Next Steps which be an opportunity to discuss the learnings from the successful Together for Yes campaign and how we can support abortion rights campaigners in Northern Ireland, Poland and further afield.

There will also be information stalls at Smock Alley Theatre on Saturday and more panel discussions on LGBT+ rights, environmental justice, civil rights movements of the past and present and privacy rights in digital age at the Wood Quay Venue throughout the day.

Admission: All events are FREE! however ‘Right To Choice’ and ‘Telling The Stories of Women Human Rights Defenders are ticketed.

Clowns without Borders

Time: 10:30am – 11:15am




Street Art as a tool for change (Graffiti mural workshop)

Time: 11:30pm – 1:30pm






Right to Choice – Solidarity and Next Steps  Time: 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Telling the Stories of Women Human Rights Defenders

A discussion between Irish writer and editor Laura Cassidy and Tunisian blogger and women human rights defender Lina Ben Mhenni. Meeting in person for the first time, they discuss their experiences of working together as part of a project that sees Irish women writers work with human rights defenders around the world to bring their stories to a new audience. Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm


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