Posts Tagged ‘democratic rights’

Panel: Re-Opening Civic Spaces in Times of Covid-19

October 13, 2020

Hafıza MerkeziAssociation for Monitoring Equal Rights and Netherlands Helsinki Committee kick-start a panel-series titled “Shrinking Democratic Space and International Solidarity”.

Through these panels, we wish to discuss the challenges and potentials ahead of the human rights movement, in light of both the ongoing erosion in democratic/civic spaces and the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic. In each panel we will couple one human rights defender from Turkey with one from abroad.

In the first panel of the series, we hope to start with a hopeful perspective on how we can re-open spaces in times Covid-19. We also wish to put forth a conceptual and comparative understanding on concepts such as shrinking civic spaces, authoritarianism and populism. The title of this first panel is “Re-Opening Civic Spaces in Times of Covid-19”.

We will welcome legal scholar, sociologist and human rights advocate César Rodríguez Garavito for this event. Murat Çelikkan, co-director of Hafiza Merkezi, will host the event as co-speaker.

Some of the specific issues and questions we want to focus are as follows;

  • How do concepts such as closing democratic/civic spaces relate to populism, authoritarianism, etc.
  • How has the situation evolved in recent years in terms of these processes?
  • What has been the impact of Covid-19 on top of all this?
  • During Covid times, what are the trends and practices in the global human rights movement that have the potential to push back against the populist tide?
  • How should we frame the debates about the future of human rights?

The first panel will take place on October 15th at 17.00-18.30 (GMT+3) and will be livestreamed to registered participants. Please register from here.

English-Turkish simultaneous translation will be provided during the event.

About speakers

César Rodríguez Garavito’s research focuses on the transformation of law and politics in the context of globalization. He is co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice in New York University School of Law. César is the founder of JustLabs and the Editor-in-Chief of OpenGlobalRights. He has been a visiting professor at New York University, Stanford University, Brown University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Pretoria (South Africa), the European University Institute, American University in Cairo and the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil). He is a board member of WITNESS, the Business & Human Rights Resource Center, the Annual Review of Law and Social Science, and the Business and Human Rights Journal. César is obsessed with inter-disciplinary research, social innovation, systems thinking, and anything that can get human rights and social justice practitioners to respond more strategically and effectively to complex challenges such as technological disruption, the climate crisis and populist authoritarianism. He has conducted research and advocacy in various regions of the world and has published widely on human rights, environmental justice, globalization and social movements.

Murat Çelikkan has worked as a journalist for 35 years in various positions such as reporter, editor, columnist and chief executive editor. Çelikkan has been an active member of the Turkish Human Rights Movement. He was a founding member and has been on the boards of the Human Rights AssociationHuman Rights Foundation of TurkeyCitizens Assembly and Amnesty International Turkey. He has worked on projects related to the Kurdish problem and media ethics, freedom of speech and assembly, refugees, identity politics and peace. Çelikkan is a graduate of Middle East Technical University. He is currently the Co-Director of Truth Justice Memory Center in İstanbul. He is also the producer of two feature films and the documentary Buka Barane. He has received the Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2018 Award and the 2018 International Hrant Dink Award.

Attila Mraz: Human rights defenders in Hungary have their work cut out

December 23, 2015

Attila Mraz works for the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) on political participatory rights, while also completing a PhD in political theory focusing on the required conditions for a State to be qualified ‘democratic’. Talking with the International Service for Human Rights in the series Defenders Profiles (25 September 2015) about the reasons for his commitment to political participatory rights he said: ‘Democratic rights fascinate me because they are such an important feature of human life – we have to live together and solve certain problems despite having diverse perspectives. Political participatory rights provide necessary guarantees for equal and fair participation which facilitates the resolution of different societal views – that is what I care about.’

Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Malaysian human rights defender Irene Fernandez

April 4, 2014

The NGO Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) is deeply saddened by the passing of Irene Fernandez. This is how her colleagues reacted:

Many of us knew her as a comrade and friend, stretching back years to the beginnings of our lives as activists and human rights defenders Irene Fernandez has had a long and vibrant engagement with human rights since the 1970s. She worked tirelessly for the rights of people whose causes were unpopular even among more sympathetic Malaysians: migrant workers, domestic workers, sex workers, and people living with HIV. She was there at the birth of the women’s movement in Malaysia in the 1980s and became a founder member of All Women’s Action Society (Awam) as well as Women’s Development Collective. Empower and Tenaganita, under her direction, collaborated on a one-year project in 2010. We were looking forward to many more such collaborations with Irene before her unexpected passing.

Irene was a hero to many for her deep commitment to her principles. She could be stern and unyielding, but these were qualities that served her well in fighting against relentless State persecution. Neither the 13-year criminal trial nor the 2012 sedition case succeeded in breaking her will. Empower regrets that should her harassers be one day brought to account for their actions, she did not live to witness it. We must believe, as she did, that the struggle to reaffirm our democratic rights is universal. It is our right and our responsibility to stand up for justice and equality. No human being is unimportant, no matter the gender, ethnicity, wealth, or social status. In carrying her legacy to the future, we must find in ourselves the courage she showed in standing up to those who deny the common humanity of our brothers and sisters.

 

via: Malaysiakini.