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The Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in Geneva, THE Port Association (https://twitter.com/theportatcern) and Impact Hub Geneva will host their hackathon in the field of human rights, on the 26/27 February 2016. The Human Rights DiploHack event will bring together diplomats and human rights experts with tech developers, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs from all over Europe and beyond, to experiment and innovate on projects that directly impact people’s lives. From the multidisciplinary expertise of the participants, teams will be formed to work on two challenges presented by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
[as a first contribution I refer to the video as evidence instructions posted by Witness on 18 February 2016
The result will be presented at the Palais des Nations, on 29 February during a side event open to the public on the occasion of the Human Rights Council (for accreditation to this side event, non-UN-badge holders are invited to contact the organizers before 24 February). True Heroes Films (THF) will be filming the event and will produce a short film to be shown at the side event.
On 4 February 2016 Penal Reform International, the Quaker UN Office, and the Permanent Representations of Switzerland and Uruguay to the UN in Geneva, invited delegates, representatives of NGOs and interested stakeholders to a briefing in the Palais des Nations in Geneva on the recently adopted revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the ‘Nelson Mandela Rules’.
An expert panel provided an overview of the revision process and the significance of this set of standards, and then focused on a number of critical areas of the Rules that were updated. It sought to initiate discussion on the implementation of the Nelson Mandela Rules and to start collecting recommendations and good practice in this regard.
The panel was moderated by Laurel Townhead, Quaker UN Office, and included:
· Representative of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland
· Philipp Meissner, UN Office on Drugs and Crime
· Robert Husbands, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
· Nigel Rodley, Chair, Essex University Human Rights Centre
· Stefan Enggist, World Health Organization
· Andrea Huber, Penal Reform International.
The video – prepared by True Heroes Films (THF) – is on the long side (1 1/2 hours) but is excellent for people who want to learn more about the revised standards.
“Yes there is!” according to True Heroes Films (THF)
A recent assessment of the communication practice of Geneva-based human rights organisations carried out by THF showed that many of them face the same challenges.
In a newsletter (see link at the bottom of this post) and in the below guidelines, THF summarizes these challenges and the solutions identified together with communicators from the organisations assessed. There are some nice cartoons by © Hani Abbas.
The guidelines are by necessity of a general nature and are based on the experience of NGOs in the Geneva area, but they they may help also others in thinking about their communications problems: Read the rest of this entry »
For those who missed this impressive ceremony of the 2015 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders last night, here is the link to the full 1h40 event, including the surprise appearance by Laureate Ahmed Mansoor via the internet. The films and streaming were provided by True Heroes Films.
This one minute trailer by THF is a good introduction to tonight’s MEA ceremony. Starts shortly after 18h00 Geneva time and can be followed on www.martinennalsaward.org.
In this short video produced by True Heroes Films (THF) spokespeople for armed non-state actors explain why they feel they have to adhere to humanitarian standards. The definition of human rights defenders excludes those who advocate or use violence but the importance of them respecting basic standards is a crucial, long-term issue.
This Geneva Call short video features 13 high-level representatives of armed non-State actors (ANSAs) from 10 countries, including Syria, Burma/Myanmar and Sudan. In it, they explain why they think it is so important to enter into a dialogue with Geneva Call on humanitarian norms and the protection of civilian populations. Although ANSAs are responsible for violations of humanitarian norms in many conflicts, it is possible to engage them in a dialogue about respecting those norms.
It is in ANSAs’ interests to respect humanitarian norms, not only to gain support from populations in the areas they control but also to maintain a good reputation. Complying with humanitarian norms often sits well with the political or religious values that are at the root of their struggle, and compliance can make them more credible interlocutors when peace negotiations take place.
These statements were filmed at Geneva Call’s Third Meeting of Signatories in November 2014. This meeting in Geneva brought together 70 high-level representatives of 36 ANSAs from 14 different countries.
“You are either for humanity or you are not for humanity. I don’t think anybody can propose to be for humanity and then be selective in the human beings who they choose to represent, who they choose to defend.” Richie Maitland, LGBT rights defender. ISHR adds it is humbled to work with activists like Richie, Shakhawat and Sheherezade Kara – who fight to bring about change in hostile environments and in the face of fierce opposition. They work against pervasive homophobia, criminalisation, violence and intimidation, and for equal rights for all people, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.