Human Rights Talks
Human Rights Talks: Digital Townhall -Foreign Interference & COVID19 Disinformation

Human Rights Talks: Digital Townhall -Foreign Interference & COVID19 Disinformation

November 18, 2020

In this first installment of our series on COVID-19 and disinformation we discussed key actors, themes, and impacts of foreign interference and disinformation in the Canadian context.

- Marcus Kolga (Founder of DisinfoWatch and Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute)

- Camille François (Chief Innovation Officer at Graphika)

- Alice Stollmeyer (Executive Director of Defend Democracy). 

- Michael Petrou (Editor-in-Chief of Open Canada) will moderate the discussion.

This event was livestreamed on the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies' Facebook and YouTube pages.

The Canadian Coalition to Counter COVID Digital Disinformation is a project organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies with funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage's Digital Citizens Initiative. We are working to enhance Canadian citizens' digital literacy and resiliency as they come in contact with misinformation and disinformation relating to COVID-19.

Human Rights Talks: Uyghur Under Threat - Part 3

Human Rights Talks: Uyghur Under Threat - Part 3

November 13, 2020

In light of the Human Rights violations against the Uyghur population happening in Xinjiang, a region in the northwest of China which is known to most Uyghur people as East Turkestan, join the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies for a high-level discussion on the persecution of the Uyghurs.

This is part 3 of the discussion.

  • Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch
  • Nury Turkel, Uighur human rights lawyer, founder of the Uighur Human Rights Project, and Commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom"
  • Garnett Genuis, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Sherwood Park and Shadow Minister for International Development & Human Rights
  • Preston Lim, J.D. candidate at Yale Law School

Moderator: Kyle Matthews, Executive Director, MIGS

Human Rights Talks: Uyghur Under Threat - Part 2

Human Rights Talks: Uyghur Under Threat - Part 2

November 13, 2020

In light of the Human Rights violations against the Uyghur population happening in Xinjiang, a region in the northwest of China which is known to most Uyghur people as East Turkestan, join the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies for a high-level discussion on the persecution of the Uyghurs. This is part 2 of the discussion.

- Mihrigul Tursun, camp survivor

- Adrian Zenz, German anthropologist and Senior Fellow in China Studies at VOC

- Francine Pelletier, journalist at Le Devoir and journalism adjunct professor at Concordia University

Human Rights Talks : Uyghur Under Threat - Part 1

Human Rights Talks : Uyghur Under Threat - Part 1

November 13, 2020

In light of the Human Rights violations against the Uighur population happening in Xinjiang, a region in the northwest of China which is known to most Uyghur people as East Turkestan, join the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies for a high-level discussion on the persecution of the Uighur.

 

Irwin Cotler, retired Canadian politician, Emeritus Professor of Law, and Founder and Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights

 

- Darren Byler, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington.

- Dr. Sean Roberts, Associate Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, and Director, International Development Studies Program, Elliott School of International Affairs.

- Marie-Ève Melanson, PhD candidate at McGill University's School of Religious Studies, a Research Assistant on Dr. Susan Palmer's SSHRC-funded project "Children in Minority Religions and State Control."

- Dilnur Reyhan, President of the Uyghur Institute of Europe

- Moderator: Prof. Kim Manning, Associate Professor of Political Science and Principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University

Human Rights Talks : The Rohingya - A Genocide Incited on Facebook

Human Rights Talks : The Rohingya - A Genocide Incited on Facebook

November 11, 2020

Today, the crisis in Myanmar stands out as a case study of groups harnessing social media to incite violence and of the failure of social media platforms to take action. What role did online hate speech and misinformation play in the resurgence of oppression and human rights violations? What are the lessons learned from this crisis for all stakeholders (Big Tech, states, civil society) to prevent this from happening again?

The third session of the “Decoding Hate Speech” series will focus on the weaponization of social media in Myanmar and address whether this case marks a turning point in Big Tech’s realization that they must consider the human rights impact of their platforms.

 

Senator Marilou McPhedran

Grant Shubin, Legal Director of the Global Justice Center

Myat Thu, Independent expert and Research Advisor at Myanmar Tech Accountability

Kyle Matthews, Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS)

 
Human Rights Talks: Freedom is not a crime

Human Rights Talks: Freedom is not a crime

October 26, 2020

In 2017-1018, images of Iranian women protesting the Islamic government by taking off their headscarves in public were seen around the world. Shaparak Shajarizadeh was one of these women. In 2018, she photographed herself in front of one of the busiest squares of Teheran, hoisting her hijab overhead on a stick for all to see. This same picture is now on the cover of a new book titled “La liberté n’est pas un crime” in which she and journalist Rima Elkouri tell her story of how she became an activist fighting for women’s rights and how she came to participate in the #WhiteWednesday movement. She also recounts her arrests, her time in prison and finally her flight from Iran. Today, she has found refuge in Toronto but she continues to fight for women’s rights and basic freedoms.

In this unique bilingual event, Shaparak Shajarizadeh and Rima Elkouri will discuss Shaparak’s decision to stand up to the Iranian government, the role of women in protest movements in Iran, her decision to flee her country and to continue her activism in Canada.

This is a bilingual event and will be streamed on our YouTube channel as well as our Facebook.

Speakers:

- Rima Elkouri, journalist at La Presse and co-author of “La liberté n’est pas un crime”

- Shaparak Shajarizadeh, Iranian activist and co-author of “La liberté n’est pas un crime”

Decoding Hate Speech - Technology and hate speech: friend or foe?

Decoding Hate Speech - Technology and hate speech: friend or foe?

October 8, 2020

Can information and communication technologies still be used for positive change and democracy, and if so, how? How can we prevent Big Tech from profiting from online harm and once again become a tool for positive change? What tools, mechanisms and approaches can be used by states, civil society and the private sector to counter online hate?

The second session of the “Decoding Hate Speech” series addressed the complexity of this social media phenomenon with an informed and multi-partied approach to prevent the harmful effects of Big Tech on human rights, and develop strategies to make technologies work for the benefit of our societies.

Kyle Matthews, Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, speaks to Savita Pawnday (Deputy Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect), Meetali Jain (Legal Director at Avaaz), and Christopher Tuckwood (Executive Director of The Sentinel Project).

Human Rights Talks (FR): De l’antisémitisme à la théorie du Deep-State

Human Rights Talks (FR): De l’antisémitisme à la théorie du Deep-State

September 24, 2020

Les théories du complot ont gagné en population et visibilité depuis le début de la pandémie de la COVID-19, visant tout particulièrement certaines communautés culturelles et religieuses. Ce panel aborde la question des théories du complots et leurs liens avec les discours haineux. Nous parlons des contextes de crise dans lesquels ils prennent racines, des mécanismes de diffusion en ligne, et de certaines bonnes pratiques d’information et d’éducation permettant de lutter contre ce phénomène.

 

-Marie-Eve Carignan, Directrice du Pôle Médias, Chaire UNESCO en prévention de la radicalisation et de l’extrémisme violents (Chaire UNESCO-PREV)
- Jeff Yates, Journaliste, Radio Canada, "Les Décrypteurs"
- Rudy Reichstadt, Conspiracy Watch
- Marie Lamensch, Coordinatrice de projet, MIGS
Human Talks: Special Series - Decoding Hate Speech

Human Talks: Special Series - Decoding Hate Speech

September 3, 2020

In recent years, hate-fueled rhetoric in public discourse and in the media have been on the rise around the world. By revolutionizing the way we communicate and interact, the Internet and social media have considerably amplified this phenomenon. National and international responses to this global phenomenon have been uneven. Some governments are hesitant to regulate freedom of speech while governments with authoritarian tendencies have imposed social media rules to crack down on activists and journalists. Big Tech Companies, meanwhile, have failed to strongly address online hate speech.

Alarmed by the increase of hate speech around the globe, the UN Secretary-General launched the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech in 2019, which proposes a holistic approach to identify, address and counter hate speech. However, progress has been slow, despite rising calls for regulations and codes of conduct.

The first panel of the “Decoding Hate Speech” series addresses the complexity of this phenomenon with an informed, nuanced and multi-partied approach to identify and counter hate speech as a potential factor conducive to human rights violations and atrocity crimes.

Featuring

  • Mô Bleeker, Special Envoy for Dealing with the Past and Atrocity Prevention at the Swiss Federal Department of Federal Affairs
  • Representative of United Nations Office for Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
  • Katarzyna Gardapkhadze, Officer in Charge, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
  • Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, Founder of the Child Soldiers Initiative and MIGS Distinguished Fellow
Human Rights Talks: Journalist Kareem Shaheen on the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East

Human Rights Talks: Journalist Kareem Shaheen on the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East

August 17, 2020

Kareem Shaheen is a journalist and former The Guardian correspondent for the Middle East. He discussed the current situation in Beyrouth, corruption within the Lebanese government, and the uncertain future Lebanese people face. He also spoke about the situation in Syria and the future of the Middle East.

 

Kareem Shaheen is a journalist and columnist based in Montreal. He is the former Middle East and Turkey correspondent for The Guardian, and was previously based in Istanbul, Beirut and Abu Dhabi. He was nominated for a Frontline Club Award for print journalism for his coverage of the Khan Sheikhun chemical attack. He holds a master’s degree in war studies from King’s College London.

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