Monday, 14 April 2014

Baar, Switzerland: International Summer Academy on Peacebuilding & Intercultural Dialogue | 17-27 August 2014 | Application deadline 30 June

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Dispute resolution and negotiation,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:44 PDT
Monday, 30 June 2014

Sunday, 17 August 2014 to Wednesday, 27 August 2014

International Summer Academy on Peacebuilding & Intercultural Dialogue
Institute for Peace and Dialogue, IPD.
Baar, Switzerland
17-27 August 2014.

To register SA, complete the application form and send by email with your passport page (only photo page) to fhuseynli [at] by 30 June, 2014. See

Participants from all over world countries who working in State Organs, INGOs, IOs, Companies, Universities or Individual Researchers and who are interested on peacebuilding, conflict transformation, intercultural-interfaith dialogue, mediation, negotiation etc. related topics are welcome to join our coming summer academy.
If you have any questions feel free to email fhuseynli [at]

IPD SA Experts & Topics –
IPD SA Baar, Switzerland 2014 –
IPD SA Vienna, Austria 2013 –
Summer Academy location Baar Region-

Fakhrinur HUSEYNLI
Director of Institute for Peace & Dialogue, IDP
Address: Schachenstrasse 36,
CH-6010 Kriens, Switzerland
E-mail: fhuseynli [at]

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

CAR’s archbishop and imam in peace drive

Filed under: Africa files,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:27 PDT

The conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) is often described as being between Muslims and Christians but two religious leaders are working together to end the bloodshed that has displaced about 20% of the population. The BBC’s Tim Whewell joined them on one of their trips to promote peace.

The archbishop finishes tying luggage to the roof of the 4×4, and climbs into the driver’s seat. “The task is hard,” he says. “But for God, nothing is impossible.”

The chief imam, beside him, smiles in agreement. And with that, they’re off – on a dangerous journey into the interior of their country, to try to reconcile two communities divided by hatred.


Monday, 7 April 2014

Victoria, Canada: International human rights, the Rule of Law & Cambodia’s Election Conflict: Bob Patterson & Catherine Morris | 23 April 2014

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Human Rights — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:33 PDT
Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Poster (.pdf)

Safeguarding the Independence and Integrity of the Bar, Courts and Tribunals

International Human Rights, the Rule of Law and Cambodia’s Election Conflict

Victoria April 23, 2014, noon to 1:15 pm
Barristers’ Lounge, Victoria Courthouse, 850 Burdett Ave., Victoria, BC
No charge. A light lunch will be available (by donation).
CPD credit available for BC lawyers.

Co-sponsored by LRWC, ICJ and the Young Lawyers Victoria Section of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association

Robert Patterson is a former Chief Electoral Officer (1990-2002) of British Columbia, has been the Head of Party for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Cambodia since 2010. He has also served with international electoral assessment and observation missions in Malawi, Ethiopia, Yemen, The Gambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Jamaica, Guyana, Papua New Guinea, Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia. In addition, he has served as advisor to electoral commissions in Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Liberia, Zambia and the Palestinian Territory. He will provide an overview of successes and challenges of his work with Cambodia’s government and National Election Committee (NEC) to improve election administration.

Catherine Morris is a Victoria lawyer, adjunct professor at University of Victoria Faculty of Law and a member of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC). She has been involved in conflict resolution or human rights missions in Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Bangladesh, Bolivia, Rwanda and Austria. She has represented LRWC at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. She will speak about LRWC’s work advocating for integrity of Cambodia’s legal system. Drawing on her work in Cambodia for the past two decades, she will discuss how lack of independence of lawyers, judges and other institutions in Cambodia is linked to persistent patterns of impunity for corruption and land-grabbing at the heart of discontent of Cambodia’s electorate.

Moderated by John Waddell, QC, a Victoria lawyer and member of the Board of Directors of the International Commission of Jurists in Canada.

UN expert alarmed at worsening human rights situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state

Filed under: Human Rights,Myanmar,Religion and peacebuilding,Southeast Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:10 PDT

An independent United Nations expert today sounded the alarm on the deteriorating human rights situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, adding that the evacuation of aid workers following recent attacks on the humanitarian community would have severe consequences for life-saving work in the area.

“Recent developments in Rakhine state are the latest in a long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community which could amount to crimes against humanity,” said the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana.


Why coexistence doesn’t equal reconciliation in Rwanda

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:58 PDT

… fragments from a series of first-person accounts … collected to mark the 20th anniversary of Rwanda’s 100 days of slaughter. Taken together, they give extraordinary insight into the psychology of atrocity: how so many ordinary people – friends, neighbours, doctors, teachers, priests – could take part in the bloodletting.

They also hint at the moral complexity underlying Rwanda’s efforts to balance truth and reconciliation, justice and forgiveness…

Twenty years later, old resentments fester alongside new.


Rwanda: Portraits of Reconciliation

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:15 PDT

Last month, the photographer Pieter Hugo went to southern Rwanda, two decades after nearly a million people were killed during the country’s genocide, and captured a series of unlikely, almost unthinkable tableaus. In one, a woman rests her hand on the shoulder of the man who killed her father and brothers. In another, a woman poses with a casually reclining man who looted her property and whose father helped murder her husband and children. In many of these photos, there is little evident warmth between the pairs, and yet there they are, together. In each, the perpetrator is a Hutu who was granted pardon by the Tutsi survivor of his crime.


The Rise of Rwanda’s Women: Rebuilding and Reuniting a Nation

Filed under: gender,Human Rights,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:14 PDT

Twenty years ago, in 100 days of slaughter between April and July 1994, an estimated one million Rwandan men, women, and children were killed by their fellow citizens. It was one of the worst genocides in history, and its effects still ripple through Rwanda, central and eastern Africa, and the world at large.

It would be obscene to say that such a catastrophe has had even the thinnest silver lining. But it did create a natural — or unnatural — experiment, as the country’s social, economic, and political institutions were wiped out by the genocide. And in important respects, the reconstructed Rwanda that emerged over the next two decades is a dramatically different country.

One major improvement has come in the leadership of Rwandan women, who have made history with their newly vital role in politics and civil society.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

From Fear to Freedom: Shedding light on a lesser known chapter of the Rwanda genocide

Filed under: Africa files,Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:03 PDT

Beatha Kayitesi’s story, From Fear to Freedom, on Global’s 16×9, sheds light on a lesser-known chapter of that nation’s tragedy. It is a living account of the years before the genocide and the attempts to which one person will go to achieve peace.


UN chief urges CAR govt to prevent genocide

Filed under: Africa files,Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:53 PDT

BANGUI (Central African Republic): UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged the leaders of the strife-torn Central African Republic to prevent a new genocide on the continent, 20 years after Rwanda.

“It is your responsibility as leaders to ensure that there are no such anniversaries in this country,” said Ban, in Bangui for a brief visit.

The UN secretary general will meet transitional president Catherine Samba Panza to discuss ways to end the deadly cycle of intercommunal violence that has laid waste to the country for a year and led senior UN figures to raise the spectre of genocide. Ban, who will spend just a few hours in Bangui before heading to Rwanda for the 20th anniversary of that country’s genocide, said ahead of his visit he was “deeply troubled by the appalling atrocities” against civilians in the Central African Republic.


The 1915 Armenian genocide: Finding a fit testament to a timeless crime

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:49 PDT

The very last Armenian survivors of the 1915 genocide – in which a million and a half Christians were slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks – are dying, and Armenians are now facing the same fearful dilemma that Jews around the world will confront in scarcely three decades’ time: how to keep the memory of their holocausts alive when the last living witnesses of Ottoman and Nazi evil are dead?


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Myanmar activists launch anti-‘hate speech’ campaign

Filed under: Human Rights,Media and Conflict,Myanmar,Peaceworkers in the news,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:58 PDT

BANGKOK – A group of Myanmar activists, including former political prisoners, are launching a campaign on Friday to tackle the ‘hate speech’ against Muslims that has engulfed social media and spread into Burmese society.

Panzagar, literally “flower speech”, is a movement set up by Nay Phone Latt, a blogger and executive director of Myanmar ICT For Development Organization (MIDO) who spent nearly four years in jail for writing about the monks’ protests in 2007 that ended in a bloody crackdown.


Thailand in 2014: A Democracy Endangered by Juristocracy?

Filed under: Human Rights,Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:06 PDT

Since 2005, Thailand has been a divided country, witnessing resurgent waves of political pandemonium. The latest resurrection of such acrimony surfaced in November 2013, when once again, the country began to suffer mass demonstrations and it appeared the military might soon stage a coup. Of course, all of these pluralistic activities took place under a monarchy that seems to stand above politics.

The Rise of Thailand’s Juristocracy

Perhaps a less visible trend, which has grown over the last decade, has been the rise of Thailand’s judiciary. Indeed, Thailand today possesses a weakly-developed democracy with a strong, monarchically-endowed juristocracy that is undergirded by the armed forces. An embedded democracy possesses elections, political rights, civil liberties, and checks and balances as well as effective control over the military.

In such democracies, courts represent the rule of law and the ability of civilians to legally redress grievances. A juristocracy, on the other hand, comes to exist in a country where the judiciary achieves near or total supremacy over other political actors in a country. In Thailand, contemporary courts exert great power and are generally the tool of senior arch-royalists. This same judiciary is the final interpreter of the law. As such, it has been used to delegitimize recalcitrant political foes.


Jerusalem, April 6th: Marking 25 years of Rabbis for Human Rights | Live online

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Media and Conflict,Middle East,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:37 PDT
Sunday, 6 April 2014

LIVE event!
Sunday April 6 (6 Nissan)
7pm, Jerusalem Botanical Garden Auditorium

For those who cannot make the event in person, you can watch the event LIVE with English subtitles. On April 6, the footage will feed directly onto the linked page. No need for registration.

Also see the Facebook “event” page.

The event is at 7 pm in Israel, this corresponds to the following times globally:

Pacific Daylight Time (LA, San Fran, Vancouver)- 9am
Central Daylight Time (Chicago, Minneapolis)-11am
Eastern Daylight Time (NYC, Boston,Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal)- 12pm, noon
British Summer Time (London)-5pm/17:00
Central European Summer Time (Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Johannesburg)- 6pm/18:00
Eastern European Time (Cairo, Istanbul)-6pm/18:00
Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Melbourne, Sydney)- 3am, APRIL 7th
WATCH: 25 Years of Rabbis for Human Rights


Friday, 4 April 2014

Honduras: Liberating a Prison

Filed under: Art of Peacework,children and youth,Film, video, audio,Latin America & Caribbean — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:42 PDT

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Nashville USA: Strategic Evaluation of Nonviolent Civil Resistance | 16-23 August 2014 | Apply by 13 April

Filed under: Conferences, Events,Nonviolence — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:49 PDT
Sunday, 13 April 2014

Saturday, 16 August 2014 to Saturday, 23 August 2014

The James Lawson Institute
An Eight-Day Experience in Strategic Evaluation of Nonviolent Civil Resistance

August 16-23, 2014 | Nashville, Tennessee

In the 1960s, the Reverend James Lawson organized and led one of the most effective campaigns of nonviolent civil resistance in the 20th century: the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins for the US Civil Rights Movement. In the years that followed he was involved in strategic planning of numerous other major campaigns and actions and was called “the mind of the movement” and “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The US Civil Rights movement, the US Labor movement in the 1930s, the women’s suffrage movement, the anti-nuclear movement, and other movements in North America and abroad in the decades since did not just engage in activism. They organized people, mobilized them by the millions, and galvanized participation from a broad cross section of society. Collectively, these movements provide a model for how nonviolent change can be organized to win rights, justice and change in very adverse conditions.

The James Lawson Institute (JLI) looks at these past movements, and numerous contemporary ones around the world, from a strategic perspective, and engages participants in depth about a wide variety of aspects of organizing and activism in North America. It is a structured seminar to discuss what kinds of strategies, tactics and practices are effective for people organizing movements and waging civil resistance campaigns.


Topics to be discussed include:

  •    The Current State of North American Organizing and Activism
  •    The Core Dynamics of Nonviolent Civil Resistance
  •    Movement Formation, Sustainability, and Coalition Building
  •    Strategy, Tactics, and Planning
  •    Movement Language and Media
  •    Managing Repression, Radical Flanks, and Maintaining Nonviolent Discipline

The content is a mixture of theory and practice and is based on the experiences of numerous activists and organizers around the world as well as leading scholarship in the field of social movement and civil resistance. The daily schedule usually includes two presentations and two exercises, as well as an evening program. We will learn from case studies, theoretical frameworks, participant exercises, planning tools, academic research, and each other.

Sessions will be facilitated by James Lawson and the advisors and staff of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC).



Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Death toll in Syria’s civil war above 150,000

Filed under: children and youth,Dispute resolution and negotiation,gender,International Law: War — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:40 PDT

BEIRUT – At least 150,000 people have been killed in Syria’s three-year-old civil war, a third of them civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

The UK-based Observatory, which monitors violence in Syria through a network of activists and medical or security sources, said that real toll was likely to be significantly higher at around 220,000 deaths.

Efforts to end the conflict by bringing together representatives of President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the opposition have so far failed. The United Nations peace mediator for Syria said last week that talks were unlikely to resume soon.


Millions at risk in S. Sudan unless urgent action taken to end conflict – UN

Filed under: Africa files,children and youth,Humanitarian work — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:35 PDT

LONDON – Millions of lives will be threatened in South Sudan unless urgent action is taken to end fighting between government forces and rebels and increase international financial support to help civilians, the heads of two of the biggest United Nations agencies said on Tuesday.

At the end of a two-day visit to South Sudan, U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres and Ertharin Cousin, head of the World Food Programme, said many people risked being cut off from help due to lack of safety for aid workers.

“Women we met in Nyal (town in Unity State) who have been affected by the conflict asked us to convey three messages to the world: they need peace, assistance to relieve their suffering, and the chance for their children to return to school,” Cousin said in a joint statement with Guterres.


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

High Court Considers Definition Of Domestic Violence In Gun Case

Filed under: Disarmament,gender — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:13 PDT

Law enforcement, domestic violence organizations and gun control groups won an important victory in the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday.

The justices that people convicted of minor domestic violence offenses are barred under federal law from possessing a gun, even though some states do not require proof of physical force for conviction on domestic violence charges.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Risky road ahead in avoiding civil war

Filed under: Thailand — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 21:28 PDT

The political situation in Thailand is slowly but surely ratcheting up to something akin to a civil war. Civil wars are by nature bloody affairs that bring out the worst in everyone, let loose the extremists on all sides, and have no real heroes.

To avoid civil war, there are a few possibilities. All, unfortunately, are fraught with risk. The first is to proceed as constitutionally as possible.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Canadian genocide?

Filed under: Human Rights,Indigenous Peoples,International Law: War,Middle East,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:44 PDT

There is something inherently perverse about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the as-yet-unfinished landmark rising from the plain between a parking lot and a baseball stadium at Winnipeg’s Forks. When you get right down to it, this $351-million dream of the late media mogul Izzy Asper is being built to document evil…

The museum, which opens in September and is one of only two national museums located outside Ottawa-Hull, has been taking shape for more than a decade. In that time, disputes have almost constantly overshadowed what its promoters would prefer to highlight…

The Ukrainian community, for example, lamented that exhibits on the Holodomor (the 1932-33 starvation engineered by Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin) were going to be too close to the washrooms; Palestinians objected to being left out entirely; even Jews — whom Asper envisioned as central to the museum — were reportedly upset that the founding of the state of Israel was not going to be commemorated.

But the nascent museum’s most heated controversy is the growing insistence that exhibits depicting the story of First Nations peoples carry the word “genocide” in their titles. So far, the museum has resisted doing that…

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