Newsletter - August 2021

August 18, 2021
Source: MIGS


MIGS’ Canadian Task Force to Combat Online Anti Semitism project will organize several virtual roundtable meetings beginning in October. MIGS is establishing an advisory committee to help guide our work. Our Advisors include:

  • Irwin Cotler, Canada's Special Envoy for Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights and Former Minister of Justice;

  • Tom Mulcair, Visiting Professor at Université de Montréal and Former Leader of the NDP;

  • Naomi Kikoler, Director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and MIGS Fellow;

  • Dr. Catherine Chatterley, Founding Director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism.

MIGS has uploaded all panel discussions from the recent 2021 #RightCity Conference on human flights in the digital age.  They can now be viewed on MIGS’  YouTube page. In addition, the Canadian Affairs Global Institute turned MIGS’ RightsCity panel titled “How to Protect Democracies from Disruptive Technologies” into a podcast episode.

Upcoming Events

September 14

MIGS is organizing the third event of its speaker series on digital authoritarianism, an initiative supported by the US Embassy in Ottawa. Titled “The Great Firewall: China’s model of digital control”, the panelist include Paul Mozur (journalist, New York Times), Ainikki Riikonen (Researcher, Center for a New American Security) and Margaret McCuaig-Johnston Senior Fellow in the Institute for Science, Society and Policy, University of Ottawa). You can register here.


Executive Director Kyle Matthews co-signed an open letter by the Canada Tibet Committee and signed by 15 parliamentarians, 30 civil society actors, and academics calling on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make a statement supporting Sino-Tibetan dialogue.

To mark the National Summit on Antisemitism, MIGS joined dozens of prominent Canadians and organizations in a statement of concern on the recent rise of anti-semitic attacks. The statement was released in the National Post on July 21.

Recent Events

June 25

MIGS' Project Officer Lauren Salim participated in the event “From online hate to offline violence” organized by UNESCO, UNOSAPG, UNOCT/UNCCT and OSRSG-VAC – in partnership with the Kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Norway. 

June 28

MIGS’ Strategic Outreach Officer Lea Watrin participated in the “EU+US: Transatlantic Tech Agenda” organized by EIT Digital, Open Austria and the EU Delegation in Washington DC, which discussed the EU and US agendas for global change in the digital landscape. Speakers included Peter Fatelnig, Minister Counsellor for Digital Economy Policy, Delegation of the European Union to the United States and Alejandro Cainzos, Member of the Cabinet of Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, European Commission. 

July 5

Kyle Matthews participated in the Renewing Our Democratic Alliance’s discussion on global cyber-security and the impacts of communications technologies on democracies.  The initiative was organized by the Canadian International Council and  the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

July 14

MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler participated in the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit to discuss how to protect Rohingyas, Uyghurs, Yezidis and others from persecution and genocide. 

July 21

MIGS participated in the “National Summit on Antisemitism” organized by the Government of Canada, which convened members of the governments, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and civil society representatives to discuss the current situation and measures to be taken to combat the rise of antisemitism. Several articles were published around the summit, including on Global News and CTV news.

August 3

Naomi Kikoler hosted a panel organized by the Free Yezidi Foundation on “Genocide, Recovery and Support”. The panel provided a platform for leading voices on women's rights, genocide prevention and combatting atrocities, including Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Special Advisor or the UN Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide and Dr Agnes Callamard, Secretary General at Amnesty International. 

In the Media

July 6

MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “French Prosecutors To Investigate Retailers’ Involvement In Crimes Against Humanity In Xinjiang”.

July 9

 MIGS Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch wrote an article for CIGI online titled “Authoritarianism Has Been Reinvented for the Digital Age”

July 10

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “First The European Parliament, Now The British Parliament To Vote To Boycott Winter Olympics 2022”.  

July 17

MIGS’ Digital Fellow Mark Kersten wrote an article for Al-Jazeera titled “To stop mass atrocities, follow the money”. 

July 27

MIGS Fellow Fannie Lafontaine participated in Asymmetrical Haircuts’ podcast to discuss the mass and unmarked graves identified near former residential schools.

July 29

Fannie Lafontaine is quoted in an article on titled “Au Canada, les tombes des enfants autochtones secouent la conscience nationale”.

July 30

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Refoulement Continues As Lawyers For The Uyghurs Submit Further Evidence To The ICC”.  

August 2

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Abused By Daesh Fighters For Seven Years And Counting”.  

August 5

Naomi Kikoler is quoted in an article for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum titled “Civilians at Imminent Risk of Mass Atrocities in Dara’a City, Syria”. 

August 9

MIGS’ Digital Fellow Joana Cook participated in the Taking Apart Terror episode titled “Does Terrorism Have a Gender”.

August 11

Marie Lamensch wrote an article for CIGI titled “Putting Our Bodies Online: The Privacy Risks of Tech Wearables”.

Marie Lamensch is quoted in an article in French newspaper Liberation titled “Tensions, Face au Canada, la Chine en plein délit de justice.”

August 16

MIGS Fellow Michael Petrou wrote an article for titled “Betrayal”.

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