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Newsletter - February 2021

February 19, 2021

Source: MIGS


MIGS is delighted to launch the Canadian Women Leaders' Digital Defence Initiative with support from the Department of Heritage’s Digital Citizens Contribution Program. The initiative will examine the impact of disinformation and online harms targeting Canadian women leaders. The first roundtable discussion will take place on 25th February. Speakers include Supriya Dwivedi (Power and Politics), Lana Cuthbertson (Areto Lab), Mercedes Stephenson (Global News), Lisa Raitt (former Deputy Leader of the Opposition), and Marilou McPhedran (Senator)  You can register here.  

We are delighted to once again partner with the Canada Human Rights Watch Film Festival which opened on February 18th with "A La Calle: - the first-hand account of the efforts of ordinary Venezuelans to reclaim their democracy from the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro”. 



MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews co-signed the Coalition for the Rohingya’s open letteraddressed to Foreign Minister Marc Garneau calling for urgent action for the Rohingya.

Kyle Matthews signed an open letter asking the Canadian government to protect Radio Canada International. 

Kyle Matthews joined several lawyers and genocide experts challenging a recent piece published by The Economist. The letter ‘How Did the Economist Get It This Wrong?’ was also signed by MIGS’ Digital Fellow, Ewelina U. Ochab.

Upcoming Events

22 February 2021

Every month, citizens meet up at informal networking events known as Democracy Drinks. Join MIGS and the Canadian International Council (Montreal Branch) for the second Canadian event.

26 February 2021

MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews will participate in a panel discussion titled the “Civic Society in a post-trust world.” Register here

20-22 April 2021

On 20-22 April, MIGS is organizing the 2nd annual AI and Human Rights Forum with the support of Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Commission to Unesco and the Dutch Embassy to Canada.. This year's virtual Forum will bring together NGOs, tech companies, foundations and governments around the globe that understand the need to collaborate on the future of AI and human rights. Speakers include Dr. Joan Donovan (Harvard) , Marietje Shaake (Stanford), Eileen Donahoe (Stanford), Irene Khan (UN), Camille François (Graphika), Teresa Ribeiro (OSCE) and more. Registration is open.

Recent Events

25 January 2021

MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Canadian International Council’s Young Professionals Network on careers in international development. 

6 February 2021

MIGS hosted “A Tribute to Human Rights Champion Paul Dewar”. Speakers included Tom Mulcair (former leader of the NDP) Alex Neve (former Secretary General at Amnesty International Canada), Lt-Gen Roméo Dallaire, and Hélène Laverdière (Former MP for Laurier-Sainte-Marie).  MIGS’ event was mentioned in the Ottawa Citizen.  

MIGS Fellow Fannie Lafontaine co-organised an open course with Romeo Saganash on the rights of Indigenous peoples of Canada. 

9 February 2021

MIGS held a virtual meeting with Canadian Minister of Heritage Steven Guilbeault to brief him on the institute’s work and several new projects supported by his ministry. 

Kyle Matthews moderated an event organized by Concordia titled “The Rise of Trumpism.” A recording of the event can be found here

MIGS’ project coordinator Marie Lamensch participated in the launch of the Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations’ human rights incident reporting and tracking tool for the ongoing civil war in Anglophone Cameroon. You can view the discussion here.

10 February 2021

In its fifth and final Digital Townhall on COVID-19 digital disinformation, MIGS hosted Marc Ladouceur (Habilo Medias), Divina Frau-Meigs (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle), and Rudy Reichstadt (Conspiracy Watch) to discuss digital literacy and social media. Agnés Gruda (La Presse) moderated the discussion. Recordings are available on YouTube and Apple Podcasts


MIGS’ Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch guest lectured to Grade 10 students at JPPS-Bialik on atrocity prevention and defending democracy. 

MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler spoke at the UN Human Rights Council’s Intersessional Meeting on genocide prevention. 

February 2021 – 

As part of the OSCE’s Office of the Representative of Freedom of the Media’s SAIFE project, Kyle Matthews has conducted interviews on of AI, COVID19 disinformation, and freedom of expression with representatives from RAND Europe, DisinfoWatch, RISE Sweden, Algorithm Watch, Alliance for Securing Democracy,Defend Democracy, Brookings Institution and more. You can view these conversations on MIGS’ YouTube channel. 

In the Media

20 January 2021

MIGS’ founder Frank Chalk was quoted in The Globe and Mail China calls Pompeo a ‘clown’ for making genocide designation before leaving White House

6 February 2021

MIGS project coordinator Marie Lamensch was quoted in an article in La Presse titled Les femmes, cibles de la guerre démographique au Xinjiang

9 February 2021

MIGS’ work against COVID-19 disinformation is mentioned in an article titled “Ongoing Support for Research and Media Literacy Projects as Canada Continues to Fight Online Disinformation.”

12 February 2021

Lt.-Gen Roméo Dallaire co-authored an article in iPolitic titled “The international day against the use of child soldiers.”

16 February 2021

MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes Mass Atrocities, Including The Use Of Rape And Sexual Violence, In The Tigray Region Of Ethiopia

17 February 2021

MIGS Fellow Michael Petrou published article in Open Canada, Opaque by default: How Global Affairs Canada hid behind the Access to Information Act for eight years to avoid disclosing embarrassing information

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