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Newsletter - June 2021

June 23, 2021

Source: MIGS


On 18 June Kyle Matthews and Distinguished Senior Fellow Lt-General Romeo Dallaire spoke at Parliamentarians for Global Action’s Biannual Strategic Meeting of the United Nations Advisory Committee. You can see the agenda here

MIGS published a report on online threats and violence targeting female journalists and politicians, as part of the Canadian Women Leaders’ Digital Defence Initiative, funded by Heritage Canada. The full report is available in English and French and the link to the virtual roundtable discussions can be viewed here. The report’s co-author Lucina Di Meco was interviewed by CTV News Montreal and Omni Television. Marie Lamensch and report co-author Kristina Wilfore were also quoted in the La Presse article “Elles n’en peuvent plus.” On 29 June, Marie Lamensch, Lucina Di Meco and Kristina Wilfore will brief Women and Gender Equality Canada on the report’s findings.

On 15-18 June,  MIGS hosted its annual #RightsCity Conference in partnership with the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, the Department of National Defence, the Human Rights Research and Education Center, the Embassy of the Netherlands, GAAMAC, the US Embassy, and under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Speakers included, amongst others, Christopher Walker (VP Studies and Analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy), Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian (China reporter at Axios), Sophie Richardson (China Director at Human Rights Watch), Nick Waters (Senior Investigator at Bellingcat), Iain Levine (Senior Human Rights Advisor at Facebook), Fernand de Varennes, (United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues), and Stéphane Duguin (CEO of the Cyber Peace Institute). You can watch all the panel discussions here. MIGS will publish a conference report in July.

MIGS welcomes Lea Watrin, Concordia alumni and former MIGS intern at the Canadian All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes  Against Humanity, as the institute’s new Officer for Strategic Outreach

Upcoming Events

June 25

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


MIGS signed an open letter with 11 other NGOs, led by Human Rights Watch, calling on the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution on the human right crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

Recent Events

May 15

MIGS and STAND Canada hosted a webinar on “Technology and Genocide”.

May 17

MIGS hosted its monthly “Democracy Drinks”  in partnership with the Canadian International Council. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, was the guest speaker.

May 20

MIGS Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch moderated a discussion titled “Hirak algérien: la démocratie en suspens?” organized by the Chaire Raoul Dandurand at UQAM. Watch the panel discussion here.

May 28

Kyle Matthews and Marie Lamensch spoke to a group of students in Vermont about the work of MIGS and ongoing human rights challenges across the globe. 

May 31

Kyle Matthews gave  testimony to the Canada-China Relations Special Committee at the Parliament of Canada.

June 4

Marie Lamensch participated in the Quebec Government’s civil society consultations on teaching genocide in Quebec.

June 9

At #RightCon, MIGS hosted a panel discussion titled “Spotlight on Digital Authoritarianism.” The discussion was moderated by Kyle Matthews and featured Eileen Donahoe (Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University), Siena Santis (Citizen Lab) and Buhran Wazir (Coda Story). This was the first of several events that MIGS is organizing with the U.S. Embassy to Canada.

June 10

Kyle Matthews participated in Concordia University’s inaugural IPSA-CU International Graduate Summer School in Applied Diplomacy’s session on Digital Diplomacy. The event paired practitioners with academics to discuss a range of different issues and themes within diplomacy with students to supplement practical applications and narrative examples to theoretical knowledge.

June 18

Marie Lamensch gave a class about disinformation online and its impact on democracy at the Chaire Raoul Dandurand/CERIUM Summer School on U.S. politics.

June 21

MIGS hosted a virtual discussion on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray region. Speakers included Allan Rock (President Emeritus, University of Ottawa and Professor, Faculty of Law), Professor Mukesh Kapila (Professor (Emeritus) of Global Health & Humanitarian Affairs, University of Manchester), Nima Elbagir (CNN Senior International Correspondent) and Tag Elkhazin (Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs). You can view the event here.

June 21

Kyle Matthews participated in the German-Canada panel on democracy protection and human rights organized by Canadian International Council and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. 

June 22

MIGS’s Strategic Outreach Officer Lea Watrin attended UNESCO’s ‘Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education’ roundtable.

June 23

Kyle Matthews participated in Global Affairs Canada’s civil society consultation on Canada 2022 Chairship of the Freedom Online Coalition.

In the Media

May 28

Kyle Matthews is quoted in the La Presse article  “Génocide rwandais La France demande pardon pour son rôle « accablant ».”

MIGS’ Digital Fellow Ewelina Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled “Germany Recognizes The Atrocities Against The Herero And Nama People As Genocide And Offers Assistance.”

June 1

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled “Children In Tigray Are Not Spared, But Too Easily Forgotten.”

June 5

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled “Ethiopia on the Brink of Famine.”

June 6

Kyle Matthews was quoted in an article in Voice of America discussing China’s influence and the risk of digital totalitarianism. 

June 7

MIGS’ Digital Fellow Joana Cook spoke to TV4 Sweden about a Swedish women’s participation in an ISIS brigade.

June 8

Marie Lamensch spoke to CBC’s Breakaway about MIGS’ Canadian Women Leaders' Digital Defence Initiative.

June 9 

MIGS co-founder Frank Chalk and MIGS Fellow Fannie Lafontaine were quoted in the CBC article “NDP seeking MPs' unanimous consent to label residential school experience as genocide.”

June 11

Fannie Lafontaine wrote an article in the National Post titled “How Canada committed genocide against Indigenous Peoples, explained by the lawyer central to the determination.” 

June 14

Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled “The Other Pandemic: Rape And Sexual Violence In War.”

Fannie Lafontaine wrote an article in La Presse titled “Violence contre les Autochtones : un génocide.”

June 16

Fannie Lafontaine is quoted in Canadian Press article titled “Groups ask government to prosecute alleged Guatemalan war criminal living in Canada.”

June 19

On the Monocle 24’s new episode of the Foreign Desk, Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire spoke about the crisis in Syria, Myanmar, Tigray, and Xinjiang. 

June 21 

MIGS’ Digital Fellow Andres Serbin Pont is quoted in the Defensa article “¿Venezuela Flag of Venezuela o Siria Flag of Syria? Cual será el destino final del buque de la armada iraní Makran y su escolta.”

June 22
Kyle Matthews spoke to CBC Montreal about the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia.

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