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Newsletter - March 2021

March 24, 2021

Source: MIGS

Advocacy and Initiatives

MIGS joined eight prominent human rights NGOs calling on H.E. Ms. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the UN in New York, to mobilize an appropriate diplomatic response to resolve the worsening situation in Tigray, Ethiopia.

As part of the Artificial Intelligence and Covid-19 Disinformation Initiative carried out in collaboration with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office of the Representative on Media Freedom, MIGS’ Executive Director interviewed a series of experts. They include Lucina Di Meco of,  Isadora Hellegren of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Owen Bennett of the Mozilla Corporation, Emma Llansó of the Center for Democracy & Technology, Naďa Kovalčíková of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, William Marcellino of the RAND Corporation, and Alice Stollmeyer of  Defend Democracy, amongst others. 

Upcoming Events

25 March 2021

MIGS is hosting the third panel discussion of its “Canadian Women Leaders Digital Defence Initiative”, a project supported by Heritage Canada. Speakers included Luciana Meco (Co-Founder, #ShePersisted), Heather McPherson (Member of Parliament), Lana Cuthbertson (Areto Labs), Tamara Taggart (Former CTV Journalist) and Aphrodite Salas (Concordia University). Register here.


30 March 2021

MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews will participate in a webinar titled “The Rise of China, the Uyghur Crisis and the Path Forward”. Other speakers include Omer Kanat (Director. Uyghur Human Rights Project Executive Committee Chairman), Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian (China Reporter, Axios) and Nury Turkel (Commissioner to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom). Register here.


31 March 2021

MIGS is co-organizing an event to launch the French version of the disinformation game Harmony Square in partnership with Park Advisors. During the event, “Harmony Square - une jeu pour mieux reconnaître la désinformation?,” we will discuss how video games and other technologies can be used to promote digital literacy and make us more informed consumers of games and news. Register here.

8 April 2021

MIGS is hosting the Atlantic panel of the initiative titled the “Canadian Women Leaders Digital Defence Initiative” supported by Heritage Canada. The event will feature Kelly-Anne Roberts (NTV) and Laura Brown (CTV Atlantic) and will be moderated by Alyse Hand (Global News Morning). Please, register here.

20-23 April 2021

MIGS is hosting its annual “Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights” in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, the Ministère des Relations Internationales et de la Francophonie, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Canada, and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Speakers will include Irene Khan (UN Special Rapporteur), Eileen Donahoe (Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University), Ines Coppoolse (Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada), The Honorable Teresa Ribeiro (OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media). You can register here.


Recent Events

18 February  

MIGS partnered with the Canadian Human Rights Watch Film Festival to screen the film “La Calle”, a first-hand account of the extraordinary efforts of ordinary Venezuelans to reclaim their democracy from the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.

22 February  

MIGS and the Canadian International Council (Montreal Branch) hosted their monthly Democracy Drinks. 

26 February  

Kyle Matthews participated in a panel discussion titled the “Civic Society in a post-trust world.” 

9 March  

Kyle Matthews spoke at the event  “Strengthening Communities: Combatting Disinformation and Discrimination” organized by Heritage Canada.

As part of the Canadian Coalition to Counter COVID Digital Disinformation project, MIGS Project Officer Lauren Salim spoke with the Algorithmic Media Observatory team about their recent work studying memes during the Canadian 2019 federal election and the COVID19 pandemic.

11 March   

MIGS Fellow Dr. Joana Cook spoke about her book “A Woman's Place” at an event hosted by the Safe Communities Institute.

14 March   

Kyle Matthews spoke at a virtual event titled “Foreign Policy by Canadians” organized by The Canadian International Council and the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children's Health.

15 March  

Naomi Kikoler participated in an online event titled “10 Years of Mass Atrocities in Syria: A Decade of Civilian Suffering.” She also spoke at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum titled “Pursuing war crimes: The meaning of justice in the Syria context.” 

16 March 

MIGS Fellow Fannie Lafontaine spoke at the CRDP event “Justice on the margins - Justice and social standards.” 

17 March

As part of its “Canadian Women Leaders Digital Defence Initiative” supported by Heritage Canada, MIGS hosted Christine St. Pierre (Liberal Party of Québec), Francine Pelletier (Le Devoir), Rima Elkouri (La Presse), Martine St-Victor (Milagro Atelier) and Suzie Miron (Municipal councilor in Tétreaultville) to discuss cyber violence against female journalists and politicians. You can view the discussions here.  

18 March 

Lauren Salim spoke with Christina Nemr, Director at Park Advisors about their projects DisinfoCloud and Harmony Square.

23 March 

Marie Lamensch provided advice to Esglobal’s project “A roadmap towards a feminist foreign policy.” This Spanish initiative is organized within the framework of the aid program of the Secretary of State for Global Spain of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. The result of the discussion can be found here and here.

24 March   

Kyle Matthews spoke at the Transatlantic Expert Workshop on “What can the EU and the U.S. do to counter the ongoing persecution of the Uyghurs in China?”. The event was organized by the European Foundation for Democracy and the U.S. State Department..


In the Media

23 February  

MIGS’ Digital Fellow, Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled, “British Foreign Secretary Calls For A U.N. Fact-Finding Mission To Xinjiang”.

25 February  

Naomi Kikoler spoke about the repercussions of the coup in Burma for the Rohingya on the podcast USCIRF Spotlight.

27 February  

MIGS Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch wrote an article for Global News titled “Parliament’s recognition of Uyghur genocide sends strong message”.

Kyle Matthews was quoted in the Global News article “No Hoax: Fighting COVID-19 has meant tackling conspiracy theories, even within families”.

2 March  

Marie Lamensch was quoted in the Montreal Gazette article “Online hate a regular occurrence for women, visible minorities in media”.

MIGS Digital Fellow Phil Gurski wrote an op-ed for The Ottawa Citizen titled, “Canada needs to act on Saudis' targeting of dissidents”.

3 March  

MIGS Digital Fellow Mark Kersten published a piece titled “Can Colombia’s Special Jurisdiction for Peace be considered slow? A preliminary comparative study of trials for international crimes”on his blog Justice Conflict.

4 March   

Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled “Iraq Adopts New Law To Assist Survivors Of The Daesh Genocide”.

5 March  

Andrei Serbin Pont is quoted in Diario De Cuba in an article titled “Rusia provee de entrenamiento militar antiterrorista a las Fuerzas Armadas de Venezuela.” Andrei is also mentioned in Primer Informe.

7 March  

Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled, “My Power Suit Cannot Be Tainted By Persecution, Enslavement And Forced Labor Of Uyghur Women”.

9 March  

Marie Lamensch wrote an article for the Centre for International Governance Innovation titled “The Cost of an Internet Shutdown”.

10 March  

Kyle Matthews spoke to CPAC about a new report on the repression of the Uyghurs in China. 

Kyle Matthews was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen article “Don’t Expect Canada to Act on Genocide Findongs Against China”.

MIGS Senior Distinguished Fellow Roméo Dallaire gave an interview to CBC Power & Politics titled “Roméo Dallaire urges Canada to act on 'genocide' in China”

MIGS Digital Fellow Phil Gurski interviewed Kyle Matthews about the genocide of the Uyghurs on his podcast Canadian Intelligence Eh!.

Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled “How Much More Evidence Is Needed Before The International Community Acts On Xinjiang?”

11 March  

MIGS Digital Fellow Mark Kersten published a piece titled “Canada’s Pursuit of Syria over Torture May be Symbolic. But Here’s Why It Matters” on his blog Justice Conflict

12 March  

Naomi Kikoler was quoted in an article by N World titled ‘Never again’: Syrian group and US Holocaust Museum link up for panel on Syria.” and in an article in the Algemeiner.

14 March

Senior Distinguished Fellow Romeo Dallaire spoke to Radio-Canada about the ongoing genocide of the Uyghurs and Canada’s need to act.

15 March  

Marie Lamensch was quoted in Chatelaine in an article titled “Canada Recognized China's Actions Against Uyghurs As Genocide. Here's What You Need To Know”.

17 March  

Kyle Matthews wrote an op-ed for OpenCanada titled “Confronting China, together”

Kyle Matthews was interviewed by CTV News discussing the tenth anniversary of the Syrian war and the impact on civilians. You can view the interview here. 

19 March  

MIGS Fellow Michael Petrou wrote an op-ed in the Toronto Star titled “Trying not to offend China is a loser’s game. It’s time Justin Trudeau took a stand”.

Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled “Amnesty Calls On China To Release All Uyghur Children Held In Orphanages Without Their Families’ Consent”.

21 March  

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “We Must Protect Survivors And Witnesses Of Mass Atrocities From Intimidation And Harassment”.

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