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Newsletter - May 2021

May 13, 2021

Source: MIGS


MIGS will be hosting the #RightsCity conference from 15 to 18 June. With a focus on human rights in the digital age, the event is organized in partnership with the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, the Department of National Defence, the Human Rights Research and Education Center at the University of Ottawa, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada, the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes Network, the US Embassy to Canada, and held under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.  Speakers will include, amongst others, Irwin Cotler (Founder and Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre), Chris Walker (National Endowment for Democracy), Alexa Koenig (UC Berkeley),  Margaret McCuaig-Johnston ( University of Ottawa), Sophie Richardson (Human Rights Watch), Nick Waters (Bellingcat), Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian (Axios), Chris Meserole (the Brookings Institution), Stéphane Duguin (Cyber Peace Institute), Yves Daccord (Harvard), Fernand de Varennes (UN)  and Thorsten Benner  (Global Public Policy Institute). You can register here.  

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Marc Garneau, gave opening remarks at MIGS’ recent AI and Human Rights Forum.

MIGS is happy to announce that former Youth Fellow Lea Watrin will be joining the institute as our new Strategic Outreach Officer.

MIGS’ Youth Fellow George Tsagaroulis has been appointed to the  position of  Program and Development Associate at International Bridges to Justice.

Upcoming Events

20 May 2021

MIGS Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch will moderate a discussion titled “Hirak algérien: la démocratie en suspens?” organized by the Chaire Raoul Dandurand at UQAM.The event will feature professor Miloud Chennoufi, and journalists Houssam Eddine Beggas and Khaled Drareni.

15 May 2021

MIGS and STAND Canada are hosting a seminar titled “Technology and Genocide”. The speakers will be Kyle Mathews and Christopher Tuckwood of The Sentinel Project.  You can register here.

17 May 2021 

MIGS will be hosting its monthly “Democracy Drinks”  in partnership with the Canadian International Council. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, will be this month’s special guest. 

7-11 June 2021

MIGS will host a panel discussion titled “Spotlight on Digital Authoritarianism” at the 10th edition of RightsCon. Moderated by MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews, the discussion will feature Eileen Donahoe (Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University), Siena Santis (Citizen Lab) and Buhran Wazir (Coda Story).


MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews co-signed an open letter urging the UK Parliament to recognize the atrocities against the Uyghur minority in China as genocide. 

Recent Events

19 April 2021

MIGS hosted “Democracy Drinks” in partnership with the Canadian International Council featuring special guest Jeremy Kinsman, a distinguished Canadian career diplomat.

20 April - April 23, 2021

MIGS hosted the “Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights Forum” 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 included, amongst others, Ines Coppoolse (Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada), Camille François (Graphika), Jan Kleijssen (Council of Europe), Eileen Donahoe (Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University), and The Honorable Teresa Ribeiro (OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media). Watch the event here

21 April 2021

As a contributor to the report “Sustainable Peace & Security in a Changing Climate” produced by the North-Atlantic Civil-Society Working-Group on Environment and Security, MIGS’ Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch participated in an internal round table briefing for NATO staff and national delegations.

22 April 2021

MIGS Fellow Fannie Lafontaine spoke at the event “Earth Day Forum – Ecocide as an International Crime? Global and Canadian perspectives.”

28 April 2021

Marie Lamensch gave a briefing about internet shutdowns in Myanmar to Global Affairs Canada.

10 May 2021

Kyle Mathews moderated a webinar titled “Spotlight on China: propaganda and lies about the Uyghur Genocide” hosted by the Foundation for Genocide Education. Speakers included Irwin Cotler (Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights), Mehmet Tohti (Co-founder of Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project) and David Mulroney (Former Canadian ambassador for China 2009-2012). 

Kyle Mathews and Marie Lamensch attended the virtual 2021 Stockholm Internet Forum.

13 May 2021

MIGS hosted an event titled “The Role of Parliamentarians in Atrocity Prevention”. Speakers included Alice Wairimu Nderitu (UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide), MIGS’ Senior Distinguished Fellow Roméo Dallaire, and David Donat Cattin (Secretary-General, Parliamentarians for Global Action). The event was moderated by Kyle Matthews. Watch the discussion on our YouTube channel

In the Media

13 April 2021

MIGS Fellow Andrei Serbin Pont was featured on the WOLA podcast in an episode titled “The Venezuela Briefing: Armed Conflict in Apure”.

16 April 2021

MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler was quoted in an article published by Lobbyists for Citizens titled “China Believes in Slavery”.

22 April 2021

Marie Lamensch wrote an article for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) titled “When Women Are Silenced Online, Democracy Suffers”.

MIGS’ Digital Fellow Ewelina U. Ochab wrote two articles in Forbes titled “British Parliamentarians Recognize The Atrocities Against The Uyghurs As Genocide” and “President Biden Makes History Recognizing The Armenian Genocide At Last”.

MIGS Digital Fellow Mark Kersten was quoted in an article titled “ICC Sanctions Symposium: Implications of Trump Administration’s Sanctions on International Criminal Court Officials”published on the blog OpinioJuris.

26 April 2021

Andrei Serbin Pont was quoted in the New York Times article “Terrorist Group Steps Into Venezuela as Lawlessness Grows”. 

29 April 2021

Kyle Matthews and Marie Lamensch wrote an article in Policy Magazine titled “Technology vs. Human Rights: Notes from the MIGS AI Forum”.

2 May 2021

MIGS Fellow Dr. Joana Cook was quote in a SRF news article titled “Vor zehn Jahren töteten die USA Osama bin Laden”.

4 May 2021

MIGS Fellow Michael Petrou wrote an article in Open Canada titled “An apology rooted in falsehood”. 

5 May 2021 

Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article in Forbes titled “Are Christians In China Next In Line For ‘Re-Education’?”

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