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Newsletter - December 2022

December 15, 2022

Source: MIGS


MIGS and the Geneva-based CyberPeace Institute signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in supporting the Humanitarian Cybersecurity Center, which aims to safeguard NGOs from cyberattacks. 

MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews participated in the 4th Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide in Yerevan, Armenia. The forum was organized by the Armenian Foreign Ministry, the UN’s Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, the International Association of Genocide Scholars, and Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes.


Congratulations to MIGS Fellow Fannie Lafontaine who was named  one of five recipients of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) 2022 Impact Award.

Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes

Launched in May, the Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes (GPAAAC) brought together parliamentarians and experts from Canada, Germany and EU-member states to construct more strategic responses to the atrocity crimes committed in Ukraine by the Russian military. The Institute hosted four meetings, produced seven podcast episodes and published four op-eds. MIGS produced a short video summarizing the work of its Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes in Ukraine. The GPAAAC is an initiative supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Canada.

On 15 November, MIGS organized a “Briefing on Atrocity Crimes in Ukraine” on Parliament Hill with the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group. MIGS also held press conference with Senator Marilou McPhedran, Azeem Ibrahim (Newlines Institute), Yonah Diamond (Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights), and Professor John Packer (University of Ottawa). MIGS staff also met with members of the Canadian Senate, Senator Stan Kutcher and Senator Donna Dasko.

MIGS interviewed Nobel Peace Prize winner Oleksandra Matviichuk about the work of the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine and Dr. Aylin Matlé about what the invasion of Ukraine means for Germany and NATO. Eleonora Mongelli, Vice President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights, wrote an op-ed titled “Sanctions: an effective tool for justice delivery”and Philippe Dürr, research assistant at the Institute for Public International Law of the University of Bonn, wrote an article titled “The Role of Parliament in Times of War of Aggression - A German reflection”.


MIGS signed a petition launched by Access Now calling on the African Union to help reconnect the internet in Tigray and across Ethiopia.

Upcoming Events

December 15
MIGS Fellow Eric Meerkamper will speak at a Council of Europe webinar titled “Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems”. 
December 16 
MIGS’s Kyle Matthews and Project Leader Lauren Salim will participate on the panel “Gendered hatred and disinformation: AI – friend or foe?” at the SAIFE Expedition organized by the OSCE’s Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media.

January 24
MIGS will host the first meeting of the Digital Peace Project, an initiative supported by Heritage Canada’s Digital Citizens Initiative. This session aims to unpack violence against women online and discuss tangible solutions to counter this form of online hate. You can register here.

Recent Events

November 15 
MIGS Digital Fellow Joana Cook moderated a webinar hosted by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) to mark the release of a report on the use of militarised drones by terrorist groups in the Middle East.
November 16
Marie Lamensch participated in a Twitter Spaces discussion on the role of technology in Iran ongoing protests. Listen to the discussion here.
November 17
Project Leader Lauren Salim attended the Digital Policy Roundtable discussion on “Polarization and Radicalization” hosted by the Center for Media, Technology and Democracy at McGill University.
Marie Lamensch met with Peter Mills at Stop The Traffik to discuss the war in Ukraine and the risks of human trafficking. 
MIGS hosted the Canadian International Council of Montreal for a discussions with Elisabeth Vallet titled “After COVID….Open Border: Gone Forever?”
November 18

Marie Lamensch met with Iryna Kopanytsia, CEO of White Ribbon in Ukraine, to talk about her efforts to prevent sexual violence against women in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
November 22
Marie Lamensch gave presentation on ongoing risks of genocide in Ukraine to a class of political science students at Université du Québec à Montréal.
November 23
MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler participated in the “Justice for Rohingya: Nearing 3 Years of the Genocide Case Against Myanmar” webinar organized by the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK. You can listen to the webinar here.
MIGS staff held a meeting with Guillaume Kuster from Check First to discuss international disinformation campaigns and possible partnerships. 
November 24

MIGS hosted a meeting of the Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes. Titled “The Responsibility to React”, the discussion featured Irwin Cotler (International Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada), Eerik Kross (Member of the Parliament of Estonia), Azeem Ibrahim, (Director, Special Initiatives, Newlines Institute),  Philip Dürr (Research Assistant, Institute for Constitutional Law University of Bonn), Eleonora Mongelli, (Vice President, Italian Federation for Human Rights), Charle Tiné (Founder, The Small Projects Fund) and Christian Castagna (aide to French Senator Jean-Yves Leconte). You can read the summary of the meeting here

MIGS and Optimum Publishing International hosted British human rights activist and journalist Benedict Rogers for the launch of his book "The China Nexus". The event was moderated by Kyle Matthews and featured a panel discussion with Nury Turkel (Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom), Dominic Cardy (Member of Parliament of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick), and Dean Baxendale (President and CEO of Optimum Publishing International). You can watch the event here.

November 28

MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab attended the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI) Conference in London. 

MIGS hosted a Twitter Spaces discussion on “La vulnérabilité continuelle des Tutsi en RDC”. The event featured Odette Rwubuzizi (Isôko, Canada), Willy Nshuti (Vice President of Isôko USA), Dieudonné Ndinda (President, Isôko USA), and Manzi Willy (Founder of Heroes of Peace). You can listen to the recording here.

November 30

MIGS staff attended an event titled “Prioritizing Prevention: Protecting Children from Atrocity Crimes” organized by UNICEF and the UN Office on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect.

December 4

MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten was a panelist in “The International Criminal Court in Ukraine and Georgia” webinar. You can listen to the recording here
December 5

MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten attended the 21st session of the International Criminal Court’s Assembly of States Parties.

December 6

Marie Lamensch participated in the fourth advisory panel meeting of the Stimson Center’s project on digital surveillance in North Korea. 
December 7

MIGS hosted a Twitter Spaces discussion on “Biodiversity & human rights: the case of Tibet” featuring Jonathan Pedneault (co-leader of the Canadian Green Party), Tenzin Choekyi (Tibet Watch), and Samphe Dorje Lhalungoa (International development specialist). You can listen to the recording here.
Marie Lamensch was a panelist on the “Towards a More Secure World Online” webinar organized by the Can-Mex Youth Lab, a collaboration between the Canadian Embassy in Mexico and the Mexican Embassy in Canada.

December 8

MIGS hosted a meeting on Ukraine with Olivier Védrine (Professor, editor-in-chief of Russian Monitor and member of the board of the February Morning platform) and Murad Kurbanov (Founder and President of the Assembly of Civic Initiatives “Choice”). 

December 9

To mark the International Day of Commemoration and Dignitiy of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, MIGS hosted a Twitter Space discussion on Russia’s genocide in Ukraine. Guest speakers inculded Olexander Scherba (former Ukrainian Ambassador to Austria), Iryna Matviyishyn (Ukrainian journalist), Jane Lytvynenko (researcher at the Shorenstein Center) and MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab. You can listen to the recording here.

In the Media

November 13
MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Putin’s Atrocities in Ukraine - Crimes With a Name”. She also published a second article titled “There Can Ce No Peace In Ethiopia Without Justice And Accountability.”
November 16
MIGS Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch wrote an article for CIGI titled “In Iran, Women Deploy Social Media in the Fight for Rights”.
November 19
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “A Step Closer Towards a Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity”.
November 24
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “How Iran Underestimated The Outrage Over The Killing of Mahsa Amini”. She also published a second article titled  “The Use Of Starvation As A Method Of Warfare In South Sudan”
Phil Gurski wrote an article for The Epoch Times titled “Emergencies Act: Who Decides What Constitutes a Serious National Security Threat, Intelligence Professionals or Bureaucrats?”
November 25

MIGS Digital Fellow Phil Gurski spoke about terrorist threats in Morocco with Dr. Yasmine Hasnaoui, a specialist in North African Affairs and Conflict Resolution at the American International University in Kuwait.
November 28
Marie Lamensch wrote an article for CIGI titled “To Eliminate Violence Against Women, We Must Take the Fight to Online Spaces”.
November 29
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “ Dr.Denis Mukwege: the Time has Come to Mobilize Real Political Will to Address CRSV in the DRC”.
Marie Lamensch was quoted in article by Le Devoir titled “Les preuves d’un génocide s’accumulent, plaide l’Ukraine”.
December 1 

MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten wrote an article for Justice In Conflict titled “Quest for Liberia: Decades Long Fight for War Crimes Accountability in Liberia Reaches the ECOWAS Court of Justice”.
December 2
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled European Commission: Russia Must Pay For Its Crimes”.

December 5
MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten wrote an article for Justice In Conflict titled Should the International Criminal Court Meet with alleged War Criminals?”.
December 6
MIGS Fellow Phil Gurski wrote an article in The Epoch Times titled “Its Beyond Time Politicians Began Paying Serious Attention to Foreign Interference in Canada”. He also released a new podcast episode titled “It is sad that terrorists get more attention than the victims of their acts”. You can listen to it here.
December 8
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “What is Happening in China”.
December 9
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “What Targeting Of Children Has To Do With Genocidal Atrocities?
On his podcast Canadian Intelligence Eh!, Phil Gurski spoke with award-winning journalist Tam Hussein about reporting on terrorism.
December 10
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Hong Kong Court Sentences Jimmy Lai On The U.N. Human Rights Day”.
December 12

Phil Gurski wrote an article in The Epoch Times titled “Chinese ‘Police Stations’ in Canada Amounts to the Presence of a Hostile Foreign Power in Our Front Yard”.

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