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Newsletter - June 2022

June 7, 2022

Source: MIGS


The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University is pleased to announce the launch of the Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes (GPAAAC). With the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Canada, MIGS will create a network of Canadian, German and EU-member state parliamentarians, to explore how parliamentarians can better prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, while defending and strengthening democracy and the liberal order. The project will focus on Ukraine and the key international challenges the crisis there poses to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. 

MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews was selected by the United Nations Association in Canada to be a jury member for the 2022 Pearson Peace Medal. To nominate a Canadian for this award, please visit UNAC’s website

MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten received two graduating scholarships from McGill Law School: the Louis H. Rohrlick and the Nathan Cotler prizes, for earning the highest standing in Public International Law and in the field of Human Rights throughout the program

Upcoming Events

June 9

MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews will speak at the IPSA Summer School in Applied Diplomacy

June 10

MIGS is hosting a workshop at Access Now’s #RightsCon 2022 titled “Building a Global Digital Authoritarianism Index”. Speakers include Peter Guest (Enterprise editor Rest of World), Gbenga Sensa (Executive Director Paradigm Initiative), Caitlin Thompson (Reporter Coda Story), Joseph Wright (Professor of Political Science Penn State), Maria Virginia Marin (Executive Director ProBox Venezuela), Kyle Matthews and Marie Lamensch. You can register for RightsCon here.

Recent Events

April 25-29 

MIGS hosted its annual “Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights'' forum from April 25-29 2022 in collaboration with eQualitie, The business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC) and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Speakers included, amongst others, Rastislav Šutek (Executive Director, Platform for Peace and Humanity), Judge Silvia Fernandez De Gurmendi (GAAMAC Chair), Lord Clement-Jones (Member of House of Lords of the United Kingdom), Francesca Bosco (Chief Strategy Officer, CyberPeace Institute), Isabel Bragueros (Executive Director of the Tor Project) Danny Rayman (Technology and Human Rights Researcher at Business and Human Rights Resource Center) and Francesca Fanucci (Senior Legal Advisor, European Center for Not-For-Profit Law). You can watch panels from the forum on our YouTube page. 

May 2 

To mark the launch of the Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes, MIGS hosted a Twitter Spaces discussion with Senator Marilou McPhedran. You can listen to the discussion here.

May 4

Project Officer Lauren Salim attended the Responsibility to Protect Coalition’s briefing with George Okoth Obbo, the new Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.

May 6

Kyle Matthews attended a civil society expert roundtable discussion on democracy promotion organized by Global Affairs Canada and chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mélanie Joly. 

May 10 

As part of the Canadian Taskforce to Combat Online Antisemitism, MIGS interviewed Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission Coordinator on Combatting Antisemitism. You can listen here

Kyle Matthews and Marie Lamensch participated in a workshop on media manipulation and disinformation led by Joan Donovan, Jane Lytvynenko and Brandy Zadrozny from the Harvard Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. The workshop was organized by Concordia’s Department of Journalism. 

May 11

MIGS co-founder Dr. Frank Chalk participated in the panel discussion “The War in Ukraine: Ethnic Violence, Humanitarianism, and Disinformation” organized by the History Department at Concordia University.  

May 16

MIGS’ staff met with Stephen Kovats, a representative of the organization Defy Hate Now.

May 23

Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab participated in the panel discussion “Justice for Ongoing Rohingya Genocide” organised by the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. 

May 24

As part of the institute’s initiative on Digital Authoritarianism, supported by the  U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Marie Lamensch spoke to Caitlin Thompson (Coda Story) about tech surveillance.

May 25

Kyle Matthews presented the findings of the MIGS “Canadian Women Leader’s Digital Defence Initiative”, on May 25 2022, as part of Heritage Canada’s Digital Citizen Contribution Program. 

May 26

MIGS was a partner of the 19th Annual Human Rights Watch Canada Film Festival from May 26 - June 2. This year, MIGS supported the documentary "Tacheles -The Heart of the Matter"

Project Officer Breanna Cera Emard attended the University of Ottawa panel “Violations Committed in the War in Ukraine: A Clear Case?”

Mark Kersten attended the "Countering terrorism and international crimes: human rights implications and linkages" workshop in Pretoria organised Wayamo Foundation and the Konrad Rule of Law Program.


May 27

Breanna Cera Emard attended an event hosted by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to protect, organized to mark the 28th Anniversary Commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. 

June 1

MIGS, Security and Justice for Tigrayans Canada (SJT Canada) and World Beyond War hosted a virtual discussion to shine light on the ongoing crisis occurring in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Speakers included Heather McPherson (Member of Parliament, NDP), Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe (Member of Parliament, Bloc Quebecois), Gebremeskel Kassa (former head of Tigray Interim Administration), Fisseha Tekle (Amnesty International researcher for Ethiopia), and MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab. You can view the event here

June 2

Marie Lamensch gave a presentation on online systems and disinformation as a workshop on Media Education to Open Minds organized by the organization We Do Something.

June 3 

Marie Lamensch gave a class on genocide and mass atrocity crimes to students of the Bishop Strachan School. 

As part of the MIGS’s Digital Authoritarianism initiative supported by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, MIGS spoke to Felicia Antonio (Access Now) about internet shutdown. You can listen to the podcast episode here.


In the Media

April 18

MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews was featured in the Concordia University Magazine cover story: Out of the Shadows

MIGS, Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch was in an article in La Presse titled “Ce n’est pas seulement pour tuer les civils, c’est pour tuer le futur.”

April 20

MIGS Fellow Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Hazaras Targeted In Afghanistan Yet Again.” 

April 21

MIGS Fellow, Mark Kersten published a research article in the International Criminal Law Review titled “This Mass Atrocity was Brought to You by the Ivory Trade: Linking Transnational Organized and International Crimes.” 

April 22 

Lieutenant Général Roméo Dallaire was featured in the CBC article “Roméo Dallaire, Ottawa prof honoured and proud to be banned from Russia.”

April 27

Project Officer Lauren Salim wrote an article for the Human Rights Research Center titled
“Launch of Code of Conduct for Gathering & Using Information on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.”

April 28

On Holocaust Remembrance day, John Lemieux Student Fellow Nadia Trudel and Lauren Salim reflected on the impact of social media on the the global rise of Antisemitism.

April 30 

Kyle Matthews was quoted in an article in the National Post titled “Canada Accused Rusia of Committing Genocide in Ukraine, Here’s what it means.” 

May 2 

Kyle Matthews was interviewed by CTV on Russia’s disinformation campaign regarding its invasion of Ukraine.  

May 3

Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Press Freedom Under Increasing Pressure Globally.”

May 4

Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “United Nations On A Visit To Xinjiang, China.” 

Marie Lamensch was interviewed by Context: Beyond the Headlines on “Misinformation: Finding truth in an age of confusion.”

May 9

Marie Lamensch wrote an article for CIGI titled “For Syria’s White Helmets, the Ukraine War Is Déjà Vu”.

May 16

Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab wrote two articles for Forbes titled “As Putin’s War Rages On, Domestic Trials Begin” &  “Abducted And Enslaved Minority Women And Girls Let Down By Governments Globally.”

May 18 

Marie Lamensch was quoted in article in La Presse titled  “Ce n’est pas seulement pour tuer les civils, c’est pour tuer le futur.”

May 23

Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Is There Progress In Addressing Putin’s Crime Of Aggression?”

May 24

Marie Lamensch spoke to Radio Canada about the Uyghur Crisis.  

June 5

Marie Lamensch and MIGS’ Fellow Fannie Lafontaine are quoted in an article in La Presse titled “Une mobilisation internationale sans précédent.”

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