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Newsletter - March 2023

March 21, 2023

Source: MIGS


MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews travelled to Washington D.C. on 13-15 February to participate in the International Program on Holocaust and Genocide Education. Organized by UNESCO and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the event brought together experts from around to globe who seek to advance education about the Holocaust and genocide globally. Kyle also met with key stakeholders from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Global Engagement Center at the U.S. Department of State, National Endowment for Democracy and Anchor Change to discuss MIGS’ Digital Authoritarianism Project.

On 5-11 March, MIGS’ Project coordinator Marie Lamensch was in New York City to participate in the United Nations 67th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 67) as a member of Canada’s civil society delegation to the Commission. She attended CSW 67 events at the U.N., held meetings with Marci len, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth of Canada, and Bob Rae, Canada’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. The Agreed Conclusions of the CSW 67 were adopted on Friday March 18th.

MIGS Senior Distinguished Fellow Roméo Dallaire gave a lecture to journalism students at Concordia University where he spoke about the role of journalism in complex conflicts and peace processes. The event was moderated by MIGS Faculty Fellow Aphrodite Salas.

MIGS’ John Lemieux Faculty Fellow Liam Mahoney is in the Netherlands to participate in an Open Source Intelligence Tools (OSINT) training by the organization Bellingcat.

MIGS is pleased to welcome its new Senior Fellow Dominic Cardy. Mr. Cardy is the former Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development (2018-2020) of New Brunswick and spearheaded the removal of Confucious Institutes from schools in the province. Mr. Cardy has extensive experience in foreign policy thanks to his work for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and the Washington-based National Democratic Institute. 


Upcoming Events

March 22

MIGS’ Kyle Matthews and Phil Gurski will participate in the Canadian launch of the 2023 Global Terrorism Index. The event will be hosted by the University of Ottawa Professional Development Institute National Security programme and will also feature Serge Stroobants (Global Director for Security, Defence and Intelligence at the Institute for Economics and Peace) and Michael Collins (Executive Director for the Americas at the Institute for Economic and Peace). You can register here.

March 29

MIGS will host a Twitter Spaces chat on the Humanitarian Crisis in Nagorno Karabakh. The discussion will feature Elisa von Joeden-Forget (Co-founder and co-president of the Lemkin Institute), Gregory Stanton (Founder and President of Genocide Watch) and Robert Avestisyan (Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the USA and Canada.

April 12

MIGS will host the third round table of the Digital Peace Project, focusing on online hate against Indigenous Peoples. Concordia University's Indigenous Directions Office will be a partner for this session. You can register for the virtual event here

Recent Events

February 1

Marie Lamensch spoke at the event “L’impact genré des conflits armés et l’application du droit international humanitaire” co-organized by the Canadian Red Cross, the Institut d’études internationales de Montréal and the Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crises and Aid.

February 2 

MIGS hosted the event “The Uyghur Human Rights Crisis: What Should Canadians Do?” in collaboration with the Canadian International Council (Montreal Branch), the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project and the World Uyghur Congress. The panel discussion featured Dolkun Isa (President of the World Uyghur Congress) and Mehmet Toti (co-founder of the World Uyghur Congress). You can watch the event here.

February 6

Kyle Matthews participated in a consultation on human rights priorities and Mexico held by Global Affairs Canada.

February 7

MIGS hosted a Twitter Space with filmmaker Jawad Mir to discuss his movie “Citizen of Moria”, which documents the plight of filmmaker Ahmad Brahimi who fled the Taliban and ended up in Europe’s worst refugee camp, Moria. You can listen to the episode here.

February 15

MIGS hosted the second roundtable of the the Digital Peace Project series, focusing on unpacking online hate against members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community. Les 3Sex* were a partner for this event in French. You can listen to a recording here.

February 17

MIGS’s Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch delivered a course on digital authoritarianism for Global Affairs Canada and the Clinique internationale de défense des droits humains at UQÀM. 

February 23 

MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab spoke on a panel titled “Ukraine: How the law can hold Putin to account”. The event was organized by René Cassin and the Coalition for Genocide Response to commemorate the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

February 24

MIGS hosted a Twitter Space titled “One year on: How Ukrainian civil society continues to resist”. The event featured Oleksandra Povoroznyk, Alina Bondarenko, Anton Liagusha, Katerina Sviderska, and was moderated by Marie Lamensch. You can listen to the episode here.

Marie Lamensch attended a virtual event titled “The War in Ukraine Lessons Learned and the Future of Political Settlements” organized by the European Initiative for Security Studies, the Canadian Network for Strategic Analysis, and the Citadel’s Department of Intelligence and Security Studies.

February 27

MIGS was a partner of the 20th Annual Human Rights Watch Canada Film Festival. This year, MIGS supported the documentary “Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom”.The film screening was followed by a moderated discussion featuring filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, Canadian journalist Lisa LaFlamme, Director of Education at the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium Valentina Kuryliw, and HRW's Crisis and Conflict Director Ida Sawyer.

March 1 

Lauren Salim spoke at the webinar “Bringing CSW home: Celebrating International Women's Day” where she discussed online gender-based violence and the silencing effect it has on women leaders. The event was co-hosted by the National Council of Women of Canada and the Business Professional Women of Montreal. 

March 2

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

Kyle Matthews participated in a human rights discussion at Club 1880 in  Singapore.

March 6

Ewelina Ochab spoke at the side event of the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council titled “Justice for the Daesh Atrocities: The Need for Comprehensive Responses”.

March 8

MIGS Fellow Michael Petrou spoke to Karine Lachapelle, captain (retired) with the Canadian Armed Forces, about the experience of veterans.

March 9 

Lauren Salim presented the findings from the public perception survey conducted as part of the Digital Peace Project. The survey, done in partnership with RIWI, focused on the perspective of over 4,000 Canadians on content moderation and hate speech. RIWI’s Sam Wollengberg and Lauren discussed the implications of the survey on public policy and best practices for gathering survey data based on gender identity. You can view the recording of the webinar, “Measuring Online Harms & Who They Impact” here.

March 13

Marie Lamensch spoke to Concordia’s Political Science Student Association about MIGS’ work and her recent experience at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. 

MIGS’s Fellow Joana Cook moderated a webinar titled “Assessing the Situation in al-Hol Camp: Current Practices and Future Prospects”. The event was organized by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT).

March 14

Joana Cook was a panelist at a conference hosted by Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre titled “Enhancing the resilience of children exposed to Islamist and far-right violent extremism.”

March 15

Marie Lamensch attended an event titled “Élection québécoise de 2022: lancement du rapport”organized by the Centre for Media, Technology, and Democracy (MTD), the UNESCO Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (UNESCO-PREV), the Centre d’études sur les médias (CEM), and the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC).

March 16

Kyle Matthews and MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler attended “Increasing Policy-Relevant Knowledge on Atrocity Prevention: Obstacles and Ideas for a 10-year Research Agenda”, which was co-hosted by McGill University and the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide.

March 17

Joana Cook spoke at the 2023 International Studies Association Conference at the  panel titled “Five Decades of Research on Women and Terrorism: Examining research trends and identifying gaps”.

March 17-20

Mark Kersten spoke on various panels at ISA, including “‘Make ‘em Pay’: The Costs and Benefits of Using Tort Law to Redress War Crimes” and “The International Criminal Court at 25: Assessing Process, Performance, and Impact”.

In the Media

February 1

MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “Myanmar: Two Years After Tatmadaw’s Coup”

February 6

Ewelina Ochab published two articles in Forbes titled “The Collapse Of The Legal System in Afghanistan” and “United Nations: Men And Boys To Play Active Role To End FGM”.

February 10

Phil Gurski released a new episode of his podcast “Canadian Intelligence, Eh!”, titled “Why is Africa so beset with terrorism”. Listen to the episode here.

February 13

MIGS’ Lauren Salim and Joshua Sallos-Carter wrote an article for the Human Rights Research Center titled “Facebook's algorithms are hungry for Trump, but is he to blame for violent extremism online?”.

February 15

MIGS Marie Lamensch spoke to TVA LCN about war crimes and the abduction of children in Ukraine. 

February 17

Phil Gurski spoke with journalist Hugh Sykes about reporting from the front lines of dangerous places, including Africa and the Middle East. You can listen to the podcast episode here.

February 20

The Concordian published an article on Romeo Dallaire’s lecture at Concordia University. 

February 22

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “Dutch Court Prosecuting  First-Ever Case For Enslaving Yazidis in Syria”.

MIGS Marie Lamensch wrote an article for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) titled “The World of Online Gaming Is “Uniquely Uncivil” for Women and People of Colour”.

Mark Kersten wrote an article on his blog Justice In Conflict titled “A War Crime Coalition: Russia’s Iranian and Chinese Drones Target Ukrainian Civilians”

MIGS Fellow Joana Cook spoke about Shamima Begum, the British-born woman who joined the Islamic State, on BBC Live

February 23

MIGS Youth Fellow Katerina Sviderska spoke to “Le Quebec Maintenant” about Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. You can listen to the interview here.

February 24

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “One Year Of Putin’s War In Ukraine”.

Marie Lamensh wrote an article for CIGI titled “The Consequences of War: Ukraine, One Year Later”.

February 25

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “International Court of Justice Orders Azerbaijan To End Nagorno-Karabakh Roadblock”.

March 4

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Suspected Poison Attacks on Girls Attending Schools In Iran”

March 6

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “One Year Of Putin’s War Has Been A Catastrophe For Children in Ukraine”.

Lauren Salim wrote an article for the Human Rights Research Center titled “This International Women’s Day, Let’s Commit to Fighting Online Gender Based Violence”.

March 8

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “When The Harassment of Women Moves Online”

March 10

Katerina Sviderska wrote an article in La Presse tilted “Il a toujours été question de l’Europe”.

March 11

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “Gender Apartheid Against Women And Girls in Afghanistan”


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