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Newsletter - May 2023

May 15, 2023

Source: MIGS


SAVE THE DATE: MIGS, with the support of the Canadian Department of Defence and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Canada, will host the Montreal International Security Summit on 11-12 October. This in-person conference will focus on Ukraine and will feature leading experts and public figures from Europe, Canada and the United States. More information will follow.

MIGS is delighted to welcome two new Youth Fellows, Jack Zimakas and Michaela de Toldi, who will work for the Institute over the course of the summer. Learn more about them on our website.

As part of a special series produced in collaboration with Concordia’s Department of Journalism, MIGS released three Human Rights Talks podcast episodes. “From Kharkiv to Montreal: Escaping War and Finding a New Home”, “Escaping Mariupol” and “The Power of Propaganda: A Family Torn Apart by Russian Disinformation”. The producer is MIGS’ John Lemieux Faculty Fellow, Aphrodite Salas and her student Bogdan Lytvynenko. You can listen to these stories on Apple Podcast or Spotify

MIGS’ John Lemieux Faculty Fellow Aphrodite Sallas is one of the nominees of the 8th Annual Digital Publishing Awards for the documentary “Innavik: Leading the way to a clean energy future”



MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews, Savita Pawnday (Executive Director, Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect), and Christopher Tuckwood (Executive Director, Sentinel Project) gave a  press conference at the Canadian Parliament, where they called on the Canadian government and its international allies to exercise leadership in the prevention of mass atrocity crimes. 

Upcoming Events

May 16

Kyle Matthews will speak to the Hub For The Study of Hybrid Communication in Peacebuilding at the University of Sheffield about Russia’s disinformation campaigns regarding atrocity crimes in Ukraine.

May 17

MIGS will host a Twitter Spaces discussion with Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nation, titled “Peace, Security and Russia’s seat on the UN Security Council”. Set up a reminder on Twitter.

May 23

MIGS will host a Twitter Spaces discussion with Tim Mak, a war correspondent and the founder of The Counteroffensive, on reporting from Ukraine. Set up a reminder on Twitter.

May 24

MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews will participate in a Global Affairs Canada-University of Ottawa workshop on Information Integrity.

May 25

Kyle Matthews will interview H.E Ahmed Obaid Al-Mansoori, the founder of the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai, at the event “Bridging Communities From Coexistance to Harmony” organized by the Foundation For Genocide Education.

May 30

MIGS’ Program and Outreach Coordinator Marie Lamensch will teach a class on mass atrocity prevention to students of the Bishop Strachan School.

May 31

MIGS will host the fourth Digital Peace Project roundtable with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Titled “Online Hate Against religious Minorities”, the discussion will feature Wendy Via (Co-Founder & President, Global Project Against Hate and Extremism), Emmanuelle Amar (Director of Policy & Research Quebec, CIJA), Louis Audet Gosselin (Scientific and Strategic Director, Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence), and Jennifer Tridgell (Senior Legal Advisor, Freedom of Religion or Belief and Equality Project, University of Essex) and will be moderated by Akaash Maharaj, (Ambassador-at-Large for the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption).

June 8

Project Officer Lauren Salim will travel to the RightsCon Costa Rica to facilitate MIGS’s panel “Social Media Hate Machine: Can digital peace be achieved?”. Speakers include Siena Anstis (Senior Legal Advisor, Citizen Lab), Gabriel Cajiga (Interim Executive Director, Ipandetec), and Branka Panic (Founder of AI for Peace), and  Gema Jimenez  (Project Officer, Digital Defenders). 

Recent Events

April 19

MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler gave the introductory remarks at the event “Marking 20 Years of Conflict in Darfur, Sudan”

April 19-20

Kyle Matthews, Savita Pawnday (Executive Director, Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect), and Christopher Tuckwood (Executive Director, Sentinel Project) held meetings in Ottawa with Members of Parliament, Senators, civil society representatives and officials at Global Affairs Canada to discuss strategies to prevent atrocity crimes.


April 20

Naomi Kikoler attended the National Commemoration of the Days of Remembrance hosted in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

April 25

Kyle Matthews was a keynote speaker at an event hosted by the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto and the Armenian National Committee of Toronto in commemoration of the 108th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. 

May 2

MIGS held an event with Tibetan activist and writer Tenzin Tsundue on Human Rights in Tibet. The event was organized in partnership with the Canada-Tibet Committee.

May 4

MIGS hosted a Twitter Space discussion with Ambassador Bob Rae (Canada’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations on Russia’s Disinformation at the UN Security Council. Listen to the podcast episode on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Project Leader Lauren Salim attended “Thirty Years of Peacekeeping Radio: Lessons for UN Media in a Changing Information Environment” hosted by The International Peace Institute (IPI), Fondation Hirondelle, and UNESCO.

May 8

Kyle Matthews participated in a  roundtable discussion on human rights with the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

May 8-11

MIGS’ John Lemieux Faculty Fellow Aphrodite Salas spoke at the "Safety for Journalists - Training School" in Kilkis, Greece.

May 11

MIGS hosted a Twitter Space discussion titled “Spotlight of Russia’s Abduction of Ukrainian Children”, featuring Nathaniel Raymond (Executive Director, Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab) and Aliona Hlvico (Political analyst and Former Ukrainian MP). The podcast episode will be available soon on Apple Podcast and Spotify

John Lemieux Faculty Fellow Aphrodite Salas was guest speaker at The Walrus’ Talk it’s Happening Now Conference in Ottawa.

May 10-12

Kyle Matthews attended the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Canada’s 2023 Dialogue Forum 2023. During the forum he participated in a panel session to discuss Canada’s foreign policy with  Colin Robertson (Canadian Global Affairs Institute), Michael Chong (Shadow Foreign Minister of Canada for the Official Opposition), Ben Rowswell (Canadian International Council) and Brian Lee Crowley (Macdonald-Laurier Institute). 

In the Media

April 12

MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler is mentioned in an article published by the Uygur Human Rights Project titled “Genocide survivors Conclude US Speaking Tour”.

MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “Myanmar Military Kills More Than 100 People In A Single Attack”.

April 14

Dalhousie University published the article  “Two of Canada’s most devoted human rights defenders issue wake‑up call at Shaar Shalom lecture” featuring MIGS’ Senior Distinguished Fellow Roméo Dallaire. 

April 20

MIGS Program and Outreach Coordinator Marie Lamensch wrote an article for the Centre for International Governance and Innovation titled “At the UN, Women Lead Efforts to Bridge the Digital Divide”

April 22

MIGS Fellow Dr. Ewelina Ochab published an article for Forbes titled “Repressive Enforcement of Iranian Hijab Laws constitutes gender-based prosecution”.

April 24

Ewelina Ochab published an article for Forbes titled “Jimmy Lai: Freedom of speech is a dangerous job”

April 26

Ewelina Ochab published one article for Forbes titled “Darfur: Genocide all over again in Darfur?”

April 27

MIGS Senior Distinguished Fellow Romeo Dallaire spoke to CTV Power Play about the crisis in Sudan.

The website Jurist published an interview with MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab titled “Interview: Human Rights Lawyer Ewelina U. Ochab on Fighting for Afghanistan’s Women Judges, Lawyers”.

April 28

MIGS Fellow Phil Gurski released a new episode of his podcast “Canadian Intelligence, Eh!” titled “Is Sikh terrorism still a threat in Canada and elsewhere?” featuring veteran CBC reporter Terry Milewski.

Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Religion Unplugged titled “Repressive Enforcement Of Iranian Hijab Laws Constitutes Gender-Based Persecution”. 

May 1

MIGS Youth Fellow Katerina Sviderska  published the article in La Presse “Ukraine: entre genocide et natiocide”.   

May 2

Ewelina Ochab published an article for Forbes titled “The principle of Universal Jurisdiction Must Become Truly Universal”.

May 3

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “Give Sanctions Regime Proper Teeth To Deal With Dirty Money”.

May 6

Marie Lamensch was quoted in an article in La Presse titled “La Syrie de Retour dans le Jeu Diplomatique?

May 12

MIGS Senior Fellow Dominic Cardy was interviewed on Radio-Canada and spoke about the possible creation of a new federal political party.

May 14

Ewelina Ochab published an article in Forbes titled “Taliban Announcement on Capital and Corporal Punishments Raises Concerns”.

May 15

Kyle Matthews gave an interview to CTV News about the growing humanitarian crisis in Haiti.

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