What is the relationship between economic development and rights violations? What limits are there on the international community and on the use of force in serious human rights crises? How do we reconcile the need for understanding and the urgency of action? What is the real impact of technology on the enforcement of rights? These four questions, which figure prominently on the agenda of human rights organizations from the Global South, constitute the themes of the debates and exchanges of ideas at the 12th International Human Rights Colloquium – Innovation in Human Rights: Rethinking Agendas and Strategies in the Global South.
Registration for attendance at the colloquium ends on August 3rd (new dealine!). The event will be held from October 13-20, 2012, in São Paulo, and will bring together nearly 80 human rights activists, specialists and academics. “In 11 years, the colloquium has brought together 1,065 human rights defenders and specialists from 64 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 2012, the objective shall be to reflect collectively on new agendas and strategies for organizations from the Global South,” said Juana Kweitel, program director at Conectas.
Therefore, the debates will revolve around four themes:
1.Economic development and rights violations, with a focus on violations committed by companies and the impact of state policies that prioritize economic growth over universal access to rights;
2.Limits on actions by the international community and on the use of force, particularly in situations of conflict and serious human rights crises;
3.Knowledge for action, in particular the autonomy of organizations from the Global South in the production of knowledge and ways to reconcile urgency of action with time spent on research;
4.Technology and the enforcement of rights, with an emphasis on the role of new social media and other advances of the digital revolution and their impact on the work of human rights organizations.
“In recent years, it has been rare for a conversation to occur between organizations from the Global South without at least one of these themes being the subject of heated debates. At the colloquium , we intend to take a closer look at these agendas and strategies, and debate both their impacts on human rights and the challenges that organizations face when incorporating them into their daily activities,” explained Lucia Nader, executive director of Conectas.
The program for the colloquium includes lectures and workshops with case studies. Each day of the event will be fully dedicated to one of the themes above. Debates will be held in the mornings, moderated by specialists on the topic under discussion, with the participation of speakers and attendees, simultaneously translated into the four official languages of the event (Portuguese, English, Spanish and French). In the afternoons, the attendees will participate in workshops, divided by theme and language, to discuss the topics addressed in the morning in more depth, based on case studies. There will also be a debate open to the public, on the impact of mega sporting events (namely the World Cup and the Olympics) on human rights.
Participants will be selected who have experience in the field of human rights and with the topics to be addressed at the 12th Colloquium. Candidates may apply for partial or full scholarships, which may be granted after an analysis by the Selection Committee. Interested candidates may apply online. The names of the selected participants will be released on August 13.
What the participants said
about the last Colloquium:
“Muchas gracias, muito obrigada, merci beaucoup, thank you very much. It doesn’t matter what language we speak, nor does the distance, when we share the same goals.”
Daniela Gamboa - Venezuela
“I learned that, despite the differences of language, race and geographic location, the language of human rights and dignity for all is the same.”
Bellinda Chinowawa - Zimbabwe
“When you meet people from different parts of the world and see that they are experiencing the same things in their work, there is a sense of solidarity – knowing that, if they can overcome obstacles and challenges, we can too.”
Maria Patrícia Cervantes – Philippines
“I felt that I was participating in a high-level activity, discussing contemporary and relevant topics. I understand the importance of South-South relations.”
Margarita Navarrete – Uruguay
“For me, it was a remarkable experience to meet people from different places, where I’d never been, with similar problems and on the same road – in spite of the cultural differences. I’ll return home far more enthusiastic. The colloquium strengthens networks and helps us forge new partnerships.”
Camila Koch – Brazil
See below the video of the 11th Colloquium (2011) and watch here a collection of statements captured on video by the participants of the 10th Colloquium (2010).