Gathered at the 11th International Human Rights Colloquium, participants will discuss implementation of regional and international human rights decisions and recommendations
November 1, 2011
The XI International Human Rights Colloquium, organized by Conectas, will take place from November 5 to 12 in São Paulo/Brazil. This year, 50 human rights advocates
were selected from 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. The event will also be attended by speakers and observers from around the world.
The theme of this year’s colloquium is “Implementation of Regional and International Human Rights Decisions and Recommendations”. In order to address the local impact of the United Nations and regional human rights systems, several topics shall be discussed, such as rights of people with disabilities, Brazil’s prison system and violations committed by companies.
According to Thiago Amparo, research and training coordinator at Conectas, “in a time of uncertainty about the efficacy of the UN and the regional human rights systems, we intend to analyze the real impact of these bodies in protecting human rights on the local level and to provoke a critical debate in civil society on the relevance of these systems and the obstacles that are faced”. Activities include lectures, working groups and an open forum for organized discussions by the participants.
Among the speakers are Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, who chairs the UN Commission of Inquiry investigating human rights abuses in Syria, and Mario Coriolano, who serves on the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. James Goldston, from Open Society Justice Initiative, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda, will also participate by video.
The participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about the transition to democracy in Brazil during a visit to São Paulo’s “Resistance Memorial”, which will be followed by a debate on the role of the truth commission to be established in Brazil and its peers elsewhere in the world. Just like in previous years, the event is expected to produce a horizontal dialogue between the speakers and participants, in addition to providing a venue for them to share their experiences and knowledge. The colloquium aims to contribute to the formation of new networks of contacts and to strengthen those that already exist. (See program
This year, there is a new development: the colloquium will also be simultaneously translated into French! Until 2010, the official languages of the event were Portuguese, English and Spanish. The inclusion of French has, for the first time, allowed the participation of human rights advocates from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Morocco.
The Colloquium is supported by the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Channel Foundation and the Embassies of Australia, France, Ireland and Switzerland in Brazil, and is held in partnership with the São Paulo Law School – Getúlio Vargas Foundation.
See the testimonies of the participants in the event in 2010