The 13th International Human Rights Colloquium begins

Activists from more than 40 countries arrive in São Paulo for the conference organized by Conectas Activists from more than 40 countries arrive in São Paulo for the conference organized by Conectas


Conectas opened the 13th International Human Rights Colloquium. From October 12 to 19, more than 100 human rights advocates from 40 countries will meet at TUCA (Theater of the Catholic University) in São Paulo to discuss the theme “A New Global Order in Human Rights? Actors, Challenges and Opportunities” (see the complete program).

From the recent homophobic attacks in Russia to the application of the death penalty in

China, the participants will construct a panel of the recent violations and the strategies to combat them. The abuses committed by the mining industry in Congo and the impacts of Brazilian cooperation in African countries such as Mozambique will also be the subject of debate.

“This year’s colloquium places human rights organizations from the Global South at the center of a web of actions and relations in which the powers of the north are not the only relevant actors. The new development in recent years is that emerging countries like Brazil, India and South Africa have been thrust to the center of the debate, whether as large democracies capable of finding new ways forward, or as perpetrators of violations that very often spill over their own borders, such as the case of large multinational companies or restrictive immigration policies, said Juana Kweitel, program director at Conectas Human Rights.


On Monday, the participants will watch a series of 14 talks in the TEDx format. The program continues until Friday, with various panels organized in the theater.

Internationally renowned for its short and thought-provoking talks, TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design) will have the support of Conectas for a series on multipolarity.

There will be more than 10 talks with specialists and activists from eight counties. The list of speakers includes the journalist Dilma Khatib, from the Al Jazeera television network; the Chinese lawyer Teng Biao, founder of the NGO China Against Death Penalty; Hossam Bahgat, of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; and Lucia Nader, executive director of Conectas.

Attendance at the TEDx event is open and free, but places are limited. Registration can be completed here.

Extraordinary Commission

On October 16, the more than 70 participants will stage an International Extraordinary Commission on Human Rights, in Praça Roosevelt square in downtown São Paulo, chaired by the cartoonist Laerte Coutinho. This will be a repeat of the event in May of this year, when Conectas and several other organizations held the first ever Extraordinary Commission, to oppose the various attacks on human rights, some even made by politicians.

5 Key Debate Topics

The lectures and working groups will be organized into 5 key topics:

1. MULTIPOLARITY: Is there, in actual fact, a new global human rights order?, to understand and evaluate the changes that are occurring on the global level and their impact on human rights;

2. INCONSISTENCIES: How to deal with potential tensions between the domestic situation and the international role of States in the promotion and protection of human rights?, with the objective of discussing ways to reconcile the contradictions between the domestic context of countries, particularly in the Global South, and their international ambitions;

3. ECONOMY: How to deal with the effects of new economic centers from the perspective of protection and observance of human rights?, with a focus on the discussion on economic development and human rights, immigration and “neocolonialism”;

4. SYSTEMS: what is the impact of this new global order on the international and regional human rights systems?, to assess the potential changes to the UN system and the regional systems and to define the role of new coalitions, such as the BRICS, in the field of human rights;

5. CIVIL SOCIETY: what are the organizational models in this new context?, to debate whether a new multipolar order requires different types of organizations and networks, as well as different types of relations between organizations from the Global South with their societies and with NGOs from the North.

See who is speaking and participating at the 13th Colloquium:


Over the past few weeks, the participants in the 13th Colloquium have been reading up on and responding to questionnaires on each of the event’s key debate topics. Conectas has compiled this information into maps and graphs. See below:




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