Event information

7 September 2022, 12:00-14:00
Register start 17 August 2022
Register end 6 September 2022

Downloads

Flyer >

Rethinking Human Rights Protection from the Ground Up

Event

The Phillipines,  Lanao del Norte, Iligan City: a woman's hands The Phillipines,  Lanao del Norte, Iligan City: a woman's hands

There is a consistent protection gap for survivors of torture within human rights work, with many survivors and vulnerable people who are unable, for multiple reasons, to effectively access existing national and international protection mechanisms.

  • What happens to the effectiveness of protection if we start with the perspectives of survivors of torture and ill-treatment rather than international human rights norms?
  • What are the implications of taking a more expansive approach to protection?
  • Might we understand protection differently, both in terms of mechanisms for access and the very forms of protection that are available?
  • And what lessons can we learn, in this regard, from other areas of practice, such as humanitarianism, child protection or gender-based violence?

These are some of the questions that this roundtable will address in a series of interventions from survivors, researchers, human rights activists and treaty bodies.

This roundtable – organized by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the University of Edinburgh and DIGNITY-Danish Institute against Torture – emerges out of the research project ‘Protecting survivors of torture’ financed by the British Academy through the University of Edinburgh. The project explored protection strategies from below in Sri Lanka and Kenya, with additional analyses in Tunisia, the Philippines and Brazil. The research illustrated how often victims of torture and ill-treatment are left to their own devices and how they identify and employ strategies that are both testimonies to ingenuity as well as sometimes counter-productive.

There is therefore an urgent need to address questions around protection that do not only start with human rights frameworks but find ways to identify ways to support survivors in their struggle to stay safe.

Chair

  • Steffen Jensen, Senior Researcher, DIGNITY-Danish Institute Against Torture

Short Introduction

  • Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director, Geneva Human Rights Platform

Setting the Scene

  • Toby Kelly, Professor of Political and Legal Anthropology, University of Edinburgh
  • Emriza Tegal, Human Rights Lawyer, Sri Lanka
  • Juliet Wanjira and Wangui Kimari, Grassroots Defender, Mathare Social Justice Centre, Kenya

The Perspective of Global Anti-Torture Mechanisms

  • Morten Olesen, Director of International Programs, DIGNITY
  • Gerald Staberock, Secretary General, World Organization against Torture
  • Ana Racu, Member, UN Committee Against Torture

Wider Perspectives on Protection

  • Robert Lewis-Lettington, Chief, Land, Housing and Shelter Section, UN-Habitat
  • Ilaria Paolazzi, Deputy Director, Child Rights Connect
  • Geneva Call (tbc)

Get Ready: Relevant Links

Draft Research Brief: The Possibilities and Limitations of Grassroots Human Rights Protection

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Keyboard with helpdesk News

New Paper Discusses the Establishment of a Global Helpdesk on Business and Human Rights

11 December 2023

Our new Research Brief discusses the proposal to establish a global helpdesk on business and human rights at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Read more

A Map of the region News

Our Experts and Resources on Israel/Palestine

1 March 2024

Discover our resources and what our experts and alumni say about the current situation in Israel and Palestine, with regular updates to include new events, articles, podcasts and comments.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

11-15 November 2024

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

25 April - 17 May 2024

This online short course discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

Read more

Panel Discussion: Project

Treaty Body Members’ Platform

Started in January 2014

The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.

Read more

Project

Follow-up Review Pilot Series

Started in November 2021

Read more

Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Unpacking the Burgeoning Challenge of Environmental Protection and the Right to Food in the Context of Armed Conflict

published on April 2024

Erica Harper, Junli Lim

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Briefing N° 23: The Human Rights Data Revolution

published on April 2024

Domenico Zipoli

Read more