Human rights defenders play an essential role in the realisation of rights and promotion of equality. Not only do they fight for human rights in situations of oppression and abuse; they also act as monitors, drawing attention both of their respective communities and of the international community to otherwise neglected violations and threats. They assist victims in claiming their rights and contribute to holding those in power accountable, thereby combatting cultures of impunity which serve to cloak systematic and repeated breaches of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Furthermore, by linking the local level to the global and the global to the local, human rights defenders contribute to sustaining a circle of empowerment at all levels. New generations of human rights defenders naturally focus on the precarious situation of children and youth in all regions of the world and in this way help to reinvigorate the global human rights movement.
Roundtable on the Iranian women protest movement “Woman, Life, Freedom”
Activist, researcher and writer
Mansoureh Shojaee is an activist, researcher and writer in the field of women and human rights. She is retired from the National Library of Iran.
In the early 1990’s, due to her environmental interests she became a board-member for the "Association of Women in Against Environmental Pollution" where she wrote and translated works in the field of ecofeminism. Her activism includes partnership with UNICEF and grass-roots organizations has involved establishing domestic and mobile libraries for women and children in deprived areas.
Mansoureh has studied human rights and gender studies at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, continuing her study in Iran Academia. She is currently engaged in work as a guest researcher in the field of women with the Department of Social Sciences of the Free University of Amsterdam ( VUA) and the Iranian Academy of Social Sciences (ISSH), while she is collaborating with the Aasso multimedia as a contributor producing the reviews on Women’s issues.
Kalliope Agapiou Josephides holds a PhD in Political Science from Paris I Panthéon - Sorbonne University, Paris, France, and is a Jean Monnet Chair holder (2001) and Assistant Professor at the University of Cyprus. She sits on the Council of the Global Campus of Human Rights and is the European Master’s Director for her University.
She served as chair of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EU Agency) and Vice- President of the European Inter University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice. She is a founding member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network and a member of the scientific advisory board of the European Yearbook of Human Rights.
She has a great interest, and long experience, in the nexus of human rights, democratisation and gender equality. She served as lead author in the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and the European Parliament study on Women’s Rights During Democratic Transitions. She also served as a convener of the Venice School of Human Rights. She has participated in and led several national and international research projects. She has served as academic convener/speaker at high-level international events and has taught/delivered lectures around the world.
Global Campus of Human Rights Research Manager
Dr. Chiara Altafin
Dr. Chiara Altafin is Research Manager at the Global Campus Headquarters in Venice, where she worked as senior researcher on the FP7 project FRAME 'Fostering Human Rights Among European (External and Internal) Policies', and as one of the lead researchers on the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, serving as lead author in one of its chapters. She leads the Global Study component of the project ACRiSL ‘Advancing Child Rights Strategic Litigation’.
She has been a teaching fellow for the European Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA) since September 2015.
She holds a PhD in International Law and an LLM in Comparative, European and International Laws, both from the European University Institute (EUI), and a Master’s in Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights from LUISS University. She graduated cum laude at the Law Department of Roma Tre University and has been admitted to the Italian Bar.
Dr. Altafin’s main research interests are: children’s rights; economic, social and cultural rights in times of crisis, including in contexts of armed conflict and occupation; business and human rights; social justice; environmental and climate justice; and governance.
Gender Equality Trainer
Antónia Barradas has a PhD in Law, Justice and Citizenship in the 21 st century by the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra in Portugal.
Lawyer and head of Barradas Direitos Humanos, her consultancy for human rights advocacy, she is also a trainer of the list of specialists for the Portuguese Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality.
In 2019 she was the Senior Gender Expert to the European Union Delegation on a project on gender equality in the Public Prosecution Service in Brazil and in 2018 she was the adjunct to the President of Socialist Women of the Portuguese Socialist Party.
Previously she was the Institutional Relations and External Policy Officer for Amnesty International, and she works with NGOs focused on the rights of women and children. She is an E.MA graduate from 2011 and carried out the E.MA Internship at UNESCO's Sector for Social and Human Sciences in Paris and a Fellowship as part of the human rights team at the European Union Delegation to the UN in Geneva in 2012.
Università degli Studi di Macerata, Italy; Università Rovira i Virgili (URV), Spain
Dr. Susana Borràs-Pentinat is Associate Professor of International Environmental Law and EU Law at the Faculty of Law of the Università degli Studi di Macerata (Italy) and at the Università Rovira i Virgili (URV) (Spain). She is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow in the CLIMOVE Project (Climate Migration from a Gender Perspective), (H2020-MSCA-IF-2020) no. 101031252.
Master in Environmental Law (2004) and European Doctorate in Law (2007), with Extraordinary Prize to the Doctoral Thesis. Member of the Research Group on Environmental Law, Citizenship and Sustainability of the Centre for Environmental Law Studies of Tarragona (CEDAT) of the URV, associated with the Centre de Recherche en Droit Public of the Université de Montréal (Canada) and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.
Legal expert on climate change and refugees for the United Nations Network on Migration, the South American Network on Environmental Migration, the Catalan Commission for Refugee Aid, the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment, and Expert Member of the United Nations Harmony with Nature Platform. Academic Director of the Spanish Platform on Climate Displacement and Migration and member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL).
Her main fields of research are climate migration, rights of nature, climate justice, ecofeminism, human rights and environmental defenders.
University of Deusto, Bilbao
Felipe Gómez Isa
Felipe Gómez Isa is Professor of Public International Law and researcher at the Pedro Arrupe Institute of Human Rights of the University of Deusto (Bilbao, The Basque Country, Spain).
He was Spanish Representative before the UN open-ended working group for the adoption of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW. He has been Director of the UN Fellowship Programme for Human Rights Education to Latin American indigenous peoples.
He has published extensively on issues such as international protection of human rights, transitional justice or indigenous peoples' rights. He is National Director of the EMA and Vice-Dean for International Relations of Deusto Law School.
Dalila Mujagic is the Legal Advisor at WITNESS with over a decade of experience working with grassroots organizations around the world on issues including post-conflict reconstruction, protection of at-risk youth, environmental defense, and grave crimes.
She specializes in the use of digital and visual-based evidence in international criminal litigation.
Currently, Dalila supports lawyers and human rights activists in ensuring that the video and imagery they capture can help secure justice for their communities. Dalila's research is committed to the emerging applications of media forensics and technology for justice, including mobile phones, drones, satellites and synthetic media. She has worked with and trained key stakeholders including the United Nations Populations Fund, Duke University, Google, and the International Bar Association.
Global Campus of Human Rights Academic Director
Prof. George Ulrich has worked for the Global Campus in a variety of capacities. He served as GC Europe / EMA Programme Director from 2016-2019, as Secretary General of EIUC (the predecessor of the Global Campus) from 2003-2009, and as Academic Coordinator / Programme Director of EMA from 2001- 2004.
In between these appointments, he held the position of Rector and Professor of Human Rights at the Riga Graduate School of Law from 2009-2016.
George obtained his Ph.D. as well as an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto, Canada, and holds the degree of Cand. Mag. in Social Anthropology and History of Ideas from Aarhus University, Denmark.
Among his main research interests are issues related to the history and philosophy of human rights, human rights diplomacy, human rights and development cooperation, health and human rights, international medical ethics, and ethics for human rights professionals.
He is one of the joint editors of a Global Campus publication on music and human rights. A key focus of his teaching is to equip students to effectively engage with expressions of human rights scepticism.
Marjolein van den Brink
Dr Marjolein van den Brink is a lecturer in law at the Utrecht University School of Law, where she works for the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and participates in the Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law (UCERF).
Her research focuses on human rights and gender in a broad sense, focusing in particular on issues of biased law, privilege and non-discrimination.
Together with Gender Studies colleague CQ Quinan (University of Melbourne), she is working on the ‘GIRARE project’ (Gender Identity Registration And human Rights Effects) exploring relationships between changes in sex registration practices and human well-being. Tensions between new legislation and long-standing social attitudes are an important focus of the project, as is the interaction between invocations of human rights discourses and changes to the institutionalization of binary conceptions of sex and gender.
With Peter Dunne (University of Bristol School of Law) she undertakes many projects focused on gender identity issues from a legal perspective, including a report on ‘Trans and Intersex Equality Rights in Europe’ (2018), commissioned by the European Equality Law Network. Peter and Marjolein are currently involved in a project of the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner on human rights of trans individuals.
Marjolein is co-coordinator of the Bristol based network on ‘Gender beyond the binary’, and a member of the Sevilla based research project BINASEX on non-binary citizenship.
In 2018 she joined the editorial board of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. Between 2000 – 2009 she combined her university work with a position as commissioner of the Dutch national equality body (Commissie gelijke behandeling, now the Dutch national human rights institute).