Course dates:

9 – 16 March 2024


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.

Keynote speech

Patrick Zaki - Global Campus of Human Rights

Researcher and human rights activist

Patrick Zaki

Patrick Zaki, a researcher and human rights activist, was provisionally released on 7 December 2021 after 22 months of arbitrary detention.

He spent 22 months behind bars in an Egyptian prison on charges of sedition and spreading false news online, built around a 2019 article in which he recounted incidents of discrimination against Coptic Christians in Egypt. After the publication of that article, Zaki, who was already studying at the University of Bologna, was arrested by Cairo police in 2020, while he was taking a plane back to Italy. On 9 December 2021, Zaki was released from prison, although the charges against him were not dropped.

He has always been a student with a deep interest in human rights: Zaki first arrived in Italy in 2019, to follow a master's course in Women's gender studies at the University of Bologna. A path interrupted by arrest but crowned by obtaining top marks at graduation, after discussing his thesis in July 2023.

At the moment, he is a non-resident fellow at Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, Cairo, where he does research and write articles on topics relevant to minority issues in SWANA region and develops strategies or plans to address existing minority problems in the region. He has been invited as keynote speaker to many human rights events, trainings, conferences, and workshops. Additionally, he has been awarded of the Maria Grazia Cutuli award – 2021, "Brescia for Peace" award – 2021, and of the Social Action award – 2020.


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Theatre performance

Raizes Teatro - Global Campus of Human Rights

Raizes Teatro

Raizes Teatro is a cultural nonprofit organization which promotes inclusion, equality, and rights through the arts. Raizes creates live performances, video, photo exhibitions and graphic campaigns, inspired by true stories. All performances are created with the participation of performers and people from marginalized communities, people who suffered the deprivation of their rights during their childhood or life.

Raizes was founded in 2018 by Alessandro Ienzi, Human Rights Lawyer, Director and Performer and is today managed in cooperation with Francesco Campolo. The company opened the European Fundamental Rights Forum in Vienna in 2021, and the Youth Torino Forum in 2022, organized by the Italian Government and the Council of Europe.

In 2019 and in 2023 Raizes was invited at the European Parliament for the official celebration of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and for the opening of the event “Care about what you wear, consume or buy”. In April 2023 Raizes will set the video exhibition “Like a Criminal” and the performance “Discipline Room” in Times Square, New York.

The company is specialized in non-formal education through the arts and promotes LGBTQ+ Rights, Climate Justice, Freedom of Expression, Diverse-Ability, Inclusion and Equality. It manages “Human Freedom”, an international artistic program on Human Rights and Arts.


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Roundtable on the Iranian women protest movement “Woman, Life, Freedom”

Aida Ghajar - Global Campus of Human Rights


Aida Ghajar

Aida Ghajar is a Senior journalist on IranWire since 2013. She has been working as a reporter, producer and copy editor in various media for more than 18 years.

During her career as a journalist, she covered many topics and subjects in a variety of fields, including women, human rights, politics and culture. For a number of them, her editors and supervisors expressed excellent impressions on her work.

In the past few years, she has been focusing on the issue of human trafficking, immigrants and the problems of Iranian refugees in Europe (especially in Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey and Calais - north of France), during which she has travelled to many refugee camps and cities, met many smugglers, asylum seekers and tried to learn and share their stories, and documented the challenges that they have faced on the migration path. These include a series of reports on missing refugees and fraudulent smugglers.

She has produced (in text, audio and video) and published dozens of reports on this subject so far. These reports can be found in Persian and English. Also, she was the person who interviewed Mahsa (Jina) Amini’s brother for the first time and identified the girl who was arrested by Morality Police and went into a coma. Her first photo was in her article.

She is recipient of 2023 Freedom house Award for Freedom of Speech because of her work at IranWire, specially releasing Mahsa Jina Amini identity and photos for the first time. Two days after her article, Mahsa Amini died. Also, from November 2023, she focused on the victims of the protesters being shot in the eye during “Women, Life, Freedom” protest in Iran for documenting their testimony, medical reports and their juridical situation. Her project is named: “The Islamic Republic’s Use of Blinding as a Weapon of War Against Protesters”.

She also works as a freelancer with RSF (Reporter without borders) and is a member of AHJ (Aid Humanitair au Journalists) organization and responsible of Iran desk for Voice of Women without Borders, their work is training journalists on the field in conflict zones as Kurdistan Iraq, Yemen and etc.


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Pegah Moshir Pour  - Global Campus of Human Rights

Human and digital rights activist

Pegah Moshir Pour

Born among the tales of "The Book of Kings" (Iran) raised among the verses of "The Divine Comedy"(Italy). Corporate responsibility consultant and human and digital rights activist, she develops contacts and promotes engagement between projects and business realities in order to realize forms of partnership and sponsorship.

With transversal experiences, she deals with topics such as: citizenship "third culture kids," citizenship and digital ethics. In schools she speaks on women's empowerment and language and digital. Collaborates with cultural realities and institutions to work in the world of Culture, activating social projects and policies for an inclusive and open future in the territories. Member of the Presidency Parliamentary Intergroup for Fundamental Human Rights (Senate of the Republic).

These are the awards and that she has obtained:

  • Contributor La Repubblica
  • TedX Speaker 23
  • Awarded at Palazzo Montecitorio Standout Woman Award
  • Included in StartupItalia's list of 100 female innovators making a difference in 2022
  • Spot testimonial for the Ministry of Equal Opportunity March 8, 2023
  • "Sympathy Capitol" awards Rome in the Protomoteca hall
  • Don Peppe Diana National Award 2023
  • Included in StartupItalia's Unstoppable Women list.
  • Women from Women Award AI.Net 2023
  • Heraclea Award 2023
  • Magna Grecia Award 2023
  • iDEE Association of Cooperative Credit Women Award 2023
  • Anemos Award 2023
  • Humanitas International Award 2023
  • Antonio Pianese National Prize 2023
  • Melvin Jones USA Award

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Mansoureh Shojaee - Global Campus of Human Rights

Activist, researcher and writer

Mansoureh Shojaee

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.

Amongst her singular accomplishments, Mansoureh in 2002, helped found the Women's Cultural Cente r, launched the Sedigheh Dolatabadi and Evaz Women's Library (in Lar) in 2004-2005 respectively and in 2006 she aided in the creation of the “One Million Signatures” Campaign.

Alongside these works Mansoureh has for a decade worked alongside the Children's Book Council to create comprehensive libraries for blind children and received the 2010 International Children's Book Award in Iran for her efforts.

After she left Iran, she received a three-year scholarship in January 2011 from the German Pen Association . During the scholarship Mansoureh held short training courses at women's museums in Norway, Germany and Italy, and collaborated with the Women's Museum in Nuremberg in creating the Digital The Museum of Iranian Women's Movement initiative as well as becoming a member of the International Association of Women's Museums .

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.

See also:


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Kalliope Agapiou-Josephides - Global Campus

University of Cyprus

Kalliope Agapiou-Josephides

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.


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Dr. Chiara Altafin - Global Campus

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.


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Antónia Barradas - Global Campus of Human Rights

Gender Equality Trainer

Antónia Barradas

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.


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Susana Borràs-Pentinat  - Global Campus of Human Rights

Università degli Studi di Macerata, Italy; Università Rovira i Virgili (URV), Spain

Susana Borràs-Pentinat

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.


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Felipe Gomez Isa - Global Campus of Human Rights

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.


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Dalila Mujagic - Global Campus of Human Rights


Dalila Mujagic

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.


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Áine Travers  - Global Campus of Human Rights

Dublin City University

Áine Travers

Dr Áine Travers is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Dublin City University (DCU). She holds a Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD in Psychotraumatology and is also a graduate of the EMA Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation.

Dr Travers is interested in interdisciplinary research with social justice applications, including gender-based violence prevention and expanding access to evidence-based psychological intervention for under-served groups. Her research addresses issues at the intersection of psychology, human rights, global health and sustainable development.

She currently acts as Principal Investigator (PI) of an international research project examining experiences and impacts of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the LGBTQI+ community. She is also PI of a research partnership between DCU and Makerere University in Uganda, examining the issue of IPV affecting people who identify as refugees or IDPs.

Dr Travers also has several years of experience working with NGOs and public sector organisations, advocating on areas such as gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and gender-based violence prevention.


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George Ulrich - Global Campus

Global Campus of Human Rights Academic Director

George Ulrich

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.


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Marjolein van den Brink - Global Campus of Human Rights

Utrecht University

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).


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