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Human rights defenders play an essential role in the realisation of rights, including equality in its various dimensions. Not only do they fight for human rights in situations of oppression and abuse; they also act as monitors, drawing attention of the international community to otherwise neglected violations and threats; they assist victims in claiming their rights; and they contribute to holding those in power accountable. Furthermore, by inevitably linking the local level to the global and the global to the local, they contribute to sustaining a circle of empowerment at all levels.
Prof. George Ulrich is the Program Director of the European Master in Human Rights and Democratization (EMA).
He served as EIUC Secretary General from 2003 to 2009 and as Academic Coordinator / Program Director of EMA from 2001-2004.
Dr. Ulrich is thus intimately familiar with the Venice-based inter-university center and Master’s program and is excited to re-join the E.MA and EIUC family.From 1999-2001 he was Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
He 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 George Ulrich’s current 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.
Kalliope Agapiou Josephides is the Chairperson of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EU Agency) and former 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 academic convenor for the Venice School of Human Rights on gender issues, namely this year’s one on Women, Peace and Security & CEDAW.
She has participated in and led several national and international research projects, including a European Parliament study on “Women in Democratic Transitions”. She has served as academic convenor/speaker at high-level international events and has taught/ delivered lectures across Europe and around the world: e.g. France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Argentina, India, China, Australia...
Kalliope Agapiou Josephides holds a PhD in Political Science from the Paris I Panthéon - Sorbonne University. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cyprus and the recipient of a Jean Monnet Chair (2001). She has a keen interest and extensive experience in the field of gender equality and human rights.
Giulia Di Tommaso
Giulia Di Tommaso is an international lawyer with over twenty years of global experience in Legal and Public Affairs on a wide range of business issues, based mainly in Brussels, London, Africa and Italy.
She has been for over a decade with Unilever in a variety of roles - as Director, Legal Policy and International Relations, Director of External Affairs for Africa and then as Board Member, General Counsel and Code Officer in Italy leading legal and corporate affairs/communications teams on Compliance and Human rights issues, Anti-trust & Competition Law, IPR, Trade, Regulatory, as well as driving Sustainability/CSR strategy.
She represented the business at the World Economic Forum in Davos and Africa, the Investment Climate facility for Africa, the Southern Corridor of Tanzania, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue as well as the EU-Africa Summits. She has led the negotiations culminating in the international agreement on sustainable sourcing from small holders farmers between Unilever and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Both in her capacity and leadership roles, Giulia has had extensive experience in engaging with governments, media and companies across all sectors.
Prior to the corporate experience, Giulia was senior associate, and managed the Brussels office of Chiomenti Studio Legale and worked at the European Commission as well as at the European Parliament in Brussels. Giulia is a qualified attorney at law and was called to the bar in 1992. She holds a Master of Laws in European Law from the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven and is fellow of Salzburg Seminar and visiting fellow at Berkeley University- Faculty of Law/Boalt Hall.
Regular speaker at international conferences, she is a fellow of the Institute of Sustainability Leadership, Prince of Wales Program. She is currently cooperating with the Centre of Human Rights/EIUC in Venice on Business and Human Rights academic program.
UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
Michel Forst is a French national actively involved in the defense of human rights. Former Secretary General of the French national human rights institution, he is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders since June 2014.
In 2015, Michel Forst was appointed Knight of the Legion of Honour by the French government.
After graduating in language, theology and health studies, Michel Forst started his career teaching German. Then, he started as director of social healthcare institutions in the field of childcare, the elderly and those in extreme-poverty.
He became the executive director of Amnesty International France in 1989, where he remained for ten years.
During this period, he was involved in many human rights projects, including the organisation of the first summit on human rights defenders in Paris in 1998. This event was held as the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with more than 350 human rights defenders attending the summit. The presence of Kofi Annan, then Secretary General of the United Nations, drew significant attention on the event. Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin, then French President and Prime Minister respectively, intervened during the closing session, reaffirming France's commitment to the protection of human rights defenders. On 9 December 1998, in New York, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, now commonly known as the Declaration on human rights defenders. That same year, human rights defenders were to receive the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights.
Michel Forst continued his career in nonprofit organizations. In 1999, he became the executive director of La Ligue contre le cancer. He remained in this position until 2001, when he joined the UNESCO in the Office of Social and Human Sciences. In 2003, he became Secretary General of La Cimade, a French organisation which brings legal aid to migrants and asylum seekers. He left in 2005, when he was appointed Secretary General of the French national human rights institution, the Commission nationale consultative des droits de l'homme. Michel Forst is also a founding member of Front Line Defenders, an Irish non governmental organisation based in Dublin and a former board member of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR).
Ambassador Mara Marinaki
Ambassador Mara Marinaki is the EEAS Principal Adviser on Gender and on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Prior to this she was the Managing Director for Global and Multilateral Issues at the European External Action Service, responsible for EU foreign policy in the areas of international organizations, human rights, and security and non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons – a position to which she was appointed in May 2011. Mara Marinaki joined the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980, and has served abroad in postings in Washington DC, Berlin, Vienna and Brussels.
Ambassador Marinaki was the Permanent Representative of Greece to the OSCE 2007 - 2011. Ambassador Mara Marinaki is a law graduate from the University of Athens, and holds an LL.M in International Law from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki.
In addition to his function as Secretary General of Global Campus, Manfred Nowak is Professor of International Human Rights at the University of Vienna (where he is head of the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights and two human rights research centres, including the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, which he founded in 1992).
In October 2016 he was appointed as UN Expert to lead the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.
Aside from Vienna University, Manfred Nowak was Professor of International Law and Human Rights at various prestigious universities, such as Utrecht, Lund, Stanford and the Graduate Institute in Geneva and has published more than 600 books and articles in this field.
In the past, Manfred Nowak also carried out various expert functions for the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU and other inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. Most importantly, he served for many years in various functions as UN Expert on Enforced Disappearances (1993 to 2006), as one of eight international judges in the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo (1996 to 2003), and as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2004 to 2010).
Lorent Enrique Gómez Saleh
Lorent Enrique Gómez Saleh is a Venezuelan activist. Since 2011, Saleh has participated in several activities in defence of human rights and has been repeatedly detained by the Venezuelan authorities on terrorism charges.
The Venezuelan government has accused Saleh of carrying out paramilitary training and planning attacks against Venezuela. In 2014, he was deported from Colombia and handed over to officials of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN). Until 2018, he was being held in La Tumba, in Plaza Venezuela, Caracas during which time his audience had been postponed 52 times. In 2017, Saleh was one of eight Venezuelans representing the democratic opposition and all political prisoners awarded with the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament. On 12 October 2018, he was released by the Venezuelan authorities and exiled to Spain, from where he continues his fight for human rights and democracy in Venezuela."
Chair Of International Law, University of Antwerp Belgium
Koen De Feyter
Koen de Feyter is Professor of International Law at the University of Antwerp and part-time Professor at PILC and the University of Maastricht.
He was previously attached to the Human Rights Centre of the University of Maastricht, the Institute of Development Policy and Management of the University of Antwerp, and served as the Academic Coordinator of the European Master in Human Rights and Democratisation (Venice, Italy). He is a former Chair of Amnesty International Belgium (1998-1999) and an internationally recognized authority on human rights and development law.
Deputy Director of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders at FIDH
Hugo Gabbero is the Deputy Director of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders at FIDH. Over the past years, he has carried out a number of field missions on the situation of human rights defenders, such as in Bangladesh and Azerbaijan.
He also drafted and coordinated a range of thematic and country studies concerning legal frameworks and practical restrictions affecting civil society worldwide, following-up on fact-finding missions, trial observations and advocacy trips. Hugo is in daily contact with human rights defenders from around the world, and is in charge of assistance, capacity-building and mobilisation programmes to support those most at risk.
He also regularly interacts with institutional stakeholders dedicated to the protection of human rights defenders, at the global and regional levels. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders is a joint FIDH-OMCT partnership, founded in 1997.
Marie Høgh Thøgersen
Marie Høgh Thøgersen cand.psych.aut, Ph.D, is a Clinical Psychologist and researcher. She is presently responsible for monitoring the clinical outcomes at The Danish Institute Against Torture, DIGNITYS, highly specialized rehabilitation clinic for traumatized refugees, (of which approximately 80% are torture survivors.)
Marie specializes in the treatment of PTSD and trauma and in analyzing, developing and implementing clinical interventions for people with PTSD.
Marie holds a Ph.D. from Copenhagen University Hospital and gained her authorization as a clinical psychologist at Crisis Psychological Clinic at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital. Before DIGNITY, she worked 5 years as a Chief Consultant, under the Danish Ministry of Social Affairs, implementing crisis interventions and advising policymakers on best-practice. She lectures at Copenhagen University in the area of trauma and crisis interventions.
European Parliament - Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union
Stefan Krauss has been working in the European Parliament for ten years. Since 2015 Stefan serves the Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union where he is in charge of the following areas: Directorate for Democracy Support, Human Rights Action Unit, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Sakharov Fellowship for Human Rights Defenders.
Stefan got a PHD in political science at the University of Regensburg in 1999. Later, he worked at the European Commission for five years before his first assignment at the Policy Department, Mediterranean and Arab Peninsula of the European Parliament.
Dr. Wiebke Lamer is the EMA Fellow specialising in International Relations. In this role, she liaises with EMA students and professors, and teaches the International Relations Rolling Seminar. She also lectures on the topic of media and democracy and conducts academic skills and thesis proposal workshops.
Wiebke is also a member of the EIUC Research Team and has conducted research for various Global Campus projects and publications. She coordinated the EMA research contribution to the Global Classroom in Yerevan (2018) on diasporas and in Bangkok (2017) on securitisation. Shortly after joining EIUC, she was appointed overall research coordinator for the 2016 Global Classroom and developed, implemented and monitored a joint research project among the seven regional master’s programmes on the topic of intractable conflicts. Since spring 2018, Wiebke is also working on the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.
Wiebke holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, USA, and Master’s degrees in International Relations and US Foreign Policy from the University of Leicester and the University of London, respectively. Her undergraduate degree from De Montfort University is in Media Studies and American Studies. Before joining EMA, Wiebke taught several courses on International Relations, International Political Economy and Comparative Politics at universities in the Norfolk, Virginia area.
In the US, Wiebke also interned as an Assistant Knowledge Manager for the Afghanistan team at NATO’s Civil-Military Fusion Centre. In May 2012, she worked as a social media consultant for NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, analysing the real-time social media response to the Secretary-General’s public statements during NATO’s Chicago Summit.
Wiebke’s research interests include press freedom, media freedom, freedom of expression, media and democracy, disinformation, information disorder, and democracy in international relations.
Her first book, entitled Press Freedom as an International Human Right, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in March 2018. It examines the global politics of press freedom and the treatment of press freedom in the international human rights framework, specifically at the UN. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Human Rights and the Global Campus Human Rights Journal.
Before embarking on her graduate studies, Wiebke worked as an online marketing specialist at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
Dalila is responsible for implementing WITNESS’ global engagement strategy and oversees the production of WITNESS training resources and online platforms.
She has spent over a decade working with activists and NGOS in Germany, USA and Bosnia. Dalila is committed to cross-regional sharing of tools, tactics, and methodologies, and trains human rights defenders on digital security, video advocacy, and media ethics.