High-Level Conference on Global State of Human Rights to Convene in Venice

The Global Campus of Human Rights, in partnership with Right Livelihood, proudly announces the forthcoming high-level conference dedicated to addressing critical issues surrounding human rights worldwide.

Scheduled for 24-25 May 2024, this landmark event will again assemble leading figures from across the globe to tackle pressing challenges faced by human rights defenders, with a special focus on contexts of exile, conflict, and the degradation of our environment.

The conference will kick off with a public opening roundtable hosted by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe in the beautiful Palazzo Zorzi in Venice.

Distinguished speakers, including Manfred Nowak, Secretary General of the Global Campus of Human Rights, and Gunilla Hallonsten, Chair of the Board at Right Livelihood, will set the stage for discussions led by prominent figures such as Matteo Mecacci, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Chiara Adamo from the European Commission, and Olof Skoog, EU Special Representative for Human Rights.

Continuing the second day, discussions will resume at the Global Campus headquarters at the Monastery of San Nicolò, Venice Lido.

Over the course of two days, participants will engage in dynamic roundtable discussions exploring topics ranging from redefining exile for human rights defenders to strategies for protecting human rights during periods of conflict. Human rights defenders are at the centre of the event, such as Mozn Hassan, Egyptian Women’s Rights Activist and Right Livelihood Laureate, and many other activists from countries such as Nicaragua, Sudan, Russia, Guatemala, Cambodia and Iran.

Notable speakers further include Michael O’Flaherty, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, and Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament.

The conference will also showcase presentations by members of the Global Campus Child Leadership Team, underscoring the vital role of youth in human rights advocacy. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in afternoon sessions focused on leveraging human rights frameworks to prevent environmental disasters, with insights from experts such as Aoife Nolan, President of the European Committee of Social Rights.

In addition to stimulating discussions, attendees will enjoy cultural performances, including poetry and music by Lisette Ma Neza, a speech from renowned artist exhibiting at the Venice Biennale Koen Vanmechelen, and a dance performance choreographed by GC alumnus Kosta Karakashyan

The event will culminate in a reception and dinner held in the historic Cloister of the Monastery of San Nicolò, continuing inspiring discussions in a more informal setting.

Building on the successful editions of the past and in the intimate setting of the islands of Venice, the High-Level Conference on Global Human Rights promises to be a unique platform for substantive dialogue and action towards advancing human rights worldwide.

Event Contacts:

Imke Steimann

+39 041 2720934


Press Contacts:

Andrea G. Cammarata

+39 041 2720911 / +39 3398297096

Elisa Aquino, Francesca Sante

+39 0412720911



Download the full program of the event here: 

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