We started shifting the boundaries in 2016
In October 2016, international conference on human rights The Global Human Rights Forum opened its gates to the participants from 18 countries in four continents. The event was organized by the association Social Margin Center from Belgrade. The first conference titled "Decoding Patterns of Privilege" was held in Belgrade, 20-22. October 2016 in hotel "Palace".
From Brazil to Lithuania, Chile to Syria, Canada to Turkey, the conference brought together young people - students, activists of human rights, academics and researchers to discuss some of the most burning issues from the domain of human rights. During the three-day program, the participants had the opportunity to participate in 12 hours of social activities and 17 hours of academic content, as well as to attend the Living Library session.
The conference attendees were addressed by eminent experts from 8 countries who covered the following themes:
1st Panel: Environment and Human Rights: Climate change induced migrations – the example of island countries
Forced migrations are the most urgent threat facing poor nations. A billion people, which makes it 1 in 7 people on our planet today, will be forced to leave their homes over the course of next 50 years. As the effects of climate change worsening and becoming irreversible, the developing world keeps struggling towards finding an efficient solution for the two extremes - flooding of the island countries due to sea rise and forced migrations due to high temperatures.
Queen Mary University of London
2nd Panel: Kurdish minority rights and a running battle in Turkey
Kurds are the biggest and most aggrieved ethnic minority in Turkey. Since the 1970s, Turkey has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for the thousands of human rights abuses. Among the judgments, many are related to the executions of Kurdish civilians, torturing, forced displacements, destroyed villages, arbitrary arrests, murdered and disappeared Kurdish journalists.
Cansu Güçlü (Turkey),
University of Szeged, Hungary
Cansu got the opportunity to present her work
by winning the Participants' Panel competition
3rd Panel: Conflict and Human Rights
The current migrant crisis represents the largest migration of peoples since the end of the WW2. This crisis led many to question very principles on which the EU was founded: unity , freedom of movement and human rights. Militarism, religious fanaticism, extremism and terrorism, growing xenophobia are processes that represent the core of the current issues. How to reconcile the differences with respect for cultural diversity, while at the same time preserving the core EU values?
SPEAKERS and topics:
Role of Youth Refugees in Extremism Countering
Zaid Al Rayes (Syria),
Foundation Kofi Annan,
United Arab Emirates
Practitioners' perceptions on asylum in Denmark and Serbia
Marko Sinđić (Serbia),
Aalborg University, Denmark
"We are Human after all" - How practicing Presence and Hospitality restore dignity and birth a new narrative
Teanna Sunberg (Hungary - USA),
Research project: Racism and Xenophobia - for Refugee and Ethnic Equality:
Petra Jakovina (Croatia),
Center for Peace Studies Zagreb
4th Panel; Education and Human Rights - Importance of Early Education for Inclusion of Roma Youth
At the 1st Global Human Rights Forum our friends from the association "Center for Youth Integration" have organized panel "Education and Human Rights". This association has been implementing programs to support street involved children for 12 years. They've opened two Shelters for children who live and/or work at the street and created prevention program for children who are at risk which includes educational program for children from informal settlements with the main goal to prevent exclusion of these children from the education system. The organization is known for developing outreach work to get to their beneficiaries.
Center for Youth Integration
Center for Youth Integration
Coordinator of Educational Program
Commissioner for Protection of Equality
Network of Organizations for Children of Serbia – MODS
Coordinator of Children Program,
5th Panel: Marriage and Equality
Marriage is a legal contract that regulates mutual rights and obligations of the spouses, the possibility of acquiring and inheritance of property and many other civil rights. Same-sex families with or without children are a reality of all societies. What are the problems that these legally invisible families in traditional societies are facing with and which are the legislative possibilities of resolving their legal status were some of the topics that we discussed at this panel.
speakers and topics:
Gay marriage: Our need or Western fashion
Predrag Azdejković (Serbia),
Gay-Lesbian Info Center
Rainbow Families in Bulgaria
Gloria Filipova (Bulgaria),
Bilitis Resource Center
Creating a positive political and social circumstances as a guarantee for the effective implementation of policies in the field of Human rights protection and integration of LGBT people
Mladen Antonijević Priljeva (Serbia), LLB, IDEAS
The Sociological outlook on non-heterosexual Families
Smiljka Tomanović Ph.D. (Serbia),
Professor at Department of Sociology,
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
6th Panel: Policies of representation of gender identities in public and media discourse
- example of mainstream music and Disney animated films
Policies of representation of female identities in public and media discourse can be seen as the expression of the relations of power in a certain society and historical period. Animated heroes and heroines by their appearance and behavior represent gender role models for children. Through animated films and toys these models are adopted at a very early age. Also, pop culture and pop idols influence on young people who identify with them and internalize models which they represent. They can maintain the status-quo, but also to promote their own political agenda. Many pop stars in the world are human rights advocates and watchdogs. What is the situation in the Balkans and are there any possible subversiveness against the dominant patriarchal ideology? What is the real message of Disney animated films?
Jelena Višnjić Ph.D.
BeFem, a festival of feministic culture and action
The Institute of Sociology and Social Research,
University of Belgrade
Social Margin Center,
living library session
In addition to the regular panels, conference participants delivered a unique experience to participate in the Living Library. This methodology was developed by the Council of Europe in order to combat prejudice and discrimination. Living Library works and operates just like the real library: each participant can, for a limited time, borrow a book to read, but in this case all the books are real people who come from some of the marginalized social groups and have first-hand, real-life experience to share.
Some of the living books were: person living with HIV, vegan, person who survived cancer, volunteer who works with refugees, person working with Roma children, the girl with lack of skin and others.
Special guest at the Closing Ceremony was Slobodan Milivojević from the Office of Commissioner for the Protection of Equality.