HRCP Initiative: Overview and Events
About the Initiative
The Human Rights, Conflict & Peace Initiative is a student initiative at The Graduate Institute, Geneva that aims to increase the awareness of human rights and conflict and peace related issues from across the globe.
Our objectives are to:
- Promote debates on human rights in armed conflicts and post-conflict environments to foster peace
- Advance knowledge among students at The Graduate Institute, Geneva on related issues
- Create a network that connects students, scholars, practitioners, and organizations interested in human rights and conflict related matters
The Initiative was founded in 2014 to supplement existing courses at The Graduate Institute, Geneva; particularly in the context of conflict or post-conflict environments. Our events include panel discussions, film screenings, art exhibitions, and other similar events to facilitate discussions on this topic area. We aim to create educational opportunities and spaces for dialogue, where those who are interested can further their knowledge and understanding.
In early March 2020, the HRCP organized a museum visit to the ICRC museum in Geneva. The ICRC is a central player within the context of conflict or post-conflicts and ensures the provision of basic humanitarian assistance. Around 40 people enjoyed the exhibition of the museum and got more insights of humanitarian assistance around the world and the role of the ICRC in conflicts.
Given that the HRCP Initiative assembled in a completely new composition in September 2019, most of the autumn semester was devoted to completing the handover from old to new members and restructuring the initiative. The HRCP thus only organised one event towards the end of the semester: activities to commemorate Human Rights Day 2019.
Human Rights Day on 10 December 2019 marked the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the UN General Assembly. Despite significant progress in the past 70 years, we still observe human rights violations all across the world, which is why we as HRCP Initiative wanted to raise awareness on the importance of respecting these fundamental rights. Moreover, as the theme of Human Rights Day 2019 was “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights”, we found it highly important to not only inform students about the human rights situation, but also provide them with the opportunity to actively engage in a conversation. To do so, we organised a set of activities in/in front of room S3, including the following:
- Allowing students to rank how the first ten fundamental rights of the Universal Declaration are respected in their home country (we printed out the first 10 articles of the UDHR and provided stickers in four colours: green, yellow, orange, red)
- A board game informing about human rights
- Screening of a PowerPoint presentation with facts about the human rights situation in the world and quotes linked to human rights
- Opportunity for students to create and design their own tote bag with their favourite Human Rights quote or symbol
The HRCP Initiative is organising monthly Netflix Party screenings of movies dealing with various human rights issues. Every month, we will screen a different movie which has a human rights dimension or is related to the topics of conflict and peace.
The first movie we would like to present is the Oscar-winning 2016 documentary The White Helmets which follows the daily operations of a group of volunteer rescue workers of the Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets. Netflix Party allows us to watch the film together, while at the same time making comments and engaging in discussions.
Two more movies will follow until the end of the semester.
Moreover, we are planning a webinar about the current human rights situation for refugees at the Greek/Turkish border.
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