GHRN Information Bulletin, 27th April 2017

GHRN Information Bulletin, 27th April 2017



Wednesday 10th May, 1.30 – 3.30pm

GHRN Postgraduate Master Class

Coordination, Cooperation and Communication: Expectation management in the humanitarian sector

Alasdair Gordon-Gibson, University of St Andrews

Reflecting on the calls at last year’s World Humanitarian Summit for a new humanitarian architecture which engages more closely with communities affected by crisis, the presentation considers the opportunities and challenges for improved cooperation in contemporary humanitarian environments. Communication with the media is the main focus of the presentation, examining its inter-action and inter-relationship across the broad range of stakeholders which influence the humanitarian environment, including donors, politicians and affected populations, as well as the humanitarian agencies themselves. It will speak about the start of crises, the differing nature of crises, how humanitarian agencies get involved, how they communicate with policy-makers. Raising issues related to operational and management ethics, it considers what difficulties core humanitarian principles poses in managing these relationships.

The Master Class is open to PG students.  If you are a current PG student and would like to attend, please register on the Eventbrite site.


Wednesday 10th May, 4.30 – 6.00pm

GHRN Panel Discussion

Africa and the International Criminal Court

Yudowitz Lecture Theatre, Wolfson Medical School Building, University of Glasgow

Although African countries helped to drive the development of the International Criminal Court, the relationship has become much more conflicted over the last several years. There are concerns that Africa has been unfairly targeted by the ICC, that the insertion of the ICC into ongoing conflicts makes solving conflicts more difficult, and that generally the ICC undermines Africa’s ability to craft solutions which work best for the continent. At the same time, there are concerns that recent developments represent a move away from a commitment to anti-impunity for crimes against humanity and other atrocities. The participants in this panel discussion will discuss these dynamics, including the three recent African withdrawals from the ICC ( and the reversals of two of these withdrawals). The participants include:

  • Andrea Birdsall (Edinburgh)
  • Adam Bower (St. Andrews)
  • Kurt Mills (Glasgow)
  • Mateja Peter (St. Andrews)

Everyone is welcome.  If you would like to attend, please register on the Eventbrite site.


Thursday 1st June, 10.00am – 4.00pm

Making Change Happen: Using the courts to make rights a reality

Organised by Human Rights Consortium Scotland and the Equality & Human Rights Commission

Edinburgh City Chambers

This will be an informative and inspiring day of speakers and workshops around how your organisation can use the law and the courts to bring about social change.

This event will include:

  • Helpful information and advice from legal experts around possible legal tools and their pros and cons;
  • Learning directly from those with hands-on experience of using the courts to achieve change – the opportunities & challenges of doing so, and their advice to others;
  • Opportunity to discuss, question and influence the future of litigation to make rights a reality in Scotland.

If you work in the legal sector, this day will also be an excellent opportunity to network with those in civil society organisations who are looking for legal expertise.  Speakers will include David Hawkins from PILS Northern Ireland and Irene Henery from the EHRC.

To register, please visit the Eventbrite site.


Tuesday 27th June

Taking Action Against Hate Crime in Post-Brexit Britain: Protecting vulnerable groups and promoting a culture of tolerance and inclusivity

A Public Policy Exchange Symposium

Central London

This timely symposium offers an invaluable opportunity for local authorities, the police, legal professionals and third sector practitioners to analyse the increase in hate crime after the referendum and strengthen their working partnerships to ensure that hate crime in all its forms can be tackled effectively in every local community. It will also provide all relevant stakeholders with a platform to discuss ways to overcome challenges following the decision to leave the EU and to ensure Britain remains a place of tolerance and inclusivity.

For full details and a registration link, please visit the Public Policy Exchange website.  Discounted registration rates are available until 19th May.





A new article by Dr Vikki Turbine has just been published on the GHRN blog.  The article, ‘International Women’s Day and beyond: Women’s human and citizenship rights in Nepal’, discusses the experiences and work of Nepalese women’s rights activist, Sharmila Thapa.  Sharmila gave a talk on the subject recently at the University which was organised jointly by GHRN and the Gender and Sexualities Forum of the University of Glasgow.

Through the blog we hope to facilitate our core aims of supporting research, teaching and knowledge exchange in human rights throughout Scotland and beyond. The blog features human rights-related research by network members, short essays on human rights related topics, reports and other activities from civil society organisations, developments in teaching, and any other relevant materials. If you wish to contribute to the blog, please send your ideas or finished pieces to


International Journal of Human Rights special issue

A special issue of the International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 21, No. 3., co-edited by GHRN member René Wolfsteller and Professor Benjamin Gregg from the University of Texas at Austin, has recently been published.  The issue is entitled “A realistic utopia? Critical analyses of the Human Rights State in theory and deployment” and can be found at

Overview of the content:

  • A realistic utopia? Critical analyses of The Human Rights State in theory and deployment: Guest editors’ introduction, René Wolfsteller & Benjamin Gregg
  • The institutionalisation of human rights reconceived: the human rights state as a sociological ‘ideal type’, René Wolfsteller
  • ‘Achieved not given’: human rights, critique and the need for strong foundations, Yingru Li & John McKernan
  • The human rights project and the transformation of social (b)orders: on the political nature of human rights activism in the wake of the Zapatista uprising, Richard Georgi
  • Democracy, social authoritarianism, and the human rights state theory: towards effective citizenship in Brazil, Ulisses Terto Neto
  • The human rights state and freedom of religion in south-eastern Europe: the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Gorana Ognjenović & Jasna Jozelić
  • Revisiting the human right to democracy: a positivist analysis, Johannes Hendrik Fahner
  • Note from the field: applying a ‘human rights cognitive style’ in the Raoul Wallenberg Institute’s work on human rights education with universities, Olga Bezbozhna & Helena Olsson
  • The human rights state: theoretical challenges, empirical deployments: reply to my critics, Benjamin Gregg


The Rohingya and Human Rights

Following the GHRN event  'Myanmar's Unfolding Genocide under Aung San Suu Kyi's Watch: The Rohingya and Human Rights' with Maung Zarni and Ko Aung in December 2016, Co-Chair Matthew Waites notes that anyone wishing to follow up and obtain further relevant information can do so by checking the website of speaker Maung  Zarni at , email if you wish to join his mailing list on this issue.


Human Rights Consortium Scotland – new report

A new report, 'Rights at Risk: A collection of Scottish civil society perspectives on the potential impact of Brexit', has just been published.  The report can be found on the Human Rights Consortium Scotland website.


Glasgow West Amnesty International

The Glasgow West Amnesty International group meets once a month at Glasgow Woodlands Methodist Church and carry out Amnesty related activities.  If any members of GHRN would be interested in giving a talk at one of the group’s meetings, please contact chairperson, Claire Crossan –

Glasgow West Amnesty will have a stall at the May Day rally in Glasgow on Sunday 30th April. Full details of the rally can be found on the Facebook page.


Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is the statutory body with responsibility for monitoring, promoting and enforcing compliance with equalities and human rights legislation in Great Britain.  The Commission in Scotland is working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect and promote human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.

The legal team in Scotland works with solicitors, advocates and advisors to make the best use of our legal powers.  We can fund strategic equality cases and can intervene in equality and human rights cases.  We offer second tier advice to advisors.  If you have a case which you think may be of interest to the Commission, please contact us.  Further information is available on the website.


If you have an announcement for an event or resource which may be of interest to other members of GHRN, please send them to for inclusion in the bulletin.


You can now follow GHRN on Twitter at humanrights



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