Global Minority Rights Summer School 2022

04 - 15JULY2022

Global Minority Rights Summer School

(GMRSS) 2022:

Review, Rethink, Reform: 30th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

Online Event

July 4—15, 2022

 

The Tom Lantos Institute (TLI), the University of Public Service (Budapest), the Human Rights Consortium (School of Advanced Study, University of London), and Minority Rights Group International, are organizing their tenth international summer school on minority rights, which will have a special focus on the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (UNDM).

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UNDM, the 2022 Global Minority Rights Summer School will provide an opportunity for a critical assessment of the Declaration by examining global and regional minority rights norms, institutions, and mechanisms, and will highlight recent processes in the international minority protection regime and opportunities for engaging with it. This unique, global summer school offers participants the opportunity to interact and discuss with leading experts in the field, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Dr. Fernand de Varennes. The summer school will bring together internationally-known experts, activists, policy makers, civil society representatives, academics, and other key stakeholders in a two-week interactive program. In addition to theoretical knowledge, participants will gain valuable practical skills for engaging with the global governance structures of minority rights, such as how to formulate and present UN Forum statements and recommendations. Participants will also be given an opportunity to make presentations on relevant subjects of interest to them.

 

Background Information

The UNDM was adopted by the General Assembly in 1992 with a view to promoting more effective protection of the human rights of minorities and more significantly, to work towards the realisation of the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and various human rights instruments at the international and regional levels. In particular, the Preamble of the UNDM asserts that the protection and promotion of minority rights significantly contribute to the political and social stability of states in which minorities reside, and also encourage cooperation across states and peoples.

The UNDM reinforces and builds on the rights enshrined in the UN treaty framework to protect and promote the existence, equality, identity and effective participation of ethnic or national, religious

and linguistic minorities.  Various institutions and mechanisms have been established to  promote the implementation of the norms and examine ways and means of overcoming existing obstacles to their full and effective realization, including the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues and the UN Forum on Minority Issues.[1]

The UNDM is a non-binding declaration that remains the only global instrument that deals specifically with minority rights. However, despite it being fifty years since Article 27 of the ICCPR came into effect and thirty years since the UNDM’s adoption, we are at a juncture yet again where gaps in the minority rights protection regime are evident in the face of grave violations. Minorities continue to remain vulnerable to oppression and face denial of their human rights in every corner of the globe. More than three quarters of the world’s stateless are persons who belong to minorities[2], and in many countries around the same proportion are the targets of hate speech and hate crimes[3].  Most of the world’s violence and conflict target minorities on the basis of their religious, linguistic, cultural, racialised and ethnic identities. These attacks have manifested in various forms and domains ranging from online attacks, threats and hate speech to physical acts of aggression, assault, murder and even mass rape, ethnic cleansing and genocide. The coordinated and orchestrated nature of many of these attacks demonstrate the complex historical, territorial, and structural inequities that continue to manifest due to a lack of trust, unequal distribution of resources and powers, and most crucially, a lack of civic space for minority communities to participate in society safely. On a global scale, violations of minority rights continue unabated and have reached a crisis point which must be addressed urgently and effectively.

Against this backdrop, the Summer School will host approximately 30 participants from around the world, and provide participants the opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills from leading experts and practitioners in the field of international human rights law, political science, international relations, economics, and journalism.

 

Lecturers will:

  • Provide a critical overview of the normative framework governing the rights of minorities at the international and regional levels;
  • Explore recent processes in the international minority protection regime and opportunities to engage with it;
  • Discuss key themes and issues, and challenge accepted approaches related to the implementation and promotion of the UNDM to improve its relevance and effectiveness;
  • Explore the roles that various international and regional mechanisms play in promoting and protecting the rights contained in the UNDM;
  • Examine case studies related to specific minority groups and issues related to the implementation and promotion of the UNDM;
  • Moderate discussions to allow participants to express their views and debate the issues.

Students participating in the Summer School will:

  • Learn from leading experts, academics, and practitioners in the field, including the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues;
  • Explore current norms, issues, and challenges related to the implementation and promotion of the UNDM;
  • Discuss and understand the roles that international and regional mechanisms, civil society, and other actors play in the protection of the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples;
  • Examine case studies related to specific minority groups and issues related to the implementation and promotion of the UNDM;
  • Discuss key minority rights issues, share their experiences, and learn from colleagues with a variety of backgrounds and opinions;
  • Gain important practical skills in advocacy and analysis to strengthen their capacity to participate in minority protection mechanisms and processes.

The tuition fee is 150 Euros.

Financial support is available for a limited number of participants. Please find the details below.

To apply, fill in the application form, save it with the following name: 2022GMRSS_[lastname_firstname], and submit it to gmrss@tomlantosinstitute.hu. Please do not send any other documents. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The deadline for applying is Wednesday, May 25 2022, 12:00 p.m. CET. 

 

Who should participate?

  • MA and PhD students who wish to acquire knowledge and skills beneficial for their future careers in academia or in practice-oriented professions;
  • Public servants, decision-makers, teachers in higher education institutions and journalists with an interest in minority rights, diversity, equality, and relevant international law;
  • Members of civil society organizations, practitioners;
  • Everyone who is interested in recent developments, current theories and advanced training in the field of minority protection.

A strong command of English is required. 

Information about previous Global Minority Rights Summer Schools is available here. In addition, videos from previous years are available at this link.

Financial Support

The following types of financial support are offered by TLI:

  • A small number of scholarships are available to cover the tuition fee.
  • Financial assistance to ensure proper internet access may be provided to participants who do not have regular internet access at home.

Applicants for scholarships must have:

  • A proven current interest or work in the field;
  • A strong motivation to improve their understanding and skills;
  • Demonstrated plans for future activities or a career that would utilize the knowledge, contacts, and skills acquired.

We strongly encourage people belonging to national or ethnic, linguistic, religious or racialised minorities, as well as Indigenous people to apply for the Summer School.

 

Location and Institutions 

The Summer School is organized by the Tom Lantos Institute (TLI), the University of Public Service (Budapest), the Human Rights Consortium (School of Advanced Study, University of London), and Minority Rights Group International. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 summer school programme will be held entirely online using a Moodle-based online learning platform.

 

Minimum Computer Specifications

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device) with an internet connection so that you can access your learning materials and live webinars through the online learning platform that will be used to deliver the summer school programme.  

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification: a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer; this must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled); screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater; sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2MB; a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc); Adobe, or another PDF reader.

 

 

[1] The Working Group on Minority Issues was its predecessor but essentially served the same function of providing a forum for dialogue, to raise awareness, understanding and mutual respect between minorities and governments and to make recommendations for peaceful and constructive resolutions to minority issues.

[2] “This is Our Home”: Stateless Minorities and Their Search for Citizenship, UNHCR Statelessness Report 2017, available at https://www.unhcr.org/ibelong/wp-content/uploads/UNHCR_EN2_2017IBELONG_Report_ePub.pdf.

[3]OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, 2019 Hate Crime Data Key Findings available at https://hatecrime.osce.org/infocus/2019-hate-crime-data-now-available

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