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Are Minority Rights Still Relevant? The Impact of Minority Protection Regimes in the 21st Century

Venues: Budapest, Hungary
Period: 10-16 July 2016
Application deadline: Wednesday 16 March 2016, 09:00am CET

The Tom Lantos Institute (TLI) and the National University of Public Service (NUPS) in cooperation with the Middlesex University London (MU) and with the support of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are organising their fourth international Summer School on Minority Rights with a special focus on the relevance of existing regimes for minority protection.

Recent years have seen an increase in the vulnerability of significant sections of the global community. The agreed human rights frameworks, based on individual rights protection at national, regional and international levels, have appeared inadequate in the face of widespread conflict, grinding poverty and mass exodus in the Middle East, Africa and to some extent reaching the borders of Europe. The phenomenon of oppression has largely been experienced by members of ethno-cultural groups, rather than by individuals. These groups’ quest for greater human security has put infrastructure, communities and systems under pressure at a time of economic hardship. However, the existing minority rights regime has not been adequately considered, discussed or utilised in this context.


The programme starts with a pre-summer school workshop on “migrants, refugees, new minorities and international law” (working title).
The Summer School aims to: critically assess international norms of minority protection and their relevance for minorities on the ground; review and compare existing practices of minority protection in different regions of the world; understand and discuss principled activism of minorities and strategies of civil society advocacy.

Addressing these challenges from an international human rights law perspective requires clarity of vision, the ability to frame policies and to develop comprehensive approaches that offer flexible and creative solutions. Using the framework of international minority rights and drawing on wider socio-legal and policy orientations, this iteration of GMRSS will seek to highlight the importance of strategic action (civic, governmental, intergovernmental, local, national, transnational) in arriving at workable solutions. It will do so in two specific ways:

  • by exploring existing avenues at international, regional and national levels that could be activated and drawn upon in the quest to protect vulnerable and socially excluded groups;
  • by articulating strategies tried by specific excluded groups in seeking to alleviate their own plight

In doing so GMRSS will focus on the extent to which well-designed minority protection norms can be advanced through creative legal, political, socio-economic strategies at national, regional and international levels.

The Summer School will host 30 participants from all over the world and offers a forum to discuss relevant issues related to minorities with leading experts and practitioners in the field of international human rights law, political science, sociology, and history. Lectures include:

  • Who is a minority? Theory and practice;
  • Anti-discrimination: an adequate framework for minority protection?
  • International and regional regimes for the protection of minorities;
  • Comparative approaches to minority protection: the cases of China and India, Hungary and South-Tyrol, Nigeria and South Africa;
  • Principled activism of minorities;
  • A critical assessment of the UN regime of minority protection and of the UN Forum on Minority Issues;
  • Strategies of minority rights activists: Conversations between activists for the rights of Afro-descendants, Dalits, Hungarian minorities, Roma and Indigenous Peoples.
 

Costs

This Summer School is envisaged as a space for meeting, consulting and debating with authoritative academics, practitioners, public servants and decision-makers. It provides excellent networking opportunities and the chance to share experiences and discuss current research projects. The programme is complemented by interesting and informative cultural events.

The participation fee is 150 Euros. It covers tuition, accommodation, meals and cultural events. Financial support is available for 15 participants. Please find the details below.


Scholarships

Five full scholarships for applicants coming from outside of the Council of Europe member countries cover the participation fee and the travel costs to Budapest (except airport transfer). They do not cover visa fees.
Ten partial scholarships cover the participation fee (tuition, accommodation, meals, and cultural events). The travel costs to Budapest are not covered by the partial scholarships.
Applicants for scholarship require:

- Proven current interest or work in the field;
- Strong motivation to improve their understanding and skills;
- Demonstrated plans for future activities or career utilising the knowledge, contacts and skills acquired.

 

How to participate to the Summer School

To apply, fill in the application form, save it with the following name: 2016GMRSS_[lastname_firstname], and submit it to applications@tomlantosinstitute.hu. Please do not send any other documents. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The deadline for application is Wednesday 16 March 2016, 09:00am CET. Applicants will be notified by Thursday 31 March 2016.

Who should participate?

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

Organizer

Information & contacts

The Summer School will be hosted by the NUPS Faculty of International and European Studies in Budapest, 2 Ludovika Square, in a nice green environment, close to the city centre. Accommodation and meals will be offered in the campus of the Faculty at the same location.

E-mail:
applications@tomlantosinstitute.hu



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