Human Rights: Are Democratic Nations Upholding A Better Standard?
Houses of Parliament November 21st - 22ndSome Speaker’s Biographies:
Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy received his Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in 1999, a Master of Theological Studies from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 1992, and a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in 1990. Prof. Baer teaches Ethics at Lutheran University of Texas. He is married to a Hungarian lady, and is fluent in Hungarian. In 2011 he published an open letter to famous Hungarian Catholic Bishop criticizing Hungarian Catholic Church for not doing anything about repressive Law on Churches that was enacted in Hungary. Prof. Baer got a grant from his University to spend six months in Hungary studying religious freedom and the life of Hungarian religious communities. Prof. Baer fully supports religious freedom and is against any sort of religious discrimination.
Mark Brann is currently Secretary-General of UPF in Europe based in the United Kingdom. He trained and practised for many years as a lawyer, was Director for Europe, The Middle East and Africa of United Press International and is C.E.O. Europe of the North Korea Medical Aid project of the International Relief and Friendship Foundation.
Revd. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke
Revd. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke is a retired Anglican parish priest who has been involved in interfaith work, especially through the World Congress of Faiths, which he joined in 1964 and of which he is now President. He was Executive Director of the Council of Christians and Jews from 1984-8, is a Co-Founder of the Three Faiths Forum, patron of the International Interfaith Centre at Oxford and a Peace Councillor. He has travelled widely to attend and speak at interfaith conferences throughout his life and, in September 2004, was awarded a Lambeth Doctorate of Divinity by the Archbishop of Canterbury ‘in recognition of his contribution to the development of inter-religious co-operation and understanding throughout the world.’ He has written over forty books on world religions and together with UPF, has coordinated a series of conferences on the topic of ‘Forgiveness and Reconciliation’.
Martina Coombs is the former UK Women’s Federation for World Peace and WFWPI-Europe Vice President. She has coordinated many projects related to interfaith and peace initiatives, and conferences on the Dignity of Women. Taking an active role in her local community of Croydon, she has worked with groups focused on the arts, AIDS awareness, trafficking and more.
Jack Corley has worked in many nations for the Unification Movement and the Universal Peace Federation. In 1990 he moved to Moscow, and for the next 16 years worked in various capacities in the Eurasia Region, including vice president of the International Educational Foundation and Regional Secretary General of the Eurasian branch of the UPF. From 1994 he also worked extensively in the People’s Republic of China, travelling there dozens of times to coordinate programs on character education. He served as an Assistant Secretary General at the UPF International headquarters in New York from 2006 until May 2009 when he returned to Europe. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Unification Movement UK including UPF UK and as Adviser to UPF Europe.
Chantal Daniels is an expert on the field of fragile state development and security interventions specialized in (post) conflict areas. She currently works for the British NGO Christian Aid as senior policy advisor on accountable governance in Central Africa. Before that she worked for the UN Peacekeeping Operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), where she worked on the fight against sexual violence and protection of civilians. She has an extensive experience in policy advice and advocacy, focusing on, and working in East-Africa (notably Congo, Burundi, Sudan).
Rev. Taeko Duckworth
Rev. Taeko Duckworth is Vice Chair of Women of Faith Initiative (under the WFWP UK) and Vice President of the WFWP UK. Attained a degree of BA (English Language and Literature) from Tsuda College, a prestigious private Christian College for Women in Tokyo, Japan in 1978 and a master degree M.R.E. (Master of Religious Education) from the Unification Theological Seminary in New York State, U.S.A. in 1988.
Ilaria Esposito is a member of the Advisory Council on Youth and Gender equality Rapporteur for the Joint Council on Youth in the Council of Europe, she is also an External Representative at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). Ilaria believes in an integrative use of Formal Education, Non-formal Education (NFE)/Learning in order to develop young people's fullest potential: becoming leaders, being positively responsible, engaging in dialogue and having an interest in more sustainable ways of living. She is strongly dedicated to this mission and takes a proactive rights-based approach to all activities she joins.
Dr. Neil Falzon
Dr. Neil Flazon is a human rights lawyer and director of Aditus Foundation, an independent, voluntary and non-profit organisation (NGO) established with a mission to monitor, act and report on access to fundamental human rights. He is a legal professional with a specialisation in human rights law, particularly migration and asylum. Has on-going participation in European research projects coordinated by various organisations, including on the return of third country national minors, gender and asylum. Specialises in Human Rights aspects of migration/asylum; immigration detention; refugee status determination procedures; UN human rights system; human rights training/education; EU asylum policy and legislation.
Hon. Dr Michael Frendo
Dr Michael Fredo is the former Speaker of the Parliament of Malta, and a former Member of the Maltese Parliament for the past 23 years. From 1990 to 1992, he was Parliamentary Secretary (Minister of State) for Youth, Culture and Consumer Protection. From 1992 to 1994, he was Minister of Youth and Arts. From 1994 to 1996, he was Minister of Transport, Communications and Technology. He was Parliamentary Secretary (Minister of State) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from March to July 2004 before serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta from 2004 to 2008, during which he was also a Member, and later Chair, of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), and Chair of Commonwealth Connects, the Commonwealth ICT for Development Programme. He lectures on law and international relations in Malta, Italy and the UK and is the author of a number of articles and books. Dr Frendo has a Doctorate in Laws from the University of Malta and a Master of Laws in European Legal Studies from the University of Exeter.
Humphrey Hawksley is a leading BBC foreign correspondent, author and commentator on world affairs. For more than twenty years he has reported on key trends, events and conflicts from all over the world. He joined the BBC in 1983, editing radio bulletins in the main newsrooms, and took up his first foreign posting in 1986 to cover the Tamil civil war in Sri Lanka. He didn't stay long. He was expelled after six months for revealing atrocities against civilians. From there, he specialized in the rapid and often painful growth of Asia with postings in India, the Philippines and Hong Kong. In 1994, he was appointed the BBC’s Bureau Chief in Beijing, tasked with opening its first permanent television operation in China. Humphrey is the author of several books including an internationally acclaimed 'Future History' series (Dragon Strike, Dragon Fire and The Third World War) that explores conflict in Asia. His work has appeared in the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Yale Global and other publications. His university lectures include Columbia, Cambridge and the London Business School.
David Hayward is a postgraduate law student at the University of Glasgow who, at only 21, already has a wide range of experience in human rights law having spoken at both the UK Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Recently, he was appointed the Project Co-ordinator of an International Comparative Law Project between the University of Glasgow and Mainz, and compiled a report for the Council of Europe's Youth Department regarding the level of rights protection afforded to young people under the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter. In his presentation, David will address particular areas of a young person's life which are at present lacking in adequate protection, particularly within the sphere of education.
Kanchan Jadeja has been the chair of National Council of Voluntary Youth Service for 6 years. She is currently the President of the organization. She has over many years of experience of working in the voluntary and community sector first as a youth and later as a chief executive and Asst Director of major infrastructure organisations. She is a qualified social worker who has worked with children and young people facing challenges and at local level. She joined the civil service in 2002 leading on government funding for National Voluntary organizations. She went on to work in the Government Office East Midlands leading on youth policy for the region. Later, she was the Head of Targeted Youth Support program in the then Department of Children, School and Families. She left to set up her company called InspireMC (Be the change you want to see in the world) and has recently set up a social enterprise called Spiritus (Spirit in Action). Her previous board positions include Who Cares? Trust, 1990 Trust and chair of Peepul Centre in Leicester – a social enterprise – the largest Millennium funded project for a BME led organisation. She has contributed to publications on children in communities, Asian Women and Domestic violence and Adult Education programs for women for the European Parliament. She works with disadvantaged children in India and her most recent project is with CRY India a children’s rights organisation based in India
Dr Nazia Khanum OBE
Since 1997 Dr Khanum has been running Equality in Diversity – a management, research and training consultancy – promoting equality in policy and practice. She works with the key agencies and groups in the public, private and voluntary sectors including faith groups to eliminate discrimination on grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion etc and promote equal opportunities, valuing diversity, good community relations and social cohesion. Dr Khanum is passionate about promoting human rights, social justice and fairness for all – locally, nationally and internationally. Her voluntary humanitarian work extends beyond the UK. As a response to natural disasters in many countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Haiti and Myanmar she as founder chair of Luton British Bangladesh Helping Hand has supported many individuals and families through the organisation’s charitable activities. Dr Khanum is passionately engaged in raising awareness widely about the unacceptability of violence - especially against women and girls. Eliminating Forced Marriage and Honour-Based Violence is part of this campaign. Dr Khanum has received numerous awards from diverse communities and agencies for her social and educational work. She has also received national recognition in the UK - an OBE from the Queen for her many years’ of work in promoting equality and good community relations.
Elisabeth "Liz" Law has worked in the statutory and NGO sectors. She is currently a policy officer with Northern Ireland’s single equality body, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Previously she worked for the Northern Ireland NGO umbrella body, NICVA. Liz is the Northern Ireland member of the UK coordination – the UK Joint Committee on Women – which represents the UK in the European Women’s Lobby. She has been a committee member of the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform – a constituent part of the UK Joint Committee of Women – since 1998. She previously provided the secretariat to NIW EP in its first six years of operation through her work at NICVA. In 2004 Liz became NIWEP’s European Representative. Earlier this year she was nominated as the UK Board member of the European Women’s Lobby and was elected in 2008 to the seven-person Executive Committee of EWL in the role of Treasurer. In a voluntary capacity she has served as a committee member of her local community development network, Carrickfergus Community Forum, and is a former chair of Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid which provides services to women and children who have experienced domestic violence. She has an interest in women in policy and decision making, women’s economic independence, women and peace building and violence against women.
Justina Mutale as honoured as ‘African Woman of the Year 2012’, Justina is also Honorary Ambassador for Gender Equality and Spokesperson for the International Women’s Think Tanks & International Women’s Centre (IWTT-IWC). Justina is the Founder & CEO of Positive Runway: Global Catwalk to Stop the Spread, a worldwide HIV/AIDS response campaign with presence in over 150 countries, spanning 6 continents spread across the globe and which is registered on the United Nations Department for Social and Economic Affairs Civil Society Database, as well as a member of the Enough Food For Everyone If Campaign. A Philanthropist; International Speaker; Humanitarian; Philosopher; HIV/AIDS & Human Rights Activist and Advocate, Justina sits on the Advisory Board of the World Leaders Forum based in Dubai. She serves as Patron, Ambassador, Trustee and Board Member of several other humanitarian, community and charitable organizations in the UK and overseas. Justina serves as Diaspora Ambassador & Spokesperson for the Enough Food For Everyone If Campaign, a coalition of leading UK development organisations working to end world hunger.
Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh
Educated at the Universities of Bombay and London, Lord Bhikhu Parekh is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Academy of the Learned Societies for Social Sciences and a Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Westminster. Lord Parekh was chair of the Runnymede Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain (1998-2000), whose report, The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, was published in 2000. He is vice-chairman of the Gandhi Foundation, a trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust, and a member of the National Commission on Equal Opportunity. His main academic interests include political philosophy, the history of political thought, social theory, ancient and modern Indian political thought, and the philosophy of ethnic relations.
She is an intern in the Yemen Forum at Chatham House. She has recently completed her Masters in International Relations, Political Violence and Terrorism at the University of Birmingham. You can follow her on Twitter @shaimasaif
Imam Dr. Abduljalil Sajid JP
The Muslim scholar, thinker, speaker, educator and mentor, is at present Chairman of a number of organisations including the Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony in the UK, the National Association of British Pakistanis and the UK Chapter of the World Conference of Religion and Peace. He is also a consultant to a number of statutory and voluntary agencies on race, multi-cultural and religious issues. Imam Sajid is the founding member of Alif-Aleph UK British Muslims-British Jews and the Standing Conference of Jews, Christian and Muslims in Europe. He is also an Advisor to the European Council for Religious Leaders.
Virendra Sharma MP
Was elected as MP in the Ealing Southall by-election on 19 July 2007. The by-election was called following the death of the sitting Labour MP, Piara Khabra. Virendra Sharma’s arrival in Parliament was the end of one long chapter of public service and the beginning of another. Virendra Sharma was born in India and speaks fluent Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. He is married with a grown-up son and daughter and 3 grandchildren. He served as a councillor in Ealing for 25 years including a term as Mayor. The grandfather-of-three came to Hanwell from India in 1968 and started out as a bus conductor on the 207 route before studying at London School of Economics on a Trade Union Scholarship and eventually working as a day services manager for people with learning disabilities in Hillingdon. He is a local school governor at Three Bridges Primary School.
He is a civil engineer, Cyber warrior, politician and human rights activist. He is a respected Libyan dissident from the city of Misurata and a Libyan affairs specialist. He is the founder of the Libyan Freedom & Democracy Campaign. This political campaign has been a catalyst in igniting the 17th of February Libyan revolution on the virtual world. However, the Libyan Freedom & Democracy Campaign as a civil society movement has given birth on the 14Th of July 2011 to the first political party in Libya following the outbreak of the Libyan revolution. It is called the Democratic Party. It is the only secular political party. It is actively calling for the establishment of a secular democracy in Libya with the direct political help of the UN.
He was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1955. He was forced to leave with his family in 1971 and they came to the UK where he graduated from Leeds University. He is an international businessman with a wide range of communal and charitable involvement. He is the Vice-President of the European Jewish Council, a member of the Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, President of Justice for Jews of Arab Countries and Vice President of the Sephardic Jewish Congress.
Charlotte Simon - Bongumba
Charlotte Simion Bongumba is a Trustee of the Tatiana Giraud Foundation whose aim is to actively contribute to the restoration of women, girls, communities & families that have been victims of sexual violence in the north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Foundation works closely with grassroots organisations, treating and counselling victims while raising awareness of their plight in local communities. It aims also to financially support hospitals in the more remote or less developed areas of the Kivu region in the DRC to provide various treatments including healthcare, psychological treatment, temporary housing, as well as job training programmes for victims. Charlotte founded Mothers of Congo to promote awareness of the plight of the mothers of DRC and in particular those in eastern DRC who have suffered greatly while trying to raise their families.
Rt. Hon. Baroness Sandip Verma
She was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change in September 2012. She is a Conservative member of the House of Lords. In 2006 she was raised to the peerage as Baroness Verma of Leicester in the County of Leicestershire. She was Opposition Whip from 2006 to 2010 and then Government Whip following the 2010 general election. Prior to becoming Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for DECC, Baroness Verma was Spokesperson for Cabinet Office, International Development, Women and Equalities and Business Innovation and Skills. With the strong belief that you can make a difference by empowering people to help themselves, she speaks about innovation, forward thinking and skill development.
Peter Zoehrer is Chief Editor & Secretary General of FOREF Europe (Forum for Religious Freedom – Europe. The President is Prof. Dr. Christian Bruenner, renowned human rights- & constitutional expert). During the past 12 years FOREF scored over 30 victories in helping victims of religious intolerance to regain their rights, and gain vindication from injustice, discrimination or persecution. Also a Member of the Austrian Journalist Association (National Press Club) and President of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification – Austria.