Genocide and Human Rights Webinar Series

The International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies is pleased to offer an online educational platform to engage students, scholars and the general public in research and publication in the field of Genocide and Human Rights. Webinars are led by leading scholars and experts in their fields, and cover a range of conceptual themes and specific case studies.

Past Session Recordings

Winter 2022
Theme: Climate Change, Human Rights and Genocide

Climate Change, Conflict and Displacement: The Role of Human Rights

Prof. Sumudu Atapattu, University of Wisconsin Law School

From sea level rise to resource scarcity, climate change can undermine many of the protected rights with far reaching implications for current and future generations. Sea level rise and extreme weather events are making many places uninhabitable, triggering mass movement of people. Many scholars believe that resource scarcity can trigger conflict which, in turn, will also give rise to displacement and refugees. This presentation examines the link between climate change, conflict and displacement and what role human rights law can play in protecting the rights of people.

“Maples are People”: An Indigenous Critique of Ecocide, Genocide, and the Human/Nature Dualism

Prof. Lauren Eichler, Old Dominion University

This presentation explores how the dualistic and racist Western-colonial conceptions of “human” and “nature” have harmed Indigenous communities in three related ways: by delegitimizing Indigenous environmental ontologies, identity, and ethics, by dehumanizing Indigenous peoples, and by enabling the ecocide-genocide of Indigenous lands and peoples. The presentation also considers the value and limitations for Indigenous peoples of making ecocide an international crime.

Indigenous Peoples, Colonialism and Climate Justice

Prof. Deborah McGregor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

Indigenous communities are facing very serious climate impacts and structural inequalities are rendering them disproportionately vulnerable to the current and future impacts of the changing climate. This presentation examines the relationships between Indigenous peoples, rights, and colonialism that perpetuates injustice, and why Indigenous leadership, languages and knowledges are critical for advancing climate justice goals.

Limiting Dangerous Climate Change: Its Critical Threat to Human Rights, and the Role of Human Rights, Citizens Suits and Domestic Courts in Saving Humankind and the Planet

Prof. David Estrin, Canada’s Senior Environmental Law Specialist; Co-Chair of the International Bar Association President’s Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights

This webinar provides insights into the critically important role of law and human rights in helping to stop dangerous climate change and climate related human rights deprivations.   Through a quick global tour of key citizen-initiated domestic court climate change cases and rulings, it explains the legal foundations on which youth, citizens, Indigenous and other threatened communities, and NGOs can initiate litigation before domestic courts to legally require governments and the private sector to take needed actions to rapidly reduce GHG emission, decarbonize energy supplies and become carbon neutral.

Changing Borders: Climate, Rights, and the Future

Prof. Simon Dalby, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University; Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation

The stable political arrangements of territorial states and fixed borders are being challenged by accelerating climate change. Other environmental disruptions are occurring too in what is now often called the age of the Anthropocene. Looking ahead at what this means for governance, rights and politics is a tricky business, but one that can no longer be neglected in humanity’s new circumstances.

Winter 2021

Draining the Sea: Counterinsurgency as an Instrument of Genocide

Cheng Xu, University of Toronto

Stalin’s Activists: The Rank and File Perpetrators of the Holodomor

Dr. Daria Mattingly, University of Cambridge

Erasing the Rohingya: Genocide and Identification Documents in Myanmar

John Quinley, Fortify Rights

Becoming Human Again: An Oral History of the Rwanda Genocide against the Tutsi

Donald Miller, Lorna Touryan-Miller and Arpi Miller

Gender and International Responses to Genocide

Grant Shubin of the Global Justice Center

Fall 2020

Week One: November 3rd, 2020 @ 2:00 pm EST

Future war: the legal and civil-military implications of military artificial intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons, and enhanced ‘super soldiers’

Scholar: Maureen Hiebert

This webinar will discuss how AI and autonomous weapons are likely to be used in the not-so-distant future, the drive to enhance soldiers’ performance through technology, and what the fielding of these technologies might mean for the legal regulation of war, civil-military relations, and the prevention and perpetration of genocide.

Week Two: November 10th @ 2:00 PM EST

Indigenous Peoples of Brazil: A Case for Genocide? 

Scholar: Flávio de Leão Bastos Pereira

Indigenous nations in Brazil are facing worsening violations of their human rights such as invasions of their traditional lands which is a fundamental basis of their lives and cultures; fires that destroy biomes caused by invaders; state violence and government proposals that restrict their rights. Is it possible to identify a genocidal process?

Week Three: November 17th @ 2:00 PM EST

Immigrant Rights are Human Rights 

Scholar: Tanya Golash-Boza

This webinar details a wide variety of human rights violations ensconced in U.S. immigration policy as well as lays out the steps we need to take to align U.S. immigration policy with international human rights standards.

Week Four: November 24th, 2020 @ 3:30 PM EST

Oral History, Human Rights and the Law: the importance of preserving testimony for justice efforts

Scholar: Anoush Baghdadassarian

Join Anoush Baghdadassarian, Harvard law student and Co-Founder of the Rerooted Archive, to learn more about how oral history is increasingly used in human rights work, and particularly how it can contribute to both restorative and retributive justice efforts in post-conflict societies.

Week Five: December 1st, 2020 @ 4:00 PM EST

The Yazidi Genocide- Children’s Experiences of a 21st Century Genocide.

Scholar: Caroline Schneider

This webinar sheds light on the Yazidi genocide, especially on the forcible transfer of children during this event. It will also explore the role of researchers when studying a contemporary genocide.

Summer 2020

For the first time since its inaugural program, the Institute cancelled its annual Genocide and Human Rights University Program in the Summer of 2020. The two-week intensive summer program aims to develop a new generation of scholars to engage in research and publication in the fields of Genocide and Human Rights studies.

To find out more about this program, or to register for the upcoming program, please visit the website

Week One: July 28th @ 4:00 PM EST

Environment/Climate Change and Conflict

Scholar: Alex Alvarez

Week Two: August 4th @ 4:00 PM EST

Genocide in Rwanda

Scholar: Hollie Nyseth-Brehm

Week Three: August 11th @ 4:00 PM EST

Indigenous Peoples of North America

Scholar: Lorena Sekwan Fontaine

Week Four: August 11th @ 4:00 PM EST

Genocide, Impunity and Guatemalan Lives

Scholar: Debra Rodman

Week Five: August 25th @ 4:00 PM EST

Gender, Genocide, and White Supremacy in the United States

Scholar: Elisa von Joeden-Forgey