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An article written by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows, whose name we cannot disclose.

When you land in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic (CAR), you quickly understand the extent of the humanitarian crisis looming in the country. The runaway is just few meters from a huge camp hosting internally displaced people (IDPs) who have sought home there following an outbreak of violence in December 2013.

I remember having stared at those people from the window of the Air France plane and have swallowed my saliva which tasted bitter. IDPs stay in makeshift shelters and stand by abandoned planes, living in deplorable conditions, lacking access to food, clean water and basic social services. Kids play at the edge of the runaway, while French soldiers armed to the teeth try to pull them back. Some of the passengers who got off from my plane did look at the site, but the majority walked on to speed up customs formalities.


The Dark Side of Peacekeeping Missions

An article written by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows, whose name we cannot disclose.

The word ‘peacekeepers’ is a loaded one, bringing an array of images and historical inferences to mind. Blue helmets. The recent and needed deployment in the Central African Republic. The successful all-women force in Liberia that helped rebuild after civil war. The failed mission in Rwanda. Black Hawk Down. It’s a confusing patchwork of images- but so it should be. Peacekeeping is a complicated topic that deserves to be judged on a case by case basis. There is, however, one theme attached to virtually all peacekeeping missions; a theme which probably didn’t immediately spring to mind, but which women and children in the countries those missions ostensibly protect know far too well. In the ‘industry’, it has an acronym all to itself: SEA – Sexual exploitation and abuse. SEA- committed by the protectors against their protectees, across the world, with impunity, and all but ignored by the international community who provide those peacekeepers with their unflinching financial support.


The Ephemeral Nature of Peace: Restoring Peace through Education and the Justice System

An article by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows - Natasha Serafimovska

When on 19 May, 2014 another murder was reported in the Macedonian news, the country fell into an utter state of shock. When it was revealed that the victim was a 19-year old Macedonian boy and the offender was an Albanian peer the shock was replaced by mixed emotions of sorrow, anger, but most of all – fear. Everyone was wondering if this was the final straw that would set off the ticking bomb of ethnic hostility in the country. Only two years previously another incident was reported where five men, four of whom were between the age of 18-21, were shot while fishing by a lake near Skopje. In light of the heightened ethnic tensions and lacking a clear culprit, the public quickly interpreted the incident as ethnic aggression and sought immediate justice.


Is a new era of democracy coming to Bolivia?

An article by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows  - Alejandro Fernandez Gutierrez

It has been a year since Hugo Chaves died and the region of Latin America feels empty, but there also an important shift in politics in many countries in South America since his passing. It is important to remember that Hugo Chaves had a strong policy not only for his country, but also for other South American countries, including Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. These countries believed that Hugo Chaves’ ideas were the “right fit” for Latin America, but it seems like a new kind of democracy is about to come to Bolivia, when all Bolivians will have the opportunity to vote and maybe change public policy.


Cultural Identity, Human Security, and Conflicts

Cultural Identity, Human Security, and Conflicts[1]
An article by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows - Milena Oganesyan

This blog focuses on the relationship between cultural identity and conflict by examining the concept of human security as it prevails in the realm of international development and peace and conflict studies. In its 1994 report, the United Nations Development Program introduced the concept of human security. This report emphasized the need to move from a state-centered approach towards a people-centered understanding of security. In this regard, some scholars define human security as “the protection of individuals from risks to their physical or psychological safety, dignity and well-being” (Tadjbakhsh & Chenoy 2007:3). Thus, human security focuses on people rather than states. Based on this idea, people’s insecurities can trigger conflicts and challenge state security.


A Note on Religious Freedom in Indonesia

By M Najibur Rohman, 2010 McGill Echenberg Human Rights Fellow

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

RELIGIOUS freedom is one of the important issues in contemporary Indonesia. The fact cannot be separated by phenomenon of religious violence that often happened in the new era called “Reform Era” (Era Reformasi) beginning in 1998.

Justice for MH17

An article by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows – Rebecca Hamilton

The world wants to hold someone accountable for the 298 people killed. But determining whom to go after — and how to hold them responsible — won’t be easy.


Foxes Guarding a Hen House.

An article by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows – Rebecca Hamilton
A new U.N. report reveals that peacekeepers sent to the Central African Republic took sides in the conflict.


Anti-corruption in States in Transition, Bosnia and Herzegovina Perspective

An article by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows – Damir Hadžić

Having worked briefly in the area of anti-corruption (AC) from a regional perspective (UNODC Vienna), I got engaged with implementing UNDP’s local AC activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Not so long after, I realized how these two postings are worlds apart.

Globally, we have conventions and norms which bind states to improve anti-corruption efforts. Operationally, this is done through monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of various sorts (usually nominated foreign missions during periodic review cycles) which feed findings (based on data generated from meetings) back to custodian institutions of these organizations (e.g. UNODC, Council of Europe, etc.). They are deliberated at high-level meetings and recommendations are issued. Presumption is that countries should follow recommendations to improve shortfalls until the next review cycle appears.


McGill Echenberg Fellows Network active now on Social Media!

We are happy to announce that the McGill Echenberg Fellows Network is now present on all your favourite social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Join, Follow and Like us now to be the first to find out the latest human rights news, events, scholarships, jobs, but the most importantly to stay updated on the application process for the 2015 McGill Echenberg Global Conference on Human Rights and Leadership!

Find us here:
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Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.