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4th International Summer School on Security and/or Human Rights

26-30 June 2024 | Mardin / Türkiye

4th International Summer School on Security and/or Human Rights

We are pleased to announce the finalization of the "4th International Summer School on Security and/or Human Rights", which took place in Mardin/Türkiye from 26 to 30 June. Participants from 11 different countries spent a valuable week exploring the intersection of security and human rights issues by utilising the unique and valuable perspectives of each other and the expertise of our prestigious trainers.

The 4th International Summer School hosted fruitful discussions, enlightening sessions and potential future collaborations. Participants from different backgrounds provided unique perspectives on the issues addressed, while our prestigious lecturers increased the level of knowledge of the participants with their valuable contributions.

The program started with activities "red dot" and "bingo", where participants assessed the importance of security and human rights in their respective countries and introduced theirselves. Through these activities, the participants got to know each other better and learned about the approach of different countries towards human rights and security.

Afterward, the "Human Rights: A Dual Responsibility Within and Beyond Borders" session conducted by our academic advisor Prof. Dr. Olgun Akbulut, provided an enlightening introduction to the subject. The applicability of the European Convention on Human Rights under various circumstances and the extraterritorial responsibilities of Member States under the Convention in different circumstances were among the topics covered in this session. The topic was also supported by a large number of different cases, which served as a bridge between theory and practice.

The second day started with sessions on the relationship between human rights and security with Prof. Rick Lawson from Leiden University. In this lecture, the relationship between human rights and security was discussed in detail and participants were informed on the application of hard power in the international arena. These sessions were followed by a further discussion on human rights and state autonomy by Eylül Başak Tuncel from UNHCR Izmir. Through these lectures, the participants had the chance to learn about the dilemma of human rights and security from experts in their respective fields.

In the closing session, a panel on experiences from the field was held with Anusha Zubairy from the Red Crescent and Farah Karimi, founder of Simurgh Leadership Academy and Special Representative of the Dutch Senate, moderated by our founder Elif Menderes. This panel was very useful for our participants who are young professionals who need inspiration and practical information in their work areas.

The workshop in the following days provided an important opportunity to consolidate what was learned and for the participants to develop their own ideas and solutions. Furthermore, the participants laid the foundations for the subjects they worked on during the workshop to be continued after the program in the form of a written report. On the same day, Jonas Grimheden, Fundamental Rights Officer of Frontex, an expert on the European Union's external borders and fundamental rights, gave a speech. Mr. Grimheden discussed in detail the impact of the EU's border policies on human rights and the challenges in protecting fundamental rights in the light of recent developments.

The final day began with a session on the protection provided by international humanitarian law in times of armed conflict. Jelena Pejic, former Senior Legal Adviser of the ICRC-Geneva, participated in this session. Ms Pejic explained the impact of armed conflicts on human rights and the framework that international law provides for these situations. Afterwards, Ekin Akmanoğlu from UNHCR Izmir presented case studies and the participants had the opportunity to better understand the subject through practical examples. The question & answer session held in the afternoon clarified the issues that the participants wondered about what had been explained so far. The academic part of the program ended with the presentations prepared as a result of the workshop.

This year's summer school, like every year, offered participants a rich experience that provided them with theoretical knowledge on security and human rights issues as well as practical experience. It fostered the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and opened the door to future collaborations. Events of this kind help to train young professionals who will contribute to the development of more just and human rights-respecting policies in the future. We are confident that our participants will take important steps in their own fields with the knowledge and experience they have gained and put these valuable insights into practice in their home countries. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all speakers, participants and organizers for making this event a great success. Stay tuned for future events and opportunities to participate in discussions that bridge cultures and lead to positive changes in the field of security and human rights.

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