Portrait of Juan Daniel Salazar
6 February 2020
A Colombian lawyer from Medellin specialized in human rights, international humanitarian law and transitional justice, Juan Daniel Salazar graduated in 2018 from our Masters of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and Rule of Law (MTJ). After teaching courses on human rights and transitional justice in two Colombian universities, he is now the Head of Cooperation and Strategic Alliances at Colombia’s National Center of Historical Memory (CNMH).
The CNMH is the national state institution in charge of the symbolic reparations for the victims of the Colombian armed conflict by guaranteeing the right to truth, both in its individual and collective dimensions and fostering guarantees of non-recurrence while upholding the duty of memorialization of the State. Such measures are necessary to rebuild the social tissue torn by the patterns of violence in a conflict that has lasted more than half a century. We are a platform through which the voices of the victims can be heard through recognition and dignification initiatives.
As Head of Cooperation and Strategic Alliances, my responsibilities imply two main tasks. I am in charge of developing cooperation strategies or alliances in order to amplify our work through strategic partners (NGOs, international or regional organizations, international cooperation agencies, universities, think tanks, and the private sector among others). I am also responsible for positioning the work of the CNMH at both the national and international levels through different exchange initiatives.
One of the biggest strengths of the programme is its multidisciplinary and holistic approach to the field of transitional justice. Such criteria involve both students and teachers, enriching the academic experience through exposure to different fields and backgrounds.
Having professors from such different backgrounds and approaches provide incommensurable benefit to the programme. Both theoretical and practical perspectives are fostered constantly in order to develop students’ critical analysis.
Studying with so many people from different parts of the world and professional backgrounds was one of the main highlights of my time in Geneva. Sharing with them their experiences has made me a better lawyer and human being.
I will always remember fondly our class trip to Nuremberg, the practical perspectives provided by Professor Unger, the passion of Professor Garibian or the profound questionings generated by Professor Mani (just to mention a few).
Studying at the Geneva Academy helped me acquire specialized knowledge in a field which is extremely relevant for the context of my country. The programme also gave me tools and skills to better understand the Colombian armed conflict as well as the ways of contributing to its transformation as a path to reconciliation.
I am constantly using the knowledge acquired in the MTJ in my job, from basic concepts to elucidate frameworks and principles to having the skills to be proactive engaging internal and external stakeholders in processes related to symbolic reparations.
Definitely. The whole experience was absolutely inspiring, enrichening and transformative.
Despite confinement, social distancing and a programme that is now entirely online, students managed to pursue, albeit remotely, their precious interactions, discussions and social life.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Following the easing of lockdown measures announced by the Swiss Federal Council, the Geneva Academy will gradually reopen its doors from Monday, 8 June.
In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
This online course will examine the protection afforded by international human rights law in these contexts, with a specific focus on the right to peaceful assembly – which is at the heart of such movements –, and the right to life – which is often violated during such transitional moments.
This online course aims at unpacking the nature and scope of international human rights law in transitional contexts.
Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy