8 February 2021
In this interview, Hannah-Milena Elias, currently enrolled in our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ), tells about the programme and life in Geneva.
My name is Hannah-Milena and I was born in Germany, where I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Governance and Public Policy from the University of Passau. Over the course of the past six years, I have been active in the field of refugee rights and sea rescue in my community and nationally. Separately, I have worked and volunteered in the Colombian context on the questions of protection of human rights defenders and former child soldiers.
In my free time, I enjoy preparing different spreads and baking all kinds of cakes. If the weather allows it, I love cycling around the beautiful Geneva countryside.
Having grown up in Germany, I could see what role the country plays on the international scene, both today and in the past – between humanitarian aid and weapon production and exportation. Putting economic interests often above everything else is not limited to Germany and makes a human rights-based justice system all the more relevant today.
I really enjoy the open teaching environment and in particular the dedication of professors to create spaces for mutual learning, as well as their willingness to provide additional discussion sessions. Moreover, the interaction with such a diverse and interesting student body makes this experience priceless.
Yes! Having the opportunity to learn and hear from exceptional professors and young activists and academics alike gives rise to questions and self-reflections that one is usually not confronted with. Challenging one’s own conceptions and believes is, in my opinion, an essential part of engaging in the human rights field and should be a never-ending process. For me, this process has continued here at the Geneva Academy.
The current pandemic leaves many open questions for the time after graduation. However, I plan to continue working in the field of refugee rights, focusing on the obligations of European states, and stay closely connected to my on-going activism. And maybe Geneva will keep me for a little bit longer.
Big, old trees always make me remember how deeply rooted we are in our societies and how much we depend on every aspect of it to make a change. Sometimes we might think we stand alone, as the trees on the shore of Lac Leman, but we should not forget that there are numerous factors that constantly help us grow and remind us of our interrelation to other living beings and nature.
European Action External Service
Sima Samar, former Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, will deliver the keynote speech at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
Ten years after the entry into force of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, The Work of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances takes stock of what the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances has achieved and details its jurisprudence as it stands today.
Jason Dent, Unsplash
We look forward to welcoming our graduating students, their friends, families and our professors to the 2021 Graduation Ceremony.
UN Photo/Manuel Elias
This IHL Talk, co-organized with the International Peace Institute (IPI), aims at contrasting approaches to, and decision-making on, humanitarian affairs in the relevant multilateral fora in New York and Geneva.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
Francisco Proner / Farpa/ CIDH
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, aims at presenting the institutions and procedures in charge of the implementation of international human rights law.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
A series of events aimed at discussing contemporary issues and challenges related to the promotion and protection of human rights in Geneva and beyond.