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.
Applications for the 2023–2024 academic year of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law are open. They will run until 27 January 2023 for applications with a scholarship and until 24 February 2023 for applications without a scholarship.
A one-day consultation aimed at discussing with a variety of experts the challenges, opportunities and best practices arising from an increased reliance on open source information in accountability processes.
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.
This online short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
This research aimed at taking stock of and contributing to a better understanding of the above-mentioned challenges to the principle of universality of human rights while also questioning their validity.