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Season 5 Episode 7 – Dalit Rights Matter: The Fight for Equality and the Long Road Ahead

Our conversation this week turns to the question of Dalit rights in India, assessing the progress that has been made and what further change must come. To discuss this, we are thrilled to be joined by Dr. Sumeet Mhaskar from Jindal Global University. An Associate Professor at the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, Dr. Mhaskar’s research takes in the experiences and vulnerabilities of workers both specifically in Mumbai and across the Indian nation. He talks with our podcast host Muna and panellist Akshata about the everyday persecution and discrimination Dalits still face, the failure of political and legal reforms to fight the Dalit cause and what the international community can do to bring about meaningful and long-lasting change. 

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Season 5 Episode 6 – #NoRightsNoGames: The Uyghur Genocide & the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games

This week, host Muna Gasim and producer Sam Baron are joined by Zumretay Arkin, the Program and Advocacy Manager at the World Uyghur Congress, an umbrella organization based Berlin, Germany that advocates for the rights of Uyghur people, an ethnic group from the province of Xinjiang in Northwest China. Despite the severe human rights abuses taking place against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China, Beijing remains the host of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which has vast political and humanitarian implications. Muna, Sam, and Zumretay discuss the atrocities being committed against the Uyghur people, the political power of the Olympics, and how governments, corporations, athletes, journalists, and citizens can take action.

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Season 5 Episode 5 -The #EndSARS Protests, Part 2: Women in Activism, Social Media, and the Road Ahead in Nigeria

This week, for the second in our two-part series focusing on the #EndSARS Movement, we are joined by three powerful activists working to end police brutality and abuse of power in Nigeria: Aisha Yesufu, Vome Aghoghovbia-Gafaar, and Lola Omolola. Our guests share stories about living in fear under SARS, insights about the power of the #EndSARS protests, and their visions for Nigeria’s future

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Season 5 Episode 4 -The Sudanese Revolution: Women’s Rights and the Power of Social Media

For our first episode of 2021 we return to the 2018-19 Sudanese Revolution that overthrew Omar al-Bashir and his National Congress Party. Joined by Dinan Alasad and Aida Abbashar, the conversation highlights the course of the revolution, the importance of international attention and the mobilising and uprising of Sudan’s youth. Our guests identify both the power of social media movements such as #BlueForSudan and #BlueForMattar as well as reminding us that, in areas like women’s rights, the story is far from complete. 

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We Need to Talk: The Climate Crisis with Daze Aghaji

The topic of conversation this week is the ongoing climate crisis and our urgent need to act. We are joined by the remarkable Daze Aghaji, a university student and high-profile climate justice activist who has fought to combat the climate emergency at an international level. The climate crisis has the potential to impact all aspects of our lives and Daze urges us to tackle the issue, not just environmental grounds, but on social and cultural levels as well.

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Season 5 Episode 3 -Understanding the #EndSARS Protests, Part 1: Anti-Corruption and Political Power in Nigeria

This week, in partnership with Global Integrity, we are joined by Dr. Jackie Harvey of Northumbria University and Dr. Pallavi Roy of SOAS University of London to discuss the structures of political power in Nigeria and the underlying systems of corruption that culminated in the protests of the #EndSARS movement. This episode is the first in a two-part series focusing on human rights abuses in Nigeria and the protests fighting to #EndSARS and end police brutality.

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Season 5 Episode 2 – “Call it Genocide”: The Rohingya Crisis in Conversation with Dan Sullivan and Tun Khin

In the second episode of Season 5, we are joined by Dan Sullivan, the senior advocate for human rights at Refugees International, and Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK to discuss the situation of the persecuted Rohingya minority in the context of Myanmar’s second general election, an event overshadowed by electoral events in the United States.

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Season 5 Episode 1 – Welcome to Season 5

In the first episode of Season 5, our new team of panellists sets the stage for a broader discussion of human rights under threat. Through their experience with human rights issues in NGO work, academia as well as their personal lives, they problematise some aspects of human rights while highlighting its immense potential for positive change. This season, the theme of the podcast is “In the Firing Line”, where we will invite all of those at the forefront of change within the human rights movement to share their experiences and provide a dialogue around the very principles of human rights itself.

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We Need to Talk: The Prison Industrial Complex

In this episode, we focus on giving you the history of the continuous injustices faced by black individuals at the hands of the police, from the ending of slavery, to the Jim Crow laws and segregation, to the war on drugs and today’s for-profit prisons and the disproportionate number of black people in them. There’s a lot to cover in this episode and we will try to give you as concise and clear of an explanation as possible, but the learning does not stop and should not stop here. We highly encourage you to please check out the resources that we have listed on our website, we include books as well as documentaries and social media accounts you can follow for more information.

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Season 4 Episode 10 – Wet’suwet’en Strong: Indigenous Land Rights in Canada

This episode discusses the Unist’ot’en campaign to protect their land and preserve it for future generations. In 2010, the Unist’ot’en began constructing a cabin within their territory in the exact place where three companies, TC Energy, Enbridge, and Pacific Trails, intended to build pipelines. Their campaign has faced hostility and violence, including from the government of Canada, and its national police force, the RCMP. Most recently, TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink project was backed by the RCMP in an attempt to gain access to the Unist’ot’en camp. To the dismay of Coastal GasLink and Canada’s colonial government, the camp has also received immense support both locally and internationally, with solidarity blockades of Canada’s railroad threatening to shut Canada down. 

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Season 4 Episode 9 – Forced Labour in China’s Prisons: A Conversation with Peter Humphrey

In December, a six year old British girl buys cheap Christmas cards from Tesco for her friends. Suddenly, she turns to her dad and says: “Daddy, someone has already written in this one”. What he finds is a cry for help from a Chinese prisoner forced to manufacture the cards. In this episode we talk to Peter Humphrey, who was himself wrongly incarnated in the Shanghai prison where the Christmas card was manufactured. This episode touches on the conditions of forced labour in Chinese prisons, corporate social responsibility and the steps consumers can take to stop such grave human rights violations from happening. 

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Season 4 Episode 8 – The Immigrant ‘Race’: Part 2 with Jacinta Gonzales

In this episode we are joined by Jacinta Gonzales, a Senior Campaign Organizer with Mijente, to discuss her current activism against hostile environments in the US. After bringing to the forefront the racial processes underpinning the Ellis Island legacy, our panellists and guest discuss the intersection of technology and state infrastructure in targeting and detaining immigrants at the US border. 

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Season 4 Episode 6 – The Immigrant “Race”: Part 1 with Maya Goodfellow

In this episode we interview Maya Goodfellow, author of ‘Hostile Environments: How Immigrants became Scapegoats’ for the first part of our series on about the racialization of immigration. In this enlightening and extremely topical episode, we discuss security security discourses of the ‘scary’ migrant, racial capitalism and the racialization of citizenship.

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Season 4 Episode 5: Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities: A Right or Privilege?

In this episode, we discuss the provision and effectiveness of existing laws aimed to protect the rights of people with disabilities. We are joined by two guests, both students at British universities who have themselves experienced the marginalisation and discrimination that is imposed on persons with disabilities – sometimes unconsciously. The podcast touches on issues of positive discrimination, intersectionality and ‘invisible’ disabilities. 

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Season 4 Episode 4 – Kashmir: caught in a cross-fire

In Kashmir, thousands of people are living in constant fear of detention and unrest. These conditions are part of a long history of struggle between India and Pakistan over the semi-autonomous state. Recent developments, including the repealment of Article 370 and the communication blackout, have further worsened conditions, leading to serious human rights infringements. This episode gives insight into the complex historical and political processes at play as well as how the everyday lives of Kashmiris are affected. 

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S4 E2 – Investigating Raqqa: Amnesty’s inquiry into the coalition’s military campaign

From June to October 2017, the US-led Coalition launched an aggressive and highly destructive military campaign in Raqqa, Syria to oust the so-called “Islamic State” from the city. Amnesty International and the Digital Verification Corps came to Queens’ College, Cambridge for the opening of an exhibition featuring photographs, interactive screens, and even a Virtual Reality experience. This episode of Declarations explores the event, giving you an insight into the panel discussions and visitors’ impression, and thus uncovers a unique perspective on the impacts of the ongoing Syrian conflict.

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S4 E1 – Welcome to Season 4

In the first episode of this seasons’ Declarations podcasts, the new team of panellists sets the stage for a discussion of some of the human rights issues that do not receive enough attention. The podcast gives rise to a dialogue around the very principles of human rights, informed by the panellists diverse geographical backgrounds and personal interests. Through their experience with human rights issues in NGO work, academia as well as their personal lives, they problematise some aspects of human rights while highlighting its immense potential for positive change. 

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S3 E8 – Organ harvesting and trafficking of Chinese minorities

This episode explores the issue of organ trafficking and transplant abuse in China, with a particular focus on its impact on minority groups. The first part of the podcast gives insight into  some of the practical aspects of Dr. Matas’ research on the rapidly growing business. We then consider the ways in which the UK and the rest of the world is implicated in these grave human rights abuses. 

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S3 E7 – Change in the Niger Delta: Oil extraction, Greased Palms, and Petro-Capitalism

West African oil is of increasing strategic importance globally, and Nigeria— the largest producer in the region —is at the centre of this petro-capitalist industry. In this episode of Declarations, Dr Elias Courson is in conversation with Mary-Jean Nleya andL’myah Ross-Walcott. Together, they explore the history and contemporarysignificance of the Niger Delta for Nigerian politics and petro-capitalism.

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S3 E6 – Race, Political Representation, and Human Rights in the United Kingdom (with Simon Woolley)

As Operation Black Vote turns 24 years old this year, Simon Woolley begins the podcast by reflecting on the organization’s history. Woolley frames his work as a continuation of the work of the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, seeking to change legal and political institutions shaped by white supremacy. Operation Black Vote, in Woolley’s words, wants communities to be able to demand equality and rights, not just ask for them.