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Master of Human Rights program students who just presented their practicum prapers and thesis reports pose for a group photo

Master of Human Rights students presented their work both in-person and online at the 2024 Symposium at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights MTS Classroom.

Master of Human Rights program 2024 Symposium showcases research on important topics

Combination of practicum placements and research papers form solid education and experience in human rights progress

February 9, 2024 — 

The Master of Human Rights program’s annual Symposium took place on Wednesday, January 25, 2024 at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The symposium gives students enrolled in both the interdisciplinary graduate degree’s practicum and thesis streams an opportunity to present their research and share field experience gained from their respective placement sites.

Twelve students presented their work in four different panels organized in topics including Gender and Human Rights, Indigenous and Minority Rights, New Horizons in Human Rights, and Migration, Displacement and Human Rights.

“The Symposium is a great chance for students to share and receive feedback on their research,” said Dr. Kjell Anderson, Director of the MHR program. “It’s also a way for our program to connect with the broader Winnipeg human rights community, who are crucial partners in our community of human rights research and practice.”

Evandro Andrade did his practicum with Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW) and worked with his advisor, Faculty of Law Professor, Dr. Amar Khoday to develop his major research paper, “The Impact of Sanctuary City Policies on Healthcare Access for Immigrants in Winnipeg.” Formerly an Intelligence Analyst at the Brazilian Intelligence Agency and an International Assistant Advisor at the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Brazil, Andrade explored Canada’s decentralized health rights system in his paper. He also reviewed Winnipeg’s Newcomer Welcome and Inclusion Policy, contrasting different Sanctuary City Policy (SCP) implementations globally. His aim was to bridge the gap between International Human Rights Law, International Refugee Law, and public policy, underscoring the need for comprehensive strategies that align with international commitments.

Erin Gobert, who currently works as a Research Coordinator at Research and Education for Solutions to Violence and Abuse (RESOLVE), is in the MHR program’s thesis stream and is completing her thesis on “Human Rights and Reproductive Health Care in Rural, Remote, and Northern Manitoba.” With guidance from her advisor Dr. Linda Larcombe of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, she is studying whether there are human rights violations regarding reproductive health care in rural, remote, and northern (RRN) Manitoba.

Nabil Iqbal, who practiced law in India with a specialization in Human Rights, already has experience contributing to constitutional and human rights cases. He interned at the National Human Rights Commission and in the MHR program, is working with supervisor Dr. Nathan Derejko, Mauro Chair in Human Rights and Social Justice, on a thesis regarding “Refining Legal Frameworks for Cross-border Climate-Induced Displacement: A Comprehensive Analysis of Provisions, Definitions, and New Arrangements under International Law.” Iqbal’s work aims to offer a comprehensive overview of existing legal protections, propose a refined and universally applicable term, namely, “climate refugee,” and present innovative legal arrangements. His overall goal is to contribute to the discourse on cross-border climate-induced displacement of persons in international law.

Yuri Suzuki completed her practicum at the Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties (MARL) and presented her major research paper, “Toward Equality: Exploring the Dowa Education’s Role in Overcoming Buraku Discrimination in Japan.” Suzuki has a background in working in the field of children’s rights and her advisor is Dr. Adam Muller, Department of English, Faculty of Arts. Suzuki’s paper’s concern is discrimination in Japan against the Burakumin people, who are racially and ethnically Japanese but have historically been considered “unclean.”  To address this systematic discrimination, Dowa education was implemented in Japan in 1969, involving initiatives that required schools to teach children about the Buraku problem, fostering understanding and promoting equality.

Students invited family and friends to attend as well as practicum mentors and thesis advisors. About 18 individuals also attended the event online including professors, advisors, mentors, alumni, and practicum placement staff who were unable to attend in-person. Attendees who joined in-person included University of Manitoba professors from the Faculties of Social Work, Law, Arts (the Department of History), and Medicine, as well as representatives from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the Human Rights Hub, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and members of the public. 

Students in the practicum stream undertake work placements with leading local and international human rights organizations to gain practical, hands-on experience doing human rights work. Recent graduates are sometimes offered paid employment with their practicum organization following the completion of their hours. Students in the thesis stream work with an advisory committee whose members are experts in their corresponding thesis topic and help guide the student through the intensive research required to complete their research.

Topics ranged from access to healthcare policies for immigrants to climate-change refugees to incorporating Indigenous knowledge into Human Rights Policy. Women’s rights and Medical Assistance in Dying were also significant topics covered.

Practicum placements and topics presented were grouped in themes as follows:

Gender and Human Rights

Erin Gobert

Thesis title: “Human Rights and Reproductive Health Care in Rural, Remote, and Northern Manitoba”

Chloe Vickar

Practicum site: PERIOD

Paper title: “It’s a Privilege to Bleed: A Human Rights Analysis of Menstrual Equity at Canadian Universities”

Bryn Pfeifer

Practicum site: RESOLVE

Paper title: “Intimate Partner Violence and Migration Through the Lense of International Human Rights Law: A Policy Review of Canada and the United Kingdom.”

Indigenous and Minority Rights

Ken Mangako

Practicum Site: National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Paper title: “On Canada’s Commitment to UNDRIP: An Assessment of Canada’s UNDRIP Act and Judicial Measures on the Recognition and Reconciliation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Ana Martin

Practicum Site: National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Paper title: “Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into Human Rights Policy: A Framework for Better Equity and Rights Protection.”

Michelle (Yuri) Suzuki

Practicum Site: Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties (MARL)

Paper title: “Toward Equality: Exploring the Dowa Education’s Role in Overcoming Buraku Discrimination in Japan”

New Horizons in Human Rights

Trixie Maybituin

Thesis title: “Applying the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights’ Article 2(1) Obligations to Winnipeg’s Municipal Budget”

Fatemeh Shabani

Thesis title: “A Perspective-Based Approach to Human Rights”

Marisa Ranieri

Practicum site: Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba; Department of Justice Studies, University of Regina

Paper title: “Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) While Incarcerated vs Compassionate Release: A Comprehensive Analysis+ of “Dying with Dignity” within the Canadian Carceral System”

Migration, Displacement and Human Rights

Evandro Andrade

Practicum site: Immigration Partnership Winnipeg

Paper title: “The Impact of Sanctuary City Policies on Healthcare Access for Immigrants in Winnipeg”

Lily (Faezeh) Barzegari

Practicum site: Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Paper title: “Advocating for Labour Mobility and Permanent Residency for Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers from an International Human Rights Law Perspective”

Nabil Iqbal

Thesis title: “Refining Legal Frameworks for Cross-border Climate-Induced Displacement: A comprehensive Analysis of Provisions, Definitions, and New Arrangements under International Law.”

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