Event information

25-26 November 2021
Register start 30 September 2021
Register end 25 November 2021


Agenda >

2021 Human Rights Week Scientific Colloquium: Discrimination and Inequalities


Colorful hands paining Colorful hands paining

While discriminations and inequalities have always been a subject of international concern, the trend in recent years indicates an increase rather than a decrease of the phenomenon. This tendency has been further aggravated by the COVID 19 pandemic, despite the fact that the prohibition of discrimination is well-entrenched in international human rights law and appears high on the agenda of the international community.

The two-day Scientific Colloquium of the 2021 Human Rights Week will explore the different facets of discrimination and inequalities and will discuss their human rights impact in our contemporary world. Experts, academics, and practitioners as well as young scholars will discuss four main issues:

  • Discriminations against specific groups and in relation to specific rights
  • Discriminations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and inequalities in accessing the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Discrimination in armed conflicts, counter-terrorism, and states of emergencies;
  • Algorithmic discrimination.

About the Human Rights Week

The Human Rights Week is one of the key events in Geneva that addresses contemporary challenges and issues in the field of human rights. The 2021 edition will discuss – via conferences, debates, film screenings, exhibitions, artistic performances, and the scientific colloquium – the question of discrimination and inequalities.

During one week, experts, practitioners, artists, students, academics, diplomats, and civil society representatives will exchange around this issue, debate, identify solutions and raise awareness about ongoing discriminatory practices and inequalities.

This major event is organized by the University of Geneva, in partnership with the Geneva Academy, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights and Les Créatives.

About The Scientific Colloquium

The Scientific Colloquium has been organized by the Scientific Committee of the Human Rights Week, whose members are:

  • Gloria Gaggioli, President of the Scientific Committee, Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • Nicolas Levrat, President of the Human Rights Week, Director of the Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva
  • Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, Director of the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights, University of Geneva
  • Frédéric Bernard, Faculty of Law, University of Geneva
  • Victor Fernandez, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Philip Jaffé, Professor at the Centre for Children’s Rights Studies
  • Felix Kirchmeier, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • Christophe Spenlé, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of International Law
  • Mara Tignino, Geneva Water Hub, University of Geneva.


Sima Samar at the conference News

Sima Samar Will Deliver the Keynote Speech at the Geneva Human Rights Platform 2021 Annual Conference

21 September 2021

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.

Read more

Tegucigalpa, Central Park. Pedestrians are looking at portraits of missing persons, during the International Day of Missing Persons. News

New Publication Takes Stock of the Achievements and Jurisprudence of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances

14 September 2021

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.

Read more

Logo of the Atlas Network Event

Women's Perspectives on a Career in International Law

14 December 2021, 15:00-16:15

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.

Read more


Ending Coercive Interrogation: The New Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering

10 December 2021, 17:30-19:00

This event – co-organized with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) – will discuss the new Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering – also known as the Méndez Principles.

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

9 March - 13 April 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Read more

Prison visit by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Haiti Short Course

The Implementation of International Human Rights Law

16 December - 14 January 2022

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.

Read more

Human Rights Commission, VCalparaiso, Chile Project

The Role of National Human Rights Systems in the Implementation of International Human Rights Standards and Recommendations

Started in March 2020

This project aims to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses affecting different National Human Rights Systems.

Read more

First annual conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform Project

The Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Started in June 2019

Read more

cover of the publication Publication

Promoting Quality Independent and Diverse Treaty Body Membership

published on November 2021

Claire Callejon

Read more