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.
From 14 to 20 November, flags with the Geneva Academy’s logo will be flying on the Mont-Blanc Bridge on the occasion of our 15th anniversary.
The Geneva Academy team at the 2022 Mandea Moot Court – Helmer Jonelid and Edward Millett – qualified for the final rounds of the competition that will take place in Geneva from 18 to 21 July 2022.
U.S. Air Force
This panel discussion – co-organized with ICoCA – will consider the growing importance of PMCs and the role ICoCA might play in promoting human rights observance and strengthening accountability of these actors in armed conflicts.
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 online short course 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.
Dave Klassen/The EITI
This project aimed at identifying and clarifying policies and practices for states and businesses, including public and private investors, across the full ‘conflict cycle’ and the ‘protect, respect and remedy’ pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.