Alumni Activities on Climate Justice and the Rights of Future Generations

Among all the important causes that bring us together, none is more urgent than the fight for climate justice and the rights of future generations. Our collective efforts in support of climate justice and the rights of future generations began in mid-2023, and we are determined to keep this momentum going.

Read more to know about our progress so far and how you can take part. 

    Meet the Alumni Taskforce. 

    Kai Wangle- Global Campus Arab world.

    I am the coordinator for the ArMA alumni climate justice taskforce. My pursuit of human rights started in 2015 when I volunteered with an NGO helping asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesvos. After that I returned to university to deepen my academic background, obtaining a Bachelor’s in International Relations from the University of Economics in Prague followed by a Master’s in Human Rights and Democracy form the University of St Joseph in Beirut, as part of which I spent my exchange semester in Basra researching for my thesis on climate-induced migration in Southern Iraq. My main areas of interest are in the role of climate change on human mobility, climate adaptation, the pursuit of climate justice, and the question of climate and disaster displacement in existing international law.

    Nuno Oliveira, Global Campus Caucasus.

    I started my human rights journey in 2017 by volunteering in Turkey at refugee support. Since then, I have also collaborated with the British Red Cross and various NGOs in the field of humanitarian support. I deepened my academic knowledge with a Post-Graduation in Human Rights at the Faculty of Law of Coimbra, Portugal, and more recently the Master in Human Rights and Democratization at Yerevan State University, Armenia. I wrote my thesis on cyberspace and human rights defenders, and today I work as an expert consultant on cybersecurity and human rights, and as an independent researcher.

    Davina Murden- Global Campus Africa.

    I am the Alumni Coordinator for the Human Rights and Democratization in Africa Master’s Program (HRDA) at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. I am 

     


    an alumna of the HRDA Program from the Class of 2021 and I am now pursuing my doctoral degree at the Centre for Human Rights. Previously I worked as a Political Researcher in Mauritius, focusing on political systems in Africa, more specifically Southern African and Northern African countries. In the past I have also been an Environmental Ambassador for a non-governmental organization in Mauritius, African Network for Policy Research & Advocacy for Sustainability (ANPRAS). My areas of interest are mainly related to human rights, the process of democratization, African politics as well as urbanization.

     

    Loyz Suamen- Global Campus Asia Pacific.

    I am a child rights advocate and human rights defender from the Philippines. I have more than a decade of practical and grassroots experience in children’s rights advocacy, working with local NGOs such as the Tambayan Center for Children’s Rights and Save the Children Philippines. I am currently working at Bahay Tuluyan in Manila. I am passionate about children’s access to justice, juvenile justice, accountability for serious child rights violations, and realizing the rights of street children and children affected by the government’s anti-drug campaign.

    Penny Papaspyropoulou, Global Campus Europe.

    I have been focusing on freedom of expression, migration and education, either as a project manager or policy researcher, while actively participating in the environmental and just transition movements as an activist.

    Working between the civil society and the institutions (EU/UN) for over fifteen years renders I am certain that one can achieve significant change just by coming together, sharing stories and reinforcing the human bond around the pursuit of fundamental and commonly accepted goals and values. I’m an alumna of 2007 (EMA) and currently working on a project on artistic freedom and artists’ mobility.

    Melina Kalem, Global Campus South East Europe.

    I am a human rights researcher with a strong focus on environmental and children’s rights. For nearly eight years, I have taught English in secondary and higher education, witnessing the immense potential and growth of young individuals who inspired me to pursue my dreams. This led me to the European Regional Master’s in Democracy and Human Rights program (ERMA), which further solidified my passion for environmental rights.
    Outside the classroom, I actively contribute to environmental protection through research projects on climate change, climate justice, energy transition, and youth activism. Working with esteemed organizations like Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), Heinrich Boell Foundation (HBS), and National Democratic Institute (NDI), I shed light on pressing environmental issues and amplify the voices of affected young people. I am also actively engaged in training programs, volunteer initiatives, and youth networks such as the European Youth Energy Network (EYEN), striving to inspire and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world.

    Angel David Zapata, Global Campus GC Latin America & Caribbean.

    I firmly believe in education as a powerful instrument to promote people’s rights. I studied political science in Venezuela in a context of political, economic and social crisis that deepened my interest in the promotion, guarantee and defense of human rights, particularly civil and political rights. In my professional role as legislative researcher in Venezuela, I approached social protest and freedom of speech as areas of interest.

    My passion for Human rights and advocacy for freedom of speech led me to move to Buenos Aires in 2017, to continue my education in LATMA. After my masters I had the opportunity to work for organizations such as Human Rights Watch. Since 2020 I have been working as a Master’s tutor at LATMA, which motivates me to continue research, now with an approach on climate justice and the rights of future generations.

     

    I’m able to provide tools to those who have been trained in Human Rights. I am glad to know the importance of this training and high studies and being part of the Human rights movement in my region.

     

    Hazem Mizyed- Global Campus Alumni Coordinator

    As someone who witnessed a degree of human rights violations, I find utmost meaning in fighting against them. I maintain the belief in the power of the knowledgeable human consensus, and thereafter see matters in terms of communications, especially when it comes to our most common global challenge. I combine my background of psychology with that of human rights to advocate and coordinate for human rights in effective innovative ways.

    Prior to working as the GCA’s coordinator, I worked as the regional child rights coordinator at the Global Campus Arab World, and as the coordinator of the Investment Program for Resilience with UNDP in Palestine.

    The alumni taskforce includes one alumna/alumnus from each region of the Global Campus Alumni. The alumna/alumnus functions as a focal point for her/his alumni association, and helps facilitate our activities on climate justice and the rights of future generations. 

    Learn about our progress so far. 

    The Alumni Taskforce had its first meeting on the 22nd of May. In mid-July 2023, the 7 representatives of the Alumni Taskforce listened to and met with experts and inspiring individuals at the 3d edition of the Venice Global State of Human Rights Conference. This gathering included prominent figures from the UN, Council of Europe, EU, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and Right Livelihood. It was made clear that the climate crisis is inseparable from geopolitical, economic, and social crises, and climate action is intertwined with human rights action. Solutions already exist, just as many human rights mechanisms. However, they demand relentless advocacy and inclusion in every agenda. As the UN Secretary-General emphasized, Our world needs climate action on all fronts — everything, everywhere, all at once”. This is where we, as a global alumni network, see our role.

     

    After our active participation in the conference and subsequent discussions, we reached the following conclusions:

     

    1. We must inspire action and involve as many young people as possible in the climate crisis discourse. They are not just consumers of today but future decision-makers who will bear the consequences of inaction or slow action on the climate crisis. Young minds can breathe new life into the human rights discourse, rekindling its spirit by ‘recapturing imagination’ and bringing innovative approaches to old problems.

     

    1. As Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated at the conference, “We have to broaden the edges of the human rights field”. We must challenge the power of ignorance and those who exploit it, forming strong bonds with civil society. We need new norms that unite people in confronting the status quo of the climate crisis, reinvigorating human rights as a force for protecting the planet.

     

    1. It is essential to recognise environmental crimes, such as knowingly damaging ecosystems, infrastructure, and livelihoods, as well as actions leading to forced displacement, as crimes against humanity. We lend our support to the acknowledgment of ecocide as a crime against humanity and actions focused on climate litigation.

     

    1. We acknowledge the need to view mother earth as more than just a resource to be owned. Instead, we should adopt a trustee mindset, ensuring the preservation of our interconnected resources. In addition to enforcing existing laws and regulations, new ones should be enacted as we discover the interdependence between various disciplines.

     

    1. The Conference’s most potent message was to never stop fighting. Despite global pledges to address climate change, the business-as-usual model of economic growth persists. Existing laws and human rights mechanisms often lack strong implementation. Although environmental case law is advancing, execution remains slow and challenging. A focus on protecting human rights, rather than mere promotion, becomes vital at this point, as stated by conference speaker Vitit Muntarbhorn (UN Special Rapporteur on Cambodia). We must establish effective monitoring, evaluation, and accountability mechanisms like never before.

     

    As Global Campus Alumni, we commit to being an active force for learning and change.

    Our vision is clear: a healthy, sustainable planet where present and future generations live in dignity and where human rights are respected.

     

    We have since made the following commitments as Global Campus Alumni:

    • To strengthen connections among the 4000+ alumni and raise awareness about climate justice and the rights of future generations. We aim to strengthen collaboration among alumni networks worldwide, leveraging the knowledge, experience, and willingness to bring about change. Our diverse alumni are represented in governmental, non-governmental, UN agencies, international organisations, and academia, which gives us a unique opportunity to advocate more effectively for human rights.
    • To mobilise our alumni as agents of change, empowering them to identify and address climate justice challenges at local, regional and global levels. To lead concrete actions that create meaningful impact; this can be achieved through capacity building, sharing experiences, and engaging with GC experts, Right Livelihood Laureates, and beyond.
    • To build upon diversity, inspirations and successes in our alumni network to further climate justice and the rights of future generations, giving the space for alumni with diverse specialisations (music, painting, photography, etc), to contribute their unique perspectives and talents. We believe in the power of both individual and collective action.

      To read the alumni outcome document, please follow this link. 

       

     

    Take part. 

    As Global Campus Alumni, we stand together for human rights. The spirit of taking initiative and putting human rights foward is at the core of what we do. We aim to be collaborative and encouraging of the alumni participation in all regions of the Global Campus and beyond. We hope to engage people and partners beyond the alumni. 

    If you are interested in joining our activities on climate justice and the rights of future generations, please do not hesitate to fill this form. We will get back to you around September/October after the Task Force has validated the action plan.