2012 Amsterdam Program

June 1

Relevance of the Holocaust, Part 1: Resistance

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Fellow introductions: bring an object that symbolizes your passion for human rights
  • “Welcome on Behalf of the Humanity in Action Netherlands Board,” Harry van den Bergh, Acting Chair of the Dutch Humanity in Action Board
  • Screening of “Süskind,” a 2012 film about resistance fighter Walter Süskind
  • “Resistance during WWII,” Doeko Bosscher, professor of Modern History at University of Groningen
  • Tour through the Jewish District with guides from the Jewish Historical Museum

June 2

Meet the Senior Fellows

  • Fellows work in groups to interview locals on a pre-assigned topic related to human rights and minority rights
  • Social event with the Dutch Senior Fellows

June 3  

Relevance of the Holocaust, Part 2: Survivors

  • Fellows work in groups to interview locals on a pre-assigned topic related to human rights and minority rights
  • Meeting and discussion with Frieda Menco, survivor of Auschwitz

June 4 

Relevance of the Holocaust, Part 3: Education 

  • Visit to the Anne Frank House, with welcome and introduction to the building by Cihan Tekeli, Senior Fellow and freelancer for the Anne Frank Foundation.
  • “Welcome on Behalf of the Anne Frank Foundation,”  Ronald Leopold, director of the Anne Frank Foundation
  • “Holocaust Education and Human Rights Education: Friends or Foes?” Barry van Driel, International Director for Teacher Training and Curriculum Development of the Anne Frank Foundation 
  • “Free2Choose  Film-Clips Workshops  for Youth” Swaan van Iterson and Spencer Heijnen, Senior Fellows
  • Screening of HIA documentary “Just People,” followed by a question and answer session with director Annegriet Wietsma
  • “The Teaching of Compassion: A Lifelong Practice,” Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp
  • Group presentations of the interviewing assignment

June 5

Colonial Past: Indonesia

Communication in Our Own Group

Immigration: Myths and Facts

Islamophobia: Stigmatization and Stereotypes

  • “The End of a 350-Year Colonial History,” Joost van Bodegom, Former Chair of Remembrance Foundation 
  • “How Do Americans and Europeans Talk (Differently)?” Ruth Oldenziel, professor of American-European Technical History at Eindhoven University of Technology
  • “Toolkit for Group Discussions,” Nienke Venema
  • “Myths About Immigration and Polarization,” Leo Lucassen, professor of Social History at Leiden University
  • “Personal or Political? Muslim Women in The Netherlands,” discussion with Semra Celebi (Senior Fellow and member of the Dutch HIA Board), Khadija Azahaf (Foundation Intercultural Alliance) and Doutje Lettinga (Senior Fellow and researcher on headscarf policies)
  • “Islamophobia in The Netherlands: What’s the Current State?” discussion with Mostafa Hilali, Major in the Dutch Army and member of the Dutch HIA Board 

June 6

Freedom of Speech: The Wilders Case

Urban Neighborhoods: Police and the Undocumented in the Bijlmer

  • “Wilders and the PVV: Views and Popularity of an Anti-Immigration Party,” Meindert Fennema, professor of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam
  • “Tolerance and the Limits of Free Speech: A Case Study,” Aart Loubert, Senior Fellow and professor of European Union law and European Constitutional law at the University of Amsterdam
  • “Unique Collaboration Between Police and Community Center:  Undocumented People in the Bijlmer,” Sidney Mutueel (policy advisor for the police), Michael Zwart (diversity project leader for the police) and Emmanuel Koney (pastor who works at the community center)

June 7


Racism in the Netherlands

  • Screening of film on Orietalism as a tool of colonialism
  • “Introduction to the Meaning of Slavery and the Presence of Racism in Present Day Society in The Netherlands,” Dienke Hondius, professor of History at VU University and member of the Dutch HIA Board
  • “Debate: Rasicm in the Netherlands,” led by Ali Al Jaberi. Feautring Dienke Hondius, Quincy Gario (Foundation Black Piet is racism), Francio Guadeloupe (researcher at the University of Amsterdam) and Amma Asante (freelance policy advisor and former member of the Dutch HIA Board)
  • “Doing History, Making Race, with DNA,” Amade M’charek, researcher at the University of Amsterdam

June 8

Turkey and Human Rights Today

Special Tour with Amsterdam Museum: Discovering Turkish Roots in Amsterdam

  • “Turkey and Human Rights: Part I,” Zihni Ozdil, lecturer and PhD Candidate at Erasmus University’s School of History, Culture and Communication
  • “Turkey and Human Rights: Part II,” discussion with Beril and Elif
  • Bike tour led by Annemarie de Wildt, Amsterdam Museum
  • View exhibition “Levantine Trade” at the Amsterdam Museum with Güneş Şahin
  • Visit Fatih Mosque
  • Visit Javastraat, Turkish vendors
  • Visit IISG, Institute for Social History to view exhibition on first Turkish Immigrants in the Netherlands
  • Visit Press Museum to view exhibition on Turkish cartoons
  • Dinner at HTIB, Turkish organisation for workers

June 9-10 

  • Days off

June 11

Bosnia and Human Rights Today

International Human Rights NGOs operating in Amsterdam

  • “Introduction to the Region and Post Conflict Situation,” Dion van den Berg, senior policy advisor at IKV Pax Christi
  • Screening of “We are All Neighbors,” a documentary by Tone Bringa
  • “Bosnia, Part II,” dicussion with Dorde and Belma
  • “Human Rights Watch: An Insider’s Perspective,” Anna Timmerman, director of Human Rights Watch The Netherlands
  • “Human Rights in The Netherlands,” workshop by Dave Hardy, project leader at Amnesty International

June 12

The Hague: City of Peace and Justice

  • Presentation on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Tribunal
  • Visit to the Dutch Parliament
  • Visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • “The Dutch Human Rights Message Abroad,” Lionel Veer, ambassador for Human Rights
  • “Dutch American Relations: Jointly Working on Human Rights,” Maryem van den Heuvel, deputy director for Human Rights, Good Governance and Humanitarian Aid
  • “Insider’s Perspective on Foreign Affairs,” Jochem de Groot, Senior Fellow and policy officer at BUZA

June 13

Refugees in the Netherlands

  • “Introducing the Current Issues Regarding Asylum Seekers/Refugees in the Netherlands,” Lenny Reesink, policymaker of Dutch asylum procedure at the Dutch Council for Refugees 
  • “The Story of How a Blind Iranian Wrestler Became a Dutch Man with a Dutch Name,” Sander Terphuis, Labour Party candidate for the upcoming elections, refugee, visually handicapped and former wrestler
  • “Sexual Orientation and the Asylum Procedure,” Louis Middelkoop, Senior Fellow and former member of a refugee legal support group
  • “Detention of Asylum Seekers in the Netherlands” and screening of documentary “Foreigners in Detention,” Susan Schutjes,  regional trainer at Amnesty International
  • “Fighting for Human Rights Within a Legal Framework,” Jelle Klaas, lawyer at Fisher Lawyers Haarlem

June 14

LGBTQ Rights

Special Needs

  • “Battles to be Fought by the Dutch LGBTQ Community in The Netherlands,” Dennis Boutkan, Chair of COC Amsterdam
  • “Freedom to Be Yourself in Morocco and The Netherlands,” personal story by Ikram Daraaoui
  • Screening of 2012 documentary “I am Muslim and Gay," followed by a question and answer session with director Chris Belloni
  • “Development and Obstacles: A Personal View of a Deaf-Blind Person,” Gijs Bruggeman, SWDA, Foundation for the Welfare of Deaf People in Amsterdam
  • Reception at the American Consulate, hosted by Consul General Julie A. Ruterbories

June 15

Women’s Rights and Gender

  • “Safe Abortion Services,” Kinga Jelinska, project manager at Women on Web
  • “An Intersectional View of Women's Rights,” Flavia Dzodan, independent blogger, media analyst and marketing consultant
  • Fellows choose report topics
  • Diversity Workshop at ING, led by Karima Belhaj, head of diversity at ING Commercial Banking
  • “A Natural History of Evil,” an evening with Zygmunt Bauman

June 16

In Action

  • Volunteer work for homeless people in Amsterdam, in cooperation with Present Foundation

June 17  

  • In groups, Fellows plan their reports 

June 18

Minorities in the Media: Insiders’ Perspectives

  • In groups, Fellows present the plan for their reports to Tino Wallaart, journalist and head of external policies at Natuurmonumenten, who offers comments, critiques and advice
  • “Insider’s Perspective on the Dutch News Show Nieuwsuur (Newshour),” focusing on the episode, “Polish workers in the Netherlands,” Jane van Laar, journalist/researcher at Newshour
  • “Documentary Making for Dutch Television: Tegenlicht,” focusing on the episode, “The Foodspeculant: Money, Grain and Revolution,” Maren Merckx (Senior Fellow and researcher at Tegenlicht) and Kees Brouwer (Tegenlicht)

June 19-21

  • Report writing

June 22


  • “The Sex Industry in Amsterdam: An Introduction,” Marie-Louise Janssen, who researches prostitution at the Anthropology Department of the University of Amsterdam
  • Tour through the Red Light District with Marie-Louise Janssen
  • “Discussing the Sex Industry and Prostitution in The Netherlands,” Marie- Louise Janssen
  • “Action! How to Organise your Action Plan?” workshop by Maina van der Zwan, national organizer and editor at International Socialists
  • Fellows view samples of Action from the Lowlands
  • Dutch Senior Fellows present their Action Plans

June 23-24

  • Days off

June 25

  • Fellows present their reports 
  • Farewell dinner with host families and fellows


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