2012 Berlin Program

The theme for the 2012 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Berlin was "International Migration and its Consequences: A Human Rights Perspective." A group of 20 university students and recent graduates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and the United States explored historic and contemporary human rights issues related to migration. The program concluded with the Humanity in Action International Conference in Sarajevo, bringing together more than 250 participants from Europe and the United States.

See program agenda | results | testimonials | supporters

June 1

Welcome to Berlin

  • Introduction to the Program by Antje Scheidler (Program Director), Florian Druckenthaner (Program Coordinator) and Emin Eminagic (Intern)
  • Exploration of Memorial Sites in Berlin
  • "Germany: An Introduction" presentation by Henry Alt-Haaker, HIA Senior Fellow and Board Member
  • Welcome reception with Dr. Dirk Schmalenbach, Humanity in Action Chair, Senior Fellows, Board Members and friends of HIA    

June 2

History and Identity in Germany

  • Agreeing on Ground Rules for Discussions and Debriefing Sessions, led by Emin Eminagic (Intern)
  • “Bring an Object,” Discussion of Personal Experiences of the Participants
  • "Germany and its Quest for Identity" presentation by Dr. Joachim Baur, Historian / Die Exponauten
  • Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted under the National Socialist Regime led by Anne Stalfort, Humanity in Action / TransInterQueer e. V.
  • Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Guided Tour
  • Group discussion

June 4

Remembering the Holocaust – Authentic Places & Memorial Sites

  • Discussion of fellows' expectations
  • Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen, guided tour with Russell Alt
  • "Murder and Massmurder in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp" Exhibition and The "Station Z" Memorial
  • Group discussion

June 5

Immigration to Germany: World War II to Present

  • "Germany: Its Path to an Immigration Country," presentation by Dr. Mechthild Baumann, Institute for Migration and Security Studies
  • Immigrant Neighborhood Walks in District of Kreuzberg
  • Group discussion at Kreuzberg Museum, Adalbertstraße 95a, 10999 Berlin

June 6

Immigration, Integration: Achievements and Challenges

  • "Challenges and Achievements in Current Immigration and Integration Policy," presentation by Özcan Mutlu, Member of the House of Representatives Berlin, Alliance 90/Greens
  • "The Implementation of the European Equality Directives in Germany," presentation by Karl Möhl, Deputy Head of Public Relations, Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency
  • "Othering and Stereotyping in the Media," presentation by Prof. Süheyla Schroeder, Bahcesehir University / University of Potsdam
  • Group discussion

June 7

Migration & the Health Care System / Migration & the Labour Market

  • "Migrants and the Health Care System in Germany," presentation by Dr. Elif Cindik, Psychiatrist / Deputy Chair of the Turkish Community in Germany
  • Workshop: Migration and the Labour Market led by Dr. Dita Vogel, Migration Expert, Network Migration in Europe e. V.

June 8

“One can immigrate to a country but not to its past.” (Zafer ┼×enocak)

  • "Education & Migration," presentation by Prof. Viola Georgi, Free University Berlin, Intercultural Education
  • "Teaching German History in a Multiethnic Classroom," presentation by Prof. Viola Georgi, Free University Berlin, Intercultural Education
  • Group discussion
  • Introduction to the Educational Approach of the Anne Frank Centre and Visiting the Exhibition

June 10

Divided Germany – United Germany

  • Guided tour of Memorial Site Berlin Wall
  • German Parliament – “The German Bundestag” presentation

June 11

Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism

  • Screening of the film “Where are you from from?”
  • "The Black Community in Germany," presentation by Ekpenyong Ani, ADEFRA (Association of Black Women in Germany)
  • Panel Discussion: "Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism in Everyday Life in Germany?"

           Ekpenyong Ani, ADEFRA (Association of Black Women in Germany)
           Lina Jukonyte, Citizens of Europe Association
           Ori Ginat, Human Resources, Deutsche Bank
           Moderator: Sera Choi, German Institute for Human Rights

  • Group discussion
  • "Introduction to Right-Wing Extremism in Germany" presentation and Senior Fellow Project  “Mitte gegen Rechts,” with Anna-Delia Papenberg (HIA Senior Fellow)

June 12

Jewish Life in Germany

  • Working Groups: The Role of Religion in our Societies
  • Group discussion
  • "Jewish Immigration to Germany – Jewish Life in Germany Today," presentation by Boris Moshkovits, Editor-in-chief/Publisher of the Magazine "Berliner"
  • Guided tour of Jewish Museum, Judaism, Christianity and Islam: A Cultural Historical Comparison or Berlin Transit: Jewish Migrants from Eastern Europe in the 1920s
  • "Antisemitism in Germany," presentation by Sergey Lagodinsky, Head of Department EU/North America, Heinrich Böll Foundation / HIA Board Member

June 13

Muslim Life in Germany

  • "Introduction: Simulations" led by Simon Raiser and Björn Warkalla (planpolitik)
  • Simulation “Building a Mosque in Town”
  • "Visible vs. Invisible Muslims: Personal Observations" discussion:
    Moderator: Florian Druckenthaner (Program Coordinator)
    Participants: Jasamin Ulfat, HIA Senior Fellow / Researcher University Duisburg/Essen and Tuba Bozkurt (Student, Technical University Darmstadt)
  • Group discussion

June 14

Human Trafficking, Labor Exploitation and Undocumented Migration

  • "Close-Up: Trafficking in Persons in Germany," presentation by Dr. Nivedita Prasad, Ban Ying Counseling and Coordination Center against Trafficking in Persons
  • Briefing: Workshop on the UN Human Rights System led by Dr. Nivedita Prasad
  • Group discussion
  • "Living in the Shadows: An Insight into the Situation of Irregular Migrants in Germany," presentation by Vesela Kovacheva, Researcher, Hamburg Institute of International Economics
  • Exhibition “Clandestine”, Pictures by Christian Vium (Optional)

June 15

Seeking Asylum in Germany

  • "Seeking Asylum in Germany," presentation by Nele Allenberg, Legal Advisor, Evangelische Kirche Deutschland
  • "Denying Asylum – A Human Rights Perspective," a conversation with Christian Herwartz, Initiative "Ordensleute gegen Ausgrenzung"
  • Group discussion

June 16

 A Day Out with the Senior Fellows

June 18


Group A: Developing Simulations on Human Rights Dilemmas

  • Introduction to Simulation Methodology, Simon Raiser (planpolitik)
  • Brainstorming on Simulation Scenarios
  • Presentation of Scenarios
  • Group work

Group B: Using the UN Human Rights System

  • Individual research
  • "How can laypersons use the UN Human Rights System?" presentation by Dr. Nivedita Prasad, Lecturer, Alice Salomon Hochschule

June 19


Group A: Developing Simulations on Human Rights Dilemmas

  • Work on Game Concepts, Simon Raiser (planpolitik)
  • Presentation of simulation concepts plus feedback

Group B: Using the UN Human Rights System

  • Workshop with Dr. Nivedita Prasad, Lecturer, Alice Salomon Hochschule

June 20

Human Rights and Migration

  • "Human Rights and Migration," presentation by Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid
  • Meeting with Judith Goldstein, Founder and Executive Director of Humanity in Action

June 20 - 24

Group Work

June 24


Group A: Developing Simulations on Human Rights Dilemmas

  • Feedback on Simulation Manuals, with Björn Warkalla (planpolitik)

Groups A and B

  • "Three to Tango: Reflections on Bosnia and Herzegowina," led by Jasmin Hasic, HIA Senior Fellow
  • Screening of film, "Remake"
  • Group discussion

June 25 - 26

Presentation of Results

  • Testing the Simulation Games and Presentations by the UN Group
  • Closing Remarks, Dr. Dirk Schmalenbach, Chair HIA Germany
  • Farewell Reception with Host Families and Guests

June 27

Departure for HIA International Conference in Sarajevo



The results of this project are published here:

Simulation (Teaching Tool): Diversity in the Police Force

Simulation (Teaching Tool): The Fairest System of All: Challenges in Education Reform

Article: A Critique of the Evolving US-ICC Relationship

Article: Racial Profiling in Germany: Is LEcraft vs. Spain applicable?

Article: Stateless, Silenced and Subordinated - The Situation of Roma in Bosnia and Herzegowina


“The Humanity in Action Berlin program, has given me a fully new perception of today’s Human rights issues in connection with the German history. Coming from Ukraine, I value Humanity in Action as an exceptional opportunity for open discussions between Americans and Europeans. One month of meetings and workshops every day strengthened my desire to be active in building and developing democracies and tolerance in the future.” Tamara Demydenko, Ukraine

“During that month, I was in a state of perpetual amazement with the amount of things to be learned through this program. Here, I am not referring only to the things said by our excellent guides, lecturers, teachers etc. Big part of the knowledge I now appreciate most, came from spending time in such an international environment, discussing various topics with respect to different contexts and experiences. I was also immensely inspired by fellow participants who shared some amazing personal experiences about their attempts to cope with injustices in their social environment. Their motivation, strength and hope help me believe in the power of change in a country where most people gave up this hope.” Ana Jugo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

“The HIA programme created awareness about burning issues in my own country. But it also taught us, that many problems are very similar in the different participant’s countries and that therefore also action can look similar and even can be coordinated globally.” Annette Mehlhorn, Germany

“As a law student and future lawyer, my solutions to the problems we face—and the vernacular used to describe them—often looked and sounded different from those that my pre-med student or middle school teacher friends, for example, would discuss. But therein lay a good part of the value of the program for me—forcing myself to leave the land of dry case law and legal procedure and to go think of solutions in new ways, looking through new lenses. Humanity in Action made me look at my own coursework and my craft anew, as a tool for good, which I could see played out in the Nuremburg trials and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Geneva Conventions, and tort actions used to vindicate human rights. At base, I left the one-month program confident not only that law will be the tool I use to make that change, but also that my friends will make an equal impact in their respective fields—and that we desperately need all of these efforts.” Amanda Shelton, United States

“The program provided me with a differentiated view on Germany. The historical part in the first week was very exhausting for me, being confronted with some of the cruelness of recent German history. At the same time it was a great opportunity to reflect on the “German” culture of remembrance. We had very inspiring speakers and enriching discussion. Moving forward in the program, we focused on more current issues. Looking at migration in the German context in an international group opened up completely new aspects for me. Comparing the problems migrants face in Germany to other countries was very interesting.” Dominik Köhler, Germany

“The 2012 Berlin program was one of the most formative experiences of my academic and professional career. The location of the program provided rich historical context for the analysis of current minority rights issues. Problems facing peoples with migration backgrounds were better understood in contrast with those that minority populations grappled with in the past. HIA - an academic and personal opportunity unrivaled in its scope and mission- was a tremendously humbling and gratifying experience that will serve me well in whatever endeavors I may pursue.” William Eye, United States

Program Supporters

"International Migration and its Consequences: A Human Rights Perspective"was generously supported by:

  • Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Auswärtiges Amt (Federal Republic of Germany, Federal Foreign Office)
  • Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (Stiftung "Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft")
  • Humanity in Action, Inc.
  • Many other institutions, host families and friends of Humanity in Action.



These contributions help to prepare outstanding students for a lifelong commitment to civic responsibility and the promotion of human rights.

Human Rights


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