2013 Program in Amsterdam

May 31

  • Arrival of Fellows and placement with host families

June 1

Welcome and Introductions; Relevance of the Holocaust, Part 1

  • Welcome and introduction to the Humanity in Action Staff
  • Fellow introductions: bring an object that symbolizes your passion for human rights 
  • "Be Loyal to Your Ideals," Harry van den Bergh, Board Chairman, Humanity in Action the Netherlands 
  • "Dilemmas of a Jewish Politician," Ed van Thijn, former Mayor of Amsterdam
  • "Humanity in Action Toolkit: Privilege, Positionality & Safe Spaces," Nienke Venema, National Director, Humanity in Action

June 2

Human Rights and the Dutch Constitution

  • Fellows work in groups interviewing locals on a pre-assigned topic related to human rights and minority rights

June 3

Relevance of the Holocaust, Part 2: Education

Freedom of Speech, Part 1

  • Welcome and Introduction to The Anne Frank House
  • Visit the Anne Frank Museum 
  • "Welcome on Behalf of the Anne Frank House," Garance Reus-Deelder, Director, Anne Frank House
  • "Free2Choose Flm- Clips & Workshops for Youth," Swaan van Iterson, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow and freelancer for the Anne Frank House
  • "Holocaust Education and Human Rights Education: Friends or Foes?" Barry van Driel, International Director for Teacher Training and Curriculum Development, Anne Frank House
  • Group presentations of the weekend assignment
  • Screening of the documentary "The Baby"
  • Q & A with Deborah van Dam, Director of "The Baby" and Martine van Poeteren, researcher
  • "Freedom of Speech?" Kustaw Bessems

June 4

Relevance of the Holocaust, Part 3: Bystanders in WW II

The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights

  • "We Know Nothing of Their Fate: Ordinary Dutchmen and the Holocaust," Historians Bart van der Boom and Ido de Haan
  • "Femmes for Freedom, the Birth of an NGO," Shirin Musa, initiator
  • "A Controversy in the Dutch media: Anti-Semitism of the Youth," Mehmet Sahin, researcher at VU University and Annemarike Stremmelaar (NIOD)
  • "The Miission of The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (College voor de Rechten van de Mens)," Kathalijne Buitenweg, member of the Institute for Human Rights

June 5

Intersectionality & Racism

  • "A Multicultural and Anti-Racist Gender Theory in the Netherlands," Gloria Wekker, social and cultural anthropologist specializing in gender, sexuality, African American Studies and Caribbean Studies
  • "Zwarte Piet Is Racism: How a T-shirt Changed the Debate on Racism in the Netherlands," Quinsy Gario, poet, artist and activist
  • "Experiencing Racism," group conversation on personal experiences with racism, led by Ali Al Jaberi with Egbert Alejandro Martina and Ama Carr
  • "Humanity in Action Plan: Intersectional Radio Show," with Humanity in Action Senior Fellows Hodan Warsame and Ruud Tevreden 

June 6

Commemorating slavery in the Netherlands

  • "Nativism, Race and the Commemoration of Slavery in The Netherlands," Markus Balkenhol, researcher, Meertens Institute
  • "The Dutch Atlantic: Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation," Kenneth Regilio Donau
  • “Black Heritage Tour,” Boat tour of The African Diaspora in Amsterdam including visits to the Canal House museum, Maritime Museum and the Slavery Monument in Oosterpark, guided by Jennifer Tosch, researcher 
  • Travel from Oosterpark by tram to De Balie
  • "The Legacy of  our Slavery Past," Public lecture by Cynthia McLeod, Surinamese writer   

June 7

Black pages in Dutch History: Colonialism  & Indonesia, Bosnia Herzegovina and the Dutch Responsibility

Bosnia Herzegovina Today

  • "Dutch Colonial History in Indonesia," Freek Colombijn, Associate Professor, VU University
  • "Individual and State Responsibility for International Crimes in Bosnia Herzegovina, From the ICTY to the Dutch Supreme Court and Back,"  Frederiek de Vlaming, criminologist specializing in international criminal law and transitional justice
  • "Dealing with the Legacy of War in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Past and Present," Panel of Bosnian fellows, interviewed by Laura Boerhout, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow and researcher in Bosnia
  • "The Empire Project," immersive documentary project chronicling the unintended consequences of Dutch colonialism
  • Skype session with New York-based artists Kel O'Neill and Eline Jongsma

June 8

  • Networking with Senior Fellows
  • Senior Fellow Network BBQ at Westerpark

June 9

  • Day off

June 10

Refugees in the Netherlands

  • Visit Amnesty International office in Amsterdam
  • "Welcome to Amnesty: Campaigns in The Netherlands," Eduard Nazarski, Director, Amnesty International the Netherlands
  • "A Personal Story; Fleeing from Eritrea to The Netherlands," Tewelde Bahta, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow
  • "Fighting for Human Rights within a Legal Framework," Jelle Klaas, attorney, Fisher Lawyers Haarlem
  • "Sexual Orientation and the Asylum Procedure," Louis Middelkoop, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow and Junior Lecturer, Migration Law Department, VU University Amsterdam
  • "New Dutch Connections," Bright Richards, refugee, actor and founder of New Dutch Connections
  • "Criminalization of Irregular Migrants in the Netherlands," Sander Terphuis, member, Dutch Labor Party

June 11

The Multicultural  Society & Islamophobia

Freedom of speech, part 2

  • "Moroccans in the Netherlands: Past and Present," Nadia Bouras, historian
  • "Islamophobia in the Netherlands," Ineke van der Valk, researcher
  • "Public Health Research: Is Perceived Ethnic Discrimination Linked to Depression in Dutch Ethnic Minorities?" Umar Ikram, physician, researcher at the Academic Medical Center, the University of Amsterdam, and Humanity in Action Senior Fellow
  • "Rise and Fall of Anti-Immigration Politics," Meindert Fennema, Emeritus Professor in Political Theory, The University of Amsterdam.
  • "Freedom of Speech," Afshin Ellian, professor of law, philosopher and critic of political Islam
  • "Raised as a Muslim girl in a Migrant Family: Two Different Stories," discussion with Semra Celebi, Humanity in Actoin Board member and Senior Fellow, Khadija Azahaf, Foundation Intercultural Alliance and Doutje Lettinga, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow and expert in gender, migrant and discrimination issues

June 12

The Hague: City of Peace and Justice

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia & Dutch Parliament

  • Travel by train to The Hauge
  • Arrival at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
  • Presentation on the ICTY
  • Visit trial of Ratko Mladic
  • Travel to Parliament (Tweede Kamer)
  • Visit the Dutch Parliament and speak to members of Parliament: Joost Taverne, (VVD, Liberal Party)

June 13

LGBTQI Rights & Gender: intersexuality


Consulate General of the United States of America

  • Documentary: "Help, We’ve Got a Gay in Class!" Documentary about the work done by the COC Educational Group
  • Q&A with two educators of the COC Educational Group
  • "Homonationalism in the Netherlands," Egbert Alejandro Martina, writer and cultural critic and Ruud Tevreden, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow
  • "They Didn’t Know Whether I was a Boy or a Girl; Life Narratives, Knowledge and Choice," Margriet van Heesch, lecturer, Departments of Sociology, Anthropology and Language and Culture, University of Amsterdam
  • Travel to Consulate General of the United States
  • Reception at the Consulate General of the United States
  • Words of welcome by Randy Berry, Consul General
  • Presentation by Judith Goldstein, Execuitive Director, Humanity in Action

June 14

Focus on Action: When and How?

Women’s Rights & Special Needs

  • "An M4 (Moroccan, Muslim, Male and Military) Perspective on When and How to Act," Mostafa Hilali, Major, Royal Netherlands Army 
  • "Safe Abortion Services," Kinga Jelinska, Project Manager, Women on Web
  • "Development and Obstacles; A Personal View of a Deaf-Blind Person," Gijs Bruggeman, SWDA, Foundation for the Welfare of Deaf people in Amsterdam
  • Speed dating on report topics

June 15 & 16

  • Work in teams on action projects

June 17

Reports & Campaigns

Irregular Migrants in The Bijlmer

  • Reports Clinic: Groups present outlines of their reports, proposal feedback by Tino Wallaart, journalist
  • "Workshop Campaigning: Tips and Tricks," Jan Willem Dol, Campaigns, Amnesty International
  • Travel by Metro to Community Center De Kandelaar
  • "Unique Collaboration Between Police and Community Center: Undocumented People in the Bijlmer," Sidney Mutueel (Police, Policy Advisor), Michael Zwart (Police, Diversity Project Leader) and Emmanuel Koney (Pastor, working at the community center)

June 18 & 19

  • Report writing

June 20

Human Rights & Businesses

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • "Let’s Talk About Disobeying," Arent van der Feltz, Vice President, Strategy & Legal/New business development, Ziggo
  • "ASN Bank and its Views on CSR," Hansje van der Zwaan, Senior Advisor, Sustainability, ASN Bank
  • "Brewing a Better Future," Ruud van der Wel, Manager, Labour Relations & Employment Law, Heineken
  • "Companies and CSR; A Consultants Perspective," Ila Kasem, Managing Partner, Van der Bunt Consultancy

June 21


  • Visit the Connect Foundation and talk with Said Bensellam, founder and coordinator of the youth and prevention team

June 22 & 23

  • Report Writing

June 24

The Red Light District: prostitution & human trafficking

  • Visit to the Geisha Foundation, an NGO advocating for the rights of sexworkers
  • Group discussion with director, Ilonka Stakelborough, and sex workers

June 25

Presentation Day

  • Group presentations of reports
  • Farewell drinks with host families and fellows at Harry van den Berghs’

June 26

  • Day Off

June 27


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