Amsterdam Agenda

May 29 

American and Bosnian fellows arrive in Amsterdam and go to their host families.

May 30

Welcomes, Introductions and Safe Spaces

What would a better place to start a program on human rights, based on the lessons of WWII, than the Resistance museum?

We welcome you today to kick off of our Fellowship 2015. We will start by getting to know each other and the staff. You will have the opportunity to visit the museum that highlights stories of resistance in the Netherlands during WWII. The first part of the day will be devoted to practical information about the program. Then, everyone will participate in a group activity, in which each person shares a story about an object revealing why they feel strongly about human rights. Senior Fellow ‘03 Simone Kukenheim, who is currently an Alderperson and Deputy Mayor in Amsterdam (Areas of responsibility: Youth, Education and Diversity) will welcome us and share her dream (that came true!) about Human Rights and the city of Amsterdam. In order to have a fruitful program, we believe in the necessity of a safe space. Therefore we will spend time in the afternoon to create a social contract. And, think about it. What is the most important human rights article to you?

Location: Amsterdam - Verzetsmuseum (Resistance Museum), Juniorzaal (Junior Room), Plantage Kerklaan 61

  • Introduction to staff
  • Fellow introductions with an object that symbolizes  your passion for Human Rights (3 minutes per person!)
  • Lunch at Cafe Koosje
  • Visiting the Resistance Museum - Audio Tours available in Dutch and English
  • Break
  • The mission of the city of Amsterdam to create a Human Rights Agenda with Simone Kukenheim, Alderman in Amsterdam and Senior Fellow
  • Safe Space & some group work with National Director Inger Schaap
  • Drinks at Koosje, Plantage Middenlaan 37

May 31

Human Rights in the Netherlands

Today fellows will examine the meaning of five basic human rights stipulated in the Dutch Constitution by interviewing people on the streets in different neighborhoods.

How do ‘Amsterdammers’ perceive and talk about 1) the prohibition of discrimination 2) freedom of religion 3) freedom of speech 4) the right to privacy and 5) the right to a minimal living standard?

Group assignments: Fellows work in groups; interviewing locals on a pre-assigned topic related to human rights & minority rights. Presentations of your work are scheduled on Monday 1st.

June 1

Genocidal Processes: Theory and Personal Intersectionalism

This week we are hosted by the Anne Frank House. We are guests of the organisation started by Otto Frank to keep the memory of his daughter alive and make people aware of the danger of antisemitism and hate. Director Garance Reus welcomes us. As the former director of Amnesty International she knows all about linking past to present day activism. Professor Ton Zwaan will give a lecture about the genocidal process. Genocide does not just happen, but is planned and carried out by people. The steps in this process offer us ways for analysis. Holocaust is a story of people, therefore Holocaust survivor David de Levita will share his personal story about hiding and survival. After lunch professor Gloria Wekker will introduce us to the concept of intersectionalism. We will find out about each other’s group assignments of Sunday during the presentations.

Location: Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 10, Amsterdam

*Do not stand in line with tourists who want to visit the museum! Our entrance is on the square (not at the canal, around the corner).

  • Introducing the day & welcome by Garance ReusDeelder, Managing Director Anne Frank House
  • On genocidal processes Dr. Ton Zwaan, emeritus professor of Genocide Studies and Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and the NIOD, Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide studies
  • Break
  • What determines war trauma? David de Levita, holocaust survivor & prof. Child Psychiatry
  • Lunch
  • Multicultural and anti-racist gender theory in The Netherlands Gloria Wekker, emirata professor Women’s studies
  • Break
  • Group presentations on the weekend assignment
  • Break
  • Group discussion/reflections

June 2

Good Practices: Fighting Islamophobia and Anti-semitism, Workshop on Self Awareness and Personal Growth

"I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love. Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage." – Anne Frank

Today we focus on identity and how this is jeopardized by discrimination. All forms of discrimination restrict people’s freedom. We will learn about anti-Semitism and islamophobia and meet the initiators of the dialogue group Mo and Moos (a.o. senior fellow Cihan Tekeli). We will visit the Anne Frank House, the place where she and her family were hiding for more than two years. Senior Fellows Ufuk Kahya and Hanane Lotfi will train you in personal growth and self-awareness. A good way to start isn’t it? In the afternoon you will meet Rabbi Lody van de Kamp and Said Bensellam. Together they combat anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and give young people more opportunities.

Location: Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 10, Amsterdam Visit Anne Frank House

  • Introductions and preparation of museum visit
  • Visit Anne Frank House Everyone visits by themselves
  • Debriefing the museum visit
  • Mo & Moos, Jews and Muslims in Amsterdam; nurturing a culture of dialogue and respect amongst key figures within communities Chantal Suissa-Runne, independent advisor, trainer, Initiator Mo & Moos
  • Lunch
  • Workshop on self-awareness & building understanding Ufuk Kahya, councilor for GreenLeft Party Den Bosch and Senior Fellow Hanane Abouellofti, technical manager Kieskompas and Senior Fellow
  • Break
  • Ignorance, prejudice and imaging stands between Muslims and Jews Lody van de Kamp, rabbi and peacebuilder Said Bensellam, working with Dutch Moroccan youth
  • Break
  • Group discussion/reflections

June 3

Exploring Art, Entrepreneurship, Diversity and Empowerment in South East

Time to go out and meet some impressing initiatives in Amsterdam Bijlmer (South East). These projects empower women and men; they work towards mitigating the notorious reputation this neighbourhood once had. We will meet with o.a. Mitchell Esajas who started New Urban Collective, a platform and nework for students with diverse backgrounds. Get inspired to start your own community project!

Location: Meet at the platform of metrostation ‘Ganzenhoef’. You can take metro 53 from Central Station, Amsterdam. We will walk together to Ceczo, Bijlmerdreef 1289. Wear shoes that are comfortable today, we’ll be walking a lot!

  • Meet at platform metrostation Ganzenhoef
  • SouthEast community center:combining creativity and commercialism Handan Aydin, director of Ceczo, southeast community centre
  • Lunch and travel to the next location: Schooltuin Gaasperdam, Meerkerkdreef 33 (hoek van gaasperdampad en Reigersbospad), metrohalte Holendrecht.
  • Bloei en Groei (Blossom & Grow) empowering women through urban farming Ama Koranteng-Kumi, independent communication strategist, publicist and founder of Creating Edges.
  • Break and travel to next location
  • NUC ‘New Urban Collective’. Grow roses from the concrete: how we inspire youths to realize their full potential and work to provide equal opportunities. Mitchell Esajas, founder NUC
  • Travel to the next location
  • CBK Arts Centre in SouthEast Annet Zondervan, director Arts Center

June 4

History on Slavery, Racism

The Dutch abolition of slavery is only 151 years ago, but this painful history tends to be forgotten in both official and unofficial education. Is it too painful or are people not interested? Recent debates about the tradition of Black Pete showed the big gap there is in society on this subject and the lack of knowledge. Alex van Stipriaan will provide a lecture about Dutch slavery. Kno’ledge Cesare, an artist, will share his experience as an activist in the anti racism movement. In the afternoon we will embark on a special journey on the canals of Amsterdam, to look for hidden traces of the Dutch history of slavery: The Black Heritage Tour by Jennifer Tosch.

Location: Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 10

  • Introducing the Day
  • Slave-trading and slavery in Dutch colonialism Alex van Stripriaan, professor of Caribbean History
  • Break
  • Anti-racist activism in The Netherlands Kno’ledge Cesare, artist, activist and founder ‘Nederland wordt beter’ (The Netherlands is getting better).
  • Lunch
  • Black Heritage Tour by boat: African presence seen from historical buildings, museums (Rijksmuseum), city landmarks from the 16th centrury to the present day Jennifer Tosch, owner BHAT tours

June 5

In-and-exclusion in the Netherlands

Former Yugoslavia: on criminal trials as a tool to control history Personal stories from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Today we continue to learn and discuss about racism and discrimination. Anthropologist Dr. Sinan Cankaya did extensive research on ethnic profiling and ethnic minorities in the police force. Sunny Bergman is a documentary maker who has achieved critical acclaim for her films about racism in the Netherlands. In the afternoon we focus on the recent history of conflict and genocide in former Yugoslavia. Nena Tromp will focus on the ICTY as a means of reconciliation in the Balkans. Satko Mujagic will share his personal story and senior fellow Laura Boerhout leads us in a group discussion about the memory of conflict.

Location: Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 10

  • Introducing the Day
  • In-and-exclusion in The Netherlands Sinan Cankaya, cultural anthropologist
  • Break
  • Documentary: Our Colonial Hangover Talk and Q&A afterwards with the documentarymaker Sunny Bergman
  • Lunch
  • On criminal trials as a tool to control history Nevenka Tromp, political scientist who was a researcher at the ICTY
  • Break
  • Recognition as the way to 'real peace' Satko Mujagic, Bosnian survivor of the concentrationcamps during the BosnianHerzegovinian war (1992-1995) and human rights activist
  • Break
  • Living in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015. Reflections on the legacy of war and future challenges Group discussion with the Bosnian fellows and Senior Fellow Laura Boerhout (researcher University of Amsterdam) as a moderator.

June 6

Optional Program

Burgertop (G1000)

With the aim of involving locals more in local politics a group of volunteers is organizing a ‘Burgertop’ or G1000 today. There will be whole day of discussing topics important to the people of Amsterdam; it’s one big experiment in democracy at work. There are a few Senior Fellows present in moderating the discussions at the debating tables. There might be one or two tables for nonDutch speaking people.

If this sounds exciting to you, join them at: Zuiderkerk, Zuiderkerkhof 72, Amsterdam

Obligatory Program

Senior Fellow Network BBQ

The Dutch Senior Fellow Network welcomes everybody for a picnic and BBQ in the ‘Westerpark’. Exact place is to be announced (as well as the alternative location in case of bad weather).

June 7

Meet Frieda Menco

Location: Frieda Menco’s living room, Gerrit van der Veenstraat 71, Amsterdam

Please make sure you are in time!

  • Gather in front of Frieda's door
  • Frieda Menco is a survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp and has been active in the field of Human Rights all her life. She will answer questions about her life story, about which you will find information in the reader. Frieda will talk about the Second World War, its aftermath, anti-Semitism, the Jewish community and Dutch society in general.

June 8 

Migration, Ethnic Profiling, Street Football Clinic, and Asylum procedure in the Netherlands

This week we are hosted by Amnesty International Netherlands. This organisation has been fighting for human rights since 1968. Director Eduard Nazarski will welcome us. The day will start with a speaker familiar with HiA, Jelle Klaas, who exemplifies the practice of combining activism with a professional career. Jelle fights for the social and economic rights of undocumented and irregular migrants as a lawyer on a daily basis. Jacob de Jonge from Amnesty will talk about the detention of asylum seekers in the Netherlands. His colleagues Gerbrig Klos and Nawal Mustafa (senior fellow ’14) will share their research on ethnic profiling. Don’t eat too much during lunch because we will play soccer afterwards! Not (just) for fun, street soccer queen Rocky Hehakaija will show us some moves and tell about her projects in Brasil. In the afternoon we will talk about the asylum procedure in the Netherlands with Casper van der Zijde from IND (senior fellow ’11) and refugees Bart and Abulkadir.

Wear your comfortable shoes/sneakers today, as we are doing a football clinic!

Location: Amnesty International/HIA, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parkszaal (Ground Floor)

  • Introducing the Day
  • Fighting for Human Rights within a legal framework Jelle Klaas, lawyer at Fischer Lawyers Haarlem
  • Break
  • Migration Detention in the Netherlands Jacob de Jonge, project officer Amnesty International
  • Ethnic Profling Gebrig Klos, senior policy officer Amnesty International Nawal Mustafa, project officer ethnic profiling, Amnesty International and Senior Fellow
  • Lunch
  • Football clinic: Favela Street, create a new generator of strong role models with the power of street football Roxanne Hehakaija, Favela Street Foundation
  • Break
  • The asylum procedure in The Netherlands; different perspectives Casper van der Zijde, case officer for the Immigration and Naturalisation Service and Senior Fellow Abdulkadir Ahmed, documented refugee with Somali roots Bart, undocumented refugee with Congolese roots
  • Group discussion/reflections

June 9

Populism, Radicalization and Freedom of Expression

The Netherlands, like many other Western European countries, has seen the rise of populist parties and politicians who convey a strong and disconcerting anti-immigrant message. A well-known example is Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party and fierce critic of Islam. Many strongly disagree with his rhetoric and policy proposals. Nevertheless he is highly popular with another, large part of the Dutch electorate. Populism is not a new phenomenon, nor is it necessarily linked to the political right or even constrained to politics at all. So what exactly is populism, why is it perceived as a threat to democracy and what are possible strategies to counter it? Paul Mepschen will share his perspective. The rise of IS and conflicts in the Middle East have enhanced the fear of radicalism. Martijn de Koning will speak about radicalization. One of the most debated upon human right is freedom of expression. Director of Stichting Democratie en Media Nienke Venema (former director of HIA NL) will show some good examples from the organisation she currently works for.

Location: Amnesty International/HIA, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parkszaal (Ground Floor)

  • Introducing the Day
  • Populism and intersectionalism Paul Mepschen, social anthropologist, University of Amsterdam
  • Break
  • The process of Radicalization Martijn de Koning, anthropologist, University of Amsterdam
  • On Believing Dennis Abdelkarim Honing, writer and public speaker on his personal experiences with radicalization and deradicalization
  • Lunch
  • Democracy and Media in The Netherlands: strengthening civil society Nienke Venema, director Democray and Media Foundation and Senior Fellow
  • Break
  • Group discussion/reflections

June 10

Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship

Today we will visit Rotterdam, The Netherlands’ second largest city. Rotterdam is multicultural, full of modern architecture as well as history. It suffered heavy bombing during WWII and we will learn about this while visiting the Children’s Monument. Senior fellow Tamar van Gelderen and Malique Mohamud will guide us through this vibrant city. 

  • Meet at Central Station in front of Shakie’s (shakes and coffees) in the Western Tunnel of the Station. Our train leaves at 09.25 from platform 15b.
  • Arrival at Rotterdam Centraal and walk to Foundation Verre Bergen
  • The Verre Bergen Foundation Tamar van Gelderen, associate Verre Bergen Foundation and Senior Fellow
  • Rotterdamse Nieuwe Marte van Oort, chairwoman Rotterdamse Nieuwe
  • Walk or take metro to The Childrens Monument
  • The Childrens Monument Michael Gelber, war survivor and Tamar’s grandfather
  •  Walk to Fenix Food Hallen
  • Have lunch at Fenix Food Hallen
  • Dreamers for Dreamers Mahasin Tanyaui, Creative Director Dreamers INC.
  • Rotterdam Diversity Tour Malique Mohamud, Studio Narrative

June 11

Sexuality, Gender and Homonationalism

The Netherlands is famous for the supposed freedom and safety gays and lesbians enjoy in Dutch society. In the past few years however, a counter movement seems to have evolved; people from the LGBTQI community are less likely to show their affection in public as violent acts against them increasingly occur. Rachel Spronk, whose research revolves around anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, will take a closer look at the universality of Gay Rights. We will meet with Laurens Zevenbergen who will share his experience as a transgender in the Nethelands. Irene Hemelaar and Döne Fil, will discuss their activism; different paths, but the same goal. Murat Aydemir discusses how people with a nationalist ideology often misuse LGBTQI rights and will introduce the concept of homonationalism.

Location: Amnesty International/HIA, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parkszaal (Ground Floor)

  • Introducing the Day
  • Dilemmas of sexual diversity: twists and turns in global gay rights Rachel Spronk, anthropologist and former director MA Program ‘Gender, Sexuality and Society’
  • Break
  • Being Transgender in The Netherlands with Laurens Alexander Zevenbergen, a transgender high school student and activist
  • Lunch
  • Dutch Homonationalism: The Sex/Culture Divide Murat Aydemir, Associate Professor Comparative Literature and Cultural Analysis, UvA
  • Break
  • LGBTI rights- working towards equality and social acceptance in The Netherlands Döne Fil, LGBTI activist Irene Hemelaar, director LGBTI-emancipation at Gay Pride
  • Break
  • Group discussion/reflections

June 12

Special Needs, Pat Cox Internship and Reports

We will talk about disability rights and Bram Schultinge will introduce this topic, close to his heart. Niels Schuddeboom will share his view on and personal struggle with the care and public health system of the Netherlands. Gijs Bruggeman is an advocate for disability rights. Senior fellow Jasmijn Remmers participated in the Pat Cox program in Brussels and shares her experiences with you. In the afternoon you will unite in groups and make the first steps towards your reports.

Location: Amnesty International/HIA, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parkszaal (Ground Floor)

  • Introducing the day with Bram Schultinge
  • Why I decided to bypass the system: living a life not many expect me to Niels Schuddeboom, journalist/communication
  • Break
  • Deaf-Blind Reality Gijs Bruggeman, SWDA, Foundation for the Welfare of Deaf People
  • Lunch
  • My experience as a Pat Cox Fellow in Brussels Jasmijn Remmers, Senior Fellow 2014
  • The Battle of the Report Topics Every fellow pitches his/her report topic proposal
  • Break
  • Group discussion/reflections of the week

June 13 - 14

Free time

June 15

Activism, Worldwide Health Inequalities, Action Plans and Sexwork 

Today you will spend time with human rights activists from The Netherlands and Zimbabwe. Two senior fellows will present their action plans and Umar Ikram (senior fellow ’09) will lecture about health and ethics. Some serious brain picking today. Also, Lyle Muns, is going to talk to you openly about doing sex work in the Netherlands.

Location: Amnesty International/HIA, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parkszaal (Ground Floor)

  • Introducing the Day
  • Shelter City: Human Rights Activists getting a break in The Hague - Guus van Zwoll, Justice and Peace, The Hague Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo, human rights activist from Zimbabwe
  • Lunch
  • Perceived Ethnic Discrimination and Health Inequalities in Amsterdam - Umar Ikram, Senior Fellow and PhD public health
  • Break
  • Action Plan: At home in the Netherlands Benjamin Asante, Senior Fellow 2014
  • Action Plan: Bed, Bad and Brood Seminar Christopher Houtkamp, Senior Fellow 2013
  • Break (move to canteen Amnesty for the last speaker)
  • Happy Hooker - Lyle Muns, sex worker and chair of DWARS Amsterdam
  • Group discussion/reflections/How do the reports go?

June 16

Day for conducting interviews and writing your reports

June 17

Internet Freedom, Reproductive Rights and  Shelter for Undocumented Migrants

We all live in the digital age, but what about internet and privacy? Kinga Jelinska advocates individual abortion rights, and believes in a worldwide approach to the matter. We will visit the Wereldhuis together (optional) and meet with the group Young&Undocumented.

Location: Amnesty International/HIA, Keizersgracht 177, Rosa Parkszaal (Ground Floor)


  • Introducing the Day
  • Internet Freedom Simone Halink, Senior Policy Officer Internet Freedom
  • Break
  • Everything you always wanted to know about abortion (but were afraid to ask) Kinga Jelinska, activist health and reproductive rights movement
  • Lunch (optional)


Optional program

  • Visit to the Wereldhuis, meeting place for undocumented migrants Location: Het Wereldhuis, Nieuwe Herengracht 20, Amsterdam
  • For those interested there is a tour possible in the Wereldhuis, ‘Worldhouse’. The Worldhouse is a center of information, counseling, education and culture for undocumented migrants – people with few rights; searching for new perspectives. Since 2008 it has grown to a familiar place for undocumented people. The Diaconie of Amsterdam and Luthers Amsterdam are the initiators of the Wereldhuis.
  • Meal with discussion group Faces of the World for young undocumented migrants on a variety of topics.

June 18

Day for conducting interviews and writing your reports

Evening program

Visit theater play ‘Anne’ in a theatre, especially built for this play in Amsterdam West Location: Danzigerkade 5, Amsterdam Info on how we travel there will be announced. 

June 19

Arts and Activism

Art and activism go together hand in hand. We will visit Framer Framed and learn from initiator Cas Boole more on how they work with art and society. Marjolijn van Heemstra is a theatre maker and believes theatre is the way to engage people. Daria Bukvic will talk about what can be achieved with art. After lunch we will meet with Sasa Karalic who uses film and art to create awareness for human rights. We will also meet with curator Christine Eyene, who organized the exhibition Embodied Spaces at Framer Framed, on show from June 18th till July 26th 2015. In this exhibition, Eyene continues an on-going dialogue with women and queer artists addressing the body, sexuality, gender, Black and Romani cultural identities in their work. In the evening we will listen to a special performance of Deborah Nemko. This event is open to the public.

Location: Framer Framed, exhibition hall, Tolhuistuin, IJpromenade 2, Amsterdam

Take the ferry behind Central Station to ‘Buiksloterwegveer’. It takes 3 minutes and it is for free. After arrival 2nd building on your left: Tolhuistuin. Go through the main entrance, up the stairs. The exhibition hall is on the first floor.

  • Introduction of Framer Framed Cas Bool, initiator of Framer Framed
  • Theatre & Human Rights Activism: A Perfect match? with Marjolijn van Heemstra, theatre maker/director Daria Bukvic, theatre maker/director
  • Lunch
  • Saša Karalić - Two works Saša Karalić, artist and teacher at Rietveld Art Academy
  • Embodied Spaces Christine Eyene, curator Location to be announced
  • Piano concert of music of forgotten and surpressed composers from WWII by Deborah Nemko

June 20 - 21

Writing your reports

June 22

Noon deadline for submitting your reports. Send them by email to: Inger, Christel, Gladys and Saim.


Preparing for tomorrow's presentations 

June 23

Presentation Day

The day you knew would come... the last day of our fellowship. Today we will all present our reports in the beautiful venue of the Dutch Institute for War Documentation. We finish this day with a cosy dinner with all the host families. 

Location: NIOD, Dutch Institute for War Documentation, Herengracht 380, Amsterdam

  • Presentations of reports
  • Lunch outside
  • Presentations of reports Location: Saskia’s Huiskamerrestaurant, Albert Cuypstraat 203C, Amsterdam
  • Farewell dinner with all fellows and host families in Saskia’s Huiskamerrestaurant.

June 24

Day off 

June 25

Travel to the International Conference in The Hague

June 25 - 28

Humanity in Action International Conference in The Hague

June 28

Depart for home 


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