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UCL Global Citizenship Lecture 2015: Shami Chakrabarti on Liberty

KilianThayaparan26 February 2015

Shami Chakrabarti speaking at the UCL Global Citizenship Lecture 2015

Shami Chakrabarti speaking at the UCL Global
Citizenship Lecture 2015 (Credit: Kirsten Holst)

Shami Chakrabarti’s now infamous description in The Sun as “the most dangerous woman in Britain” was referenced several times during this year’s UCL Global Citizenship Lecture, first by Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice-Provost (International), who described it as “quite an accolade”, and then by Chakrabarti herself, calling it “the gift that keeps on giving”.

Such an extreme epithet set the scene for an intriguing hour of discussion about civil liberties and how global citizenship can make a positive difference to the world.

The lecture comes at an important time in UCL’s Global Citizenship activities with the recent opening of registrations for the UCL Global Citizenship Programme – a two-week programme available to all undergraduates.

It allows students to engage with the world as ‘global citizens’, becoming not only experts in their fields, but also people who are understanding of, responsible for and engaged with the global community.

As Director of Liberty, a non-governmental organisation that campaigns for civil liberties and human rights in the UK, Shami Chakrabarti is, as Dame Nicola Brewer described, “a brilliant advocate for getting involved and making a positive difference to the world” – and, therefore, an ideal figure to inspire others to think about global citizenship.

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Violence, the state and civil society in Mexico

GuestBlogger14 November 2014

pencil-icon Written by Anna Tyor, International Relations MSc

Javier Trevino-Rangel, a professor at the Centre for Research and Teaching in Economics in Mexico City, went from city to city in Mexico interviewing middle class residents about violence in their communities and heard the same responses over and over again, all over the country: “The media blows things out of proportion”; “We need more reliable information”; and “I just skip this section in the newspaper”.

As we shifted chairs to make room for a growing audience, five distinguished speakers anxiously looked around the room hoping to address these issues by explaining challenging topics in Mexico including drug trade, militarisation of the state, rural violence, social media and human rights.

Following the disappearance of dozens of student teachers in the southern state of Guerrero, Mexico and the world cried out in protest after the discovery of mass shallow graves filled with their singed bodies. This poignant talk convened by the Radical Americas Network at the UCL Institute of the Americas came in light of these recent murders and attempted to shed light on who is to blame for such atrocities.

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Is the World Bank becoming obsolete?

newseditor16 November 2012

Mr Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS,
delivering the UCL Lancet Lecture 2012.

Written by Helen Fry, a recent MSc graduate from the UCL Institute for Global Health.

The game of global health governance is changing, and if global health players such as the World Bank and the World Health Organization do not rethink themselves they will become obsolete, argued Michel Sidibé in the UCL Lancet Lecture 2012 on 13th November.

Drawing on his experience as Executive Director of UNAIDS, Sidibé outlined his vision of global health governance for the post-2015 development era.

Sidibé began by exploring the history of AIDS, which he described as “a journey from despair to hope”.

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What is modern slavery?

newseditor2 November 2012

Written by Neil Rodger, UCL Communications Manager

So, what is modern slavery? That was the question posed in a Lunch Hour Lecture given by Dr Virginia Mantouvalou (UCL Laws), Co-Director of the UCL Institute for Human Rights.

Dr Mantouvalou takes the stance that forms of slavery exist in the UK and Europe today – particularly in the area that falls under the catch-all title of ‘domestic work’.

Domestic work can mean anything from care of children or the elderly, to cooking, cleaning and gardening. She explained that some of these domestic workers have their passports taken away and are often denied permission to leave the house.

Some even struggle to get enough food and water.

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