Saturday November 21, 10:15 – 11:45am
An individual legal identity is increasingly being seen as a fundamental human right that enables access to other important rights, benefits and services. However, examples from Nazi Germany and the genocide in Rwanda illustrate how national ID cards have facilitated the targeting and extermination of persons. This panel aims to unpack these contradictory narratives; exploring the risks of easy identification and the potential of a national ID system to address statelessness and increase financial and social inclusion, particularly for marginalized populations. Also discussed will be how to prevent the types of horrors enabled by identification systems from happening in the future.
CHAIR AND RESPONDENT
Douglas Johnson, Director Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and Lecturer in Public Policy,Harvard Kennedy School
Douglas A. Johnson became the first Executive Director of the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) in 1988 after a series of acting directors; he was tasked by the Board to build the organization to the stature merited by Governor Perpich’s founding vision for the first treatment center in the United States for torture survivors. Johnson stepped down January 31, 2012, after nearly 24 years heading the organization, During his tenure, CVT provided healing services to over 23,000 torture survivor in one of its clinical sites in Minnesota, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Jordan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Kenya. The organization grew from 3 staff at his arrival to about 250 at his departure.
Almost a decade earlier Johnson cut his teeth on global NGO formation when he launched the Nestle Boycott in 1977 and cofounded the Infant Formula Action Coalition (INFACT) that same year. He served as INFACT’s first Executive Director until 1984. He cofounded, with the President of the National Council of Churches, the International Nestle Boycott Committee with 120 national organizations representing 40 million members; the boycott became the first grassroots international boycott active in 10 nations. With other delegates at the first UN meeting where NGOs were given full participation rights, he cofounded the International Baby Food Action Network, an organization that was critical to developing and passing the UN’s first code to control the marketing practices of multinational companies. Johnson left INFACT a year after monitoring the agreement signed between Nestle and the INBC on how the company would implement the WHO/UNICEF code. Ester Peterson, former White House Consumer Advisor to President Carter, termed this agreement as “the greatest victory in the history of the international consumer movement.”
The challenges he experienced in those national, regional, and global campaigns around infant formula issues later helped him to conceive of the New Tactics in Human Rights Project at CVT, to broaden tactical knowledge so as to improve strategic thinking. Johnson proposed and developed a global symposium on tactical innovations in human rights; the symposium was held in Ankara, Turkey in 2004 in collaboration with Helsinki Citizens Assembly and drew over 600 delegates from 89 countries and featured workshops on nearly 100 tactics.
Johnson served on the US Delegation to the annual human rights review of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in 1996. He was appointed as an original member of the OSCE Experts’ Panel on the Prevention of Torture. In that capacity, he conceived the process of “Tactical Mapping” to build collaborative strategies to improve human rights practices. CVT used that process to draw together major human rights organizations to resist the use of torture by the Bush Administration. Pulling together a partnership with the National Religious Coalition for Human Rights and Evangelicals for Human Rights, Johnson led the Campaign to Ban Torture, which was joined by 125 national security experts and 125 national religious leaders. The Campaign developed an executive order to ban torture which was used as a model for President Obama’s executive order outlawing torture on his second day in office.
Johnson received a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Organization and Management between his time at INFACT and CVT. His undergraduate degree in philosophy is from Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota.
Edwin Black, International investigative author
Edwin Black is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling international investigative author of 120 award-winning editions in 14 languages in 65 countries, as well as scores of newspaper and magazine articles in the leading publications of the United States, Europe and Israel. With more than a million books in print, his work focuses on human rights, genocide and hate, corporate criminality and corruption, governmental misconduct, academic fraud, philanthropic abuse, oil addiction, alternative energy and historical investigation. Editors have submitted Black’s work eleven times for Pulitzer Prize nomination, and, in recent years, he has been the recipient of a series of top editorial awards. He has also contributed to a number of anthologies worldwide. For his human rights investigations, Black has been interviewed on hundreds of network broadcasts from Oprah, the Today Show, CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports and NBC Dateline in the US, to the leading networks of Europe and Latin America. His human rights works have been the subject of numerous documentaries, here and abroad. Many of his books have been optioned by Hollywood for film, with two in active production. Black’s speaking tours include hundreds of events in dozens of cities each year, appearing at prestigious venues from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to the Simon Wiesenthal Institute in Los Angeles, also in Europe from London’s British War Museum and Amsterdam’s Institute for War Documentation to Munich’s Carl Orff Hall. In recent times he has appeared to speak, lecture or testify numerous times in various legislatures on a variety of social justice issues: U.S. House of Representatives, North Carolina General Assembly, the European Parliament, and the Canadian House of Commons. Black is a leading contributor to The Cutting Edge News, which receives more than 1.5 million visits monthly, as well as the Huffington Post, the Times of Israel, and numerous other on-line publications. In February and early March 2014, Black appeared before four parliaments in four weeks: The British House of Commons in London, the European Parliament in Brussels, the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, and finally the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C. Black is a leading contributor to The Cutting Edge News, which receives more than 1.5 million visits monthly, as well as the Huffington Post, the Times of Israel, and numerous other on-line publications. His investigations and human rights articles are syndicated regularly to publications worldwide.
Black’s eleven award-winning bestselling books are IBM and the Holocaust (2001 and 2012), Financing the Flames (2013), British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement (2011), The Farhud (2010), Nazi Nexus (2009), The Plan (2008), Internal Combustion (2006), Banking on Baghdad (2004), War Against the Weak (2003 and 2012), The Transfer Agreement (1984 and 2009), and a 1999 novel, Format C:. His enterprise and investigative writings have appeared in scores of newspapers from the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune to the Sunday Times of London, Frankfurter Zeitung and the Jerusalem Post, as well as scores of magazines as diverse as Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Reform Judaism, Der Spiegel, L’Express, BusinessWeek and American Bar Association Journal. Black’s articles are syndicated worldwide by Feature Group News Service.
Margareta Matache, Instructor FXB Center for Health & Human Rights, Harvard University
Margareta (Magda) Matache is a Roma rights activist from Romania. In 2012 she was awarded a Hauser postdoctoral fellowship at the FXB Center, where currently she works as an instructor. From 2005 to 2012 Matache was the executive director of Romani CRISS (www.romanicriss.org), a leading NGO that defends and promotes the rights of Roma. During her tenure Romani CRISS took a stand against discrimination in landmark cases targeting the president, prime minister, and foreign minister of Romania. The organization’s advocacy and litigation efforts also contributed to the approval of the domestic School Desegregation Bill. Prior to this work Matache served as a youth worker and trainer on cultural diversity and minority rights. She has also worked as an election observer in the Western Balkans and has implemented well-known initiatives, including “Roma and the Stability Pact in South-Eastern Europe” and “Roma Use Your Ballot Wisely.” She completed her doctoral research work in the early childhood development of Romani children at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bucharest, and holds a Master’s degree in European Social Policies. Her publications and research have covered the rights, agency, and social ecology of Romani children and adolescents, early childhood development, Romani women, anti-Roma violence, and segregation in education.
Andrew Hopkins, Senior registration officer, UNHCR Geneva
Andrew Hopkins is a Senior Registration Officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) based in Geneva. He currently leads UNHCR’s global registration and identity management efforts which aim to ensure that refugee identities are anchored and maintained over time. Mr. Hopkins has deployed registration, documentation and biometrics systems in field operations as part of the agency’s global population management efforts. He has worked in a wide range of challenging environments that most governments or law enforcement agencies would not normally encounter. Mr. Hopkins began his refugee work 25 years ago at the US Orderly Departure Program, managing the out-processing of Vietnamese refugees in South-East Asia en route to the United States. He has since designed and managed large-scale group resettlement projects in Kenya, Nepal and Thailand. In later assignments, he co-authored the UNHCR Handbook for Registration and contributed to designing the first version and the subsequent production rollout of proGres, UNHCR’s registration and case management software. The system now contains data on over 7,000,000 persons of concern and is deployed in 96 countries worldwide. Most recently, Mr. Hopkins has led the development of staff training programs to increase UNHCR’s response to emergency registration, documentation and population data management activities in forced displacement contexts across the globe.