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International Conference "Looking beyond the 50th Anniversary of the Covenants. What Interdependence and Indivisibility of Human Rights?"

Padova, 13 and 14 December 2016

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UN covenants on economic, social and cultural rights and on civil and political rights, the Human Rights Centre of the University of Padova, in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair “Human Rights, Democracy and Peace” of the same university, organises and promotes the International Conference "Looking beyond the 50th Anniversary of the Covenants. What Interdependence and Indivisibility of Human Rights?".

The Conference, which takes place in Padova on 13 and 14 December 2016, aims to nurture a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral debate on the present and especially the future of human rights promotion, protection and implementation. It sets the focus, in particular, on the evolution and state of realisation of the principle of interdependence and indivisibility, the linchpin of the human rights paradigm, and on how human rights are put to the test by the challenges and crises emerging at multiple levels today and up to 2030, also in light of the UN Agenda for sustainable development.

The Conference adopts an inter-disciplinary approach to enhance interactions among the various scientific standpoints that can contribute addressing the issue and their respective methodologies, and aims specifically to raise such debate on the future “sustainable development” of the human rights machinery within the new generation of human rights scholars.

Adopted by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, the two Covenants set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that everyone has and, together with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights. Both entered into force ten years later, in 1976, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights counts now 168 State parties; the Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights has received 164 ratifications.

International Conference online registration form

Full programme of the Conference (pdf)


Special Event

In the evening of Tuesday 13 December, the public is invited to the music theatre "We, Human Rights. Representation of Human Dignity and Peace"


Conference Programme

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Morning Session

Venue: Aula Magna Galileo Galilei, University of Padova

9:00 – 9:30: Registration


9:30 – 10:00: Welcome addresses

Rosario Rizzuto, Rettore Magnifico, University of Padova

Annalisa Oboe, Vice Rector for Cultural, Social and Gender Relations

Marco Mascia, Director, Human Rights Centre, University of Padova

Fabrizio Petri, President, Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation


Musical interlude

F. J. Haydn, Trio No. 3 in B Minor
Adagio, Allegro, Minuetto
Pietro Juvarra, Nicolò Dalla Costa (violins), Alessandra Juvarra (cello)

10:00 – 12:00: Plenary Session

Looking beyond the 50th Anniversary of the Covenants. What Interdependence and Indivisibility of Human Rights?

Chair: Antonio Papisca, Unesco Chair in Human Rights, Democracy and Peace, University of Padova

Opening speech
Alfred de Zayas, Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, United Nations

Human Rights and urbanization: new challenges for localizing HR after Habitat III
Magali Fricaudet
, Coordinator of the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

The UNCRPD impact at international and national level
Giampiero Griffo, Member of the World Council of Disabled People’s International

For an anthropology of human rights
Livia Holden, University of Padova


12:00 -12:30: Discussion


Afternoon Session


Venue: Human Rights Centre

14:00 – 16:00: Parallel panel sessions


Panel 1. An agenda 2030 for the International Bill of Human Rights

(Chair: George Ulrich, E.MA Programme Director, European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation)

Global human rights interdependence: what inputs from regional systems?
Claudia Pividori and Pietro de Perini, University of Padova

Indivisibility and Inseparability of Human Rights: The Case of Early Marriage in Iran's Legal System"
Mahrou Ghadiri and Mojtaba Ghasemi, Family Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran

Necessary economic and institutional basis for the implementation of human rights: the persisting need of a new international economic order
Fabio Marcelli, Institute of International Legal Studies of the National Research Council, Rome

Italy and the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Andrea Cofelice, Centro Studi sul Federalismo, Torino

Human Rights and Foreign Policy – the Uneasy yet Inseverable Connection
Gergana Tzvetkova, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

The EU Sovereignty on CSFP Matters In The Light Of Human Rights Protection Obligations: What Balance?
Beatrice Gornati, University of Milan


Panel 2. Tackling human rights global issues: cities, subsidiarity, multi-level governance

(Chair: Klaus Starl, European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy - ETC Graz)

Protection of human rights by local authorities: from duty to right?
Simone Carrea, University of Genova

City Governance of Migration - Perspectives for Partnership with Non-Political Stakeholders in the Service Delivery for Migrants
Daria Dubajić, University of Zagreb

Trafficking in Children and Women within China as a Human Rights Issue
Han Ling, University of Padova

Struggle for human rights and Arab springs: the case of Tunisia
Lia Valetti, Institute of International Legal Studies of the National Research Council, Rome

“Affirmative Action easier to Implement than limiting privileges”. The case of equality policies at local level
Klaus StarlIsabella Meier, Ingrid Nicoletti, Pietro De Perini and Claudia Pividori, European Training Centre, Graz and University of Padova

Local implemention of human rights – lessons from US and European cities
Paul Lappalainen, Stockholm University


16.00 – 16.30: Coffee Break offered by Fairtrade Italia

16:30 – 18:30: Parallel panel sessions


Panel 3. Human rights and new technologies: pragmatic and paradigmatic challenges

(Chair: Paolo De Stefani, University of Padova)

Satellite evidences in human rights cases: merits and shortcomings
Claudia Candelmo and Valentina Nardone, Sapienza University of Rome

An assessment under ICCPR and ECHR of foreign surveillance programs
Eduardo Valles Galmes, University of Rome Tor Vergata

In search for ‘the silence of the chips’: the role of soft law in protecting informational privacy in a big data era
Irene Kamara, Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (Tilburg University) and LSTS (Free University of Brussels)

The challenges of new technologies in the implementation of human rights
Jacopo Coccoli, Pontificia Università Lateranense

Human Rights and Space Applications: The use of space and technology for providing inclusive and equitable universal health coverage
Tatiana Viana, Sapienza University of Rome


Panel 4. Human rights and citizenship: challenges and opportunities for diversity and inclusiveness

(Chair: Laura Nota, University of Padova)

Women with Disabilities: Towards a More Effective Protection
Daniela Fanciullo and Anna Iermano, University of Salerno

EU, Principle of Conferral and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: towards a new European Policy on Human Rights
Kevin De Sabbata and Marcello Sacco, Leeds University

Implementing the Human Right to Take Part in Cultural Life: Which Perspectives for the Inclusive Cultural Empowerment?
Desirée Campagna, University of Padova                                       

Intercultural practices and support services relating to migrants and refugees in Australia and Italy
Gianluigi Rotondo, Monash University, Melbourne

Human rights of Muslim Women in Europe and the Peaceful Integration of Second Generations. Can gender specific integration policies promote peaceful coexistence?
Cristina Ghanem, Univeristy of Padova


Panel 5. The Enablers of Human Rights: Education, Development and NHRIs

(Chair: Angela Melchiorre, University of Padova)

The United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas: towards “new” human rights to tackle food security, the loss of biodiversity and climate change
Anna Micara, University of Milan

Promoting Social and Economic Rights Accountability and the Role of NHRIs
Meskerem Geset Techane, University of Padova

Decolonizing Higher Education Human Rights Education
Danielle Aldawood,  Arizona State University                     

Quality education as a key towards global citizenship: What place and role for human rights education
Stuti Deka,Gauhati University, Assam

SDG 4 and Education 2030: achievable plan towards “Transforming our World” or overly ambitious and unrealistic attempt?
Matteo Tracchi, University of Padova                                 


Wednesday, 14 December 2016


Venue: Aula Nievo, University of Padova


9:00 – 11:00: Plenary Session

A ‘Sustainable Development’ of Human Rights Infrastructures

Chair: Paolo De Stefani, University of Padova

The Report on Local Government and Human Rights by the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee
Katharina Pabel, United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, University of Linz

Technology costs human rights?
Khurshid Ahmad, School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College, Dublin

Fifty years later: human rights institutions under attack?
Antonio Marchesi, University of Teramo, President of Amnesty International - Italy

11:00 - 11:30: Discussion


11:30 - 12:00: Action-oriented conclusion

Chair: Alberto Lanzavecchia, University of Padova

Presentation of the 2016 Nepal Winter School “Microfinance in Action”
by the students of the Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Multi-level Governance, University of Padova.


Scientific Committee: Paolo De Stefani, University of Padova; Roberto De Vogli, University of California, Davis, and University of Padova; Livia Holden, Institut d'étude avancées de Nantes and University of Padova; Antonio Marchesi, University of Teramo, President of Amnesty International - Italy; Angela Melchiorre, University of Padova, Human Rights Education Associates (HREA); Antonio Papisca, UNESCO Chair in Human Rights, Democracy and Peace; Fabrizio Petri, President of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; George Ulrich, E.MA Programme Director, European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation.

The Conference is organised with the support of the University of Padova and in cooperation with the Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. 

Partners: FairTrade Italia, RCE Foto Video

Media partner: Radio Bue


Useful information

Conference's venues

The opening and closing plenary sessions take place, respectively, in the Aula Magna Galileo Galilei and in the Aula Nievo, both located in the historic headquarters of the University of Padova at the Palazzo del Bo, via 8 febbraio, Padova. 

All the panels take place at the headquarters of the University Human Rights Centre, located in via Martiri della Libertà, 2, Padova.

How to reach Padova: https://www.unipd.it/en/university-0/getting-here

Discover the city of Padova: https://www.unipd.it/en/discovering-padova-0

Suggested hotels for your accommodation during the Conference (pdf file)