Conference 2012

Museums and Human Rights

The third international FIHRM conference was a great success and brought together more than 70 delegates from 15 countries worldwide to debate and talk about their work on museums and human rights.

Read the papers and presentations from the conference

Scroll down below and click on the titles to read papers and presentations from the two-day event.


About the conference

9-10 October 2012, International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, UK

It is 5 years since the opening of the International Slavery Museum. In that time, the view has become more widespread that museums should play an active role in fighting for human rights, and there are now many museums around the world that are active in this field.

In this conference we want to consider the ways in which museums have made progress, or not.We wish to look at recent and current examples of progressive work, in terms of combating gender and ethnic inequalities, discrimination and other human rights abuses.


The FIHRM Conference 2012 is under the patronage of UNESCO


ICOM supports the FIHRM 2012 Conference.


Download the programme and information about the speakers.(PDF)

Day 1: Tuesday 9 October 2012

Prof Phil Redmond CBE, Chair, National Museums Liverpool

Opening address: The political museum
Dr David Fleming OBE, Director, National Museums Liverpool

Negotiating Visitor Experience: delivering challenging content in a formidable building (PDF format)
Gilles Hébert, Vice President, Museum Practice, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Canada

Five Years International Slavery Museum (PDF)
Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of International Slavery Museum, National Museums Liverpool, UK

Session One – Introduction by session chair
Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of International Slavery Museum

Transformation of the Iziko Slave Lodge (Presentation PDF)
Shanaaz Galant, Assistant Curator, Social History Collections Department, Iziko Museums of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

The role of AFRICOM in museum development in relation to Human Rights (Paper PDF; Presentation PDF)
Francis Awinda, Information Officer, AFRICOM, Kenya

Museums and Human Rights – the Mongolian Military Museum
(Paper PDF; Presentation PDF)
Ganganchimeg Aviraa, Curator, National Military Museum, Ulaanbataar, Mongolia

Session Two Introduction by session chair – TBC

Healing and Human Rights in Kurdistan Museums
Viv Golding, Director of PhD Research Students and Lecturer in Museum Communication and Education

Human Rights and Labour museums: versatile and changing roles (PDF)
Teemu Ahola, Head of Collections, Finnish Labour Museum, Tampere, Finland

The power of culture: promoting the right to access representation and participation in the Norwegian museum and archive sector (PDF)
Ashild Andrea Brekke, Senior Adviser and Synne Stavheim, Senior Adviser, Arts Council Norway, Oslo, Norway

Reflecting history and discussing politics (PDF)
Henrike Zentgraf, Curator, Memorium Nuremberg Trials, Nuremberg, Germany

Plenary session - round up of the first day
Dr David Fleming OBE, Director, National Museums Liverpool

Day 2: Wednesday 10 October

Introduction to the day
David Fleming

Keynote speech - Slavery: still a cause for our times (PDF)
Aidan McQuade, Director, Anti-Slavery International

Young People and Human Rights - Special session
Claire Benjamin, Head of Communities, National Museums Liverpool

Local community projects to create opportunities and tackle problems
Ben Osu, Community Engagement Officer for Your Housing Group, Merseyside, UK

Mission Malaria Project
Holly Lodge Girls School

Cut Cotton Crimes (PDF)
Vikki Evans-Hubard, Merseyside Maritime Museum Education Manager, National Museums Liverpool

Session three - Introduction by Session Chair
Claire Benjamin, Head of Communities, National Museums Liverpool

Case Study – Human Rights photography exhibition made by young people in the aftermath of terror (PDF)
Ragnhild Flatas, Head of Education, Falstad Memorial and Human Rights Centre, Ekne, Finland

Children’s information access right and the role of museums (PDF)
Nyguen Hai Ninh, Vice-head of Museum Management Bureau, Department of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hanoi, Vietnam

Working with museums to campaign for Human Rights
(Paper PDF; Presentation PDF)
Federico Garza, Director, Commission for Human Rights, Coahuila, Mexico

Session 4 – Introduction by Session Chair - TBC

Beating the deadline: Women in the quest for attainment of UN Millennium Development Goals (Presentation PDF)
Hassoum Ceesay, Curator, The Gambia National Museum, Banjul, Gambia

Tradition and religion as negative factors for gender inequality in Nigeria
(Paper PDF; Presentation PDF)
Chinwe Abara, Deputy Director, National Council for Arts and Culture, Lagos, Nigeria

Homosexuality and Gender Issues in Vietnam (Presentation PDF)
Phuong Thu Hien, Communication and Education, Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam

Special workshop: Act of memory – Collective Recitation from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Monica Ross and Michelle Hirschorn with the participation of FIHRM delegates

Plenary Session, round up of the second day – Conference close
Chair: David Fleming

© Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM)