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Academic Freedom Under Attack

A webinar on a human right under attack in need of a global response.

On the 9th of March 2021, Science for Democracy, together with the Associazione Luca Coscioni and Eumans organized a webinar on Academic Freedom presenting the elements of the right, under international law, and addressing the situation in China, Hungary and Turkey.

Academic freedom is a human right. It demands members of academia to be able to inquire, express, teach or communicate ideas or facts, including those that are inconvenient to authorities, freely and without repercussions for themselves or the academic institutions to which they belong. Although academic freedom is not mentioned as such in the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, there is no doubt that Articles 13 and 15, read together, promote the rights at the center of academic freedom. Academic freedom underpins the right to education and the freedom of research within institutions of higher education. States have an obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the right to academic freedom.

The event focused on several case studies where academic freedom has recently come under attack, starting from those included on a Shadow Report on China  formally submitted by Science for Democracy last year with a list of issue for the UN Committee.

List of speakers during the webinar Defending Academic Freedom

  • Laura Convertino, Steering Committee of Science for Democracy
  • Costanza Hermaninresearch fellow at the School of Transnational Governance of the European University Institute, Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, Steering Committee of Science for Democracy
  • Marco Gentili, Co-President, Associazione Luca Coscioni
  • Cesare Romano, Professor of International Law, Loyola Law School,Steering Committee of Science for Democracy
  • Dalanee Hester, Fellow of the International Human Rights Center of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles 
  • Eva FodorCo-Director, CEU Democracy Institute Associate Professor, Department of Gender Studies, Central European University
  • Dr. Latife AkyuzEinstein Research Fellow, Humboldt University, Berlin
  • Marco PerducaFounder of Science for Democracy
  • Federico BrusadelliResearcher in Chinese History at University of Naples “L’Orientale”
* The report was presented by Justin Small (Fellow of the International Human Rights Center of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles) during the official session of the CESCR.

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