Round Table Discussion: Academia’s Role to Uphold Human Rights in Ukraine

From Humanitarian Relief to Building Back Better

When: 23 May at 15:00-17:00
Reception at 17-18

Where: Gamla Biskopshuset, Lund, Sweden

Since February 24th, 2022, we have been reminded of the significant loss of life and gross violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law resulting from the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine.

The invasion has fundamentally altered everyday life in Ukraine and has had a considerable impact on education and research activities at universities. While universities are not typically associated with war atrocities, their role is crucial for both in-war and post-war settings. Universities are essential for the next generation and their willingness to stay in Ukraine, rebuild, and contribute to its future.

With the war, academia’s role in promoting human rights and democracy has become even more vital. Teachers are crucial in cultivating the new generation of Ukrainians equipped with the skills and expertise to rebuild their country in an inclusive, transparent, and sustainable way. Researchers are essential in combating fake news with facts and objective evidence, including the investigation of war crimes and human rights violations. Law academics and students are needed more than ever to assist Ukrainians with their legal needs.

Ukrainian academics and students have already impressed us all with their unprecedented perseverance. The Russian invasion has not broken them, and they have adapted as best as possible. However, they still require our support. A study from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law shows that it is challenging to continue with education and research amidst life-threatening situations, electricity shortages, displacement, restricted mobility, and a lack of funding.

Our roundtable will discuss the role of Ukrainian academia in addressing the human rights challenges facing the country today and explore ways to support it in continuing to serve as the country’s essential knowledge base.

Please register no later than noon May 17th to

Read more about the Ukraine Mapping

15:00-15:30 Welcome remarks

Erik Renström, Vice Chancellor, Lunds University

Anders Almgren, Mayor, the City of Lund

Robert Resnick, Member of Board of Trustees, Lund University Foundation

Moderated by Morten Kjaerum/Elisabet Fura, Raoul Wallenberg Institute

15:30-16:45 Roundtable discussion followed by Q&A session

Andrii Plakhotniuk, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Sweden (video-address)

Henrik Norberg, Head of Ukraine Recovery and Reconstruction Secretariat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden (online)

Arsen Markiv, Author of the RWI study with Ukrainian Universities

Kseniia Smyrnova, Vice-Rector for Education – International Affairs, Taras Shevchenko University (online)

Jessica Almqvist, Professor of International Law and Human Rights and Director of the Programme on International Human Rights Law, Lund University

Moderated by Zuzana Zalanova, Director of Europe Office, Raoul Wallenberg Institute

16:45-17:00 Concluding remarks

Morten Kjærum, Director, Raoul Wallenberg Institute




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