An international conference on "Memory, Archives and Human Rights" will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, and in Malmö, Sweden, on 4 and 5 June 2009.

The main objective of the conference is to raise awareness on the relevance and importance of archives for supporting human rights and for documenting human rights violations.

It will bring together representatives of the archival community, human rights experts, activists, and individuals, interested in issues relating to the links between memory, history and archives and their role in building a universal culture of human rights. The keynote address will be made by the President of the International Council on Archives (ICA), Ian Wilson. Among the participants of the seminar will be the National Archivist of Denmark, Johan Peter Noack, and the Chairman of the Danish National Commission for UNESCO, Linda Nielsen. The debates will be moderated by the former National Archivist of Sweden, Erik Norberg.

The conference is organized by a several partners, including Arkivforeningen (the Danish Archival Association), Stadsarkivet (the City Archives) of Malmö, and the Working Group on Archives and Human Rights within the International Council on Archives (ICA). Among the partners which support the project are: the Museum of Malmö, the Danish National Commission for UNESCO, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Lund (Sweden) and the national archival associations of Sweden, Norway and Finland.

The working language of the seminar will be English. It will be covered by the television, radio and mass media.

Provisional programme

Day 1 (Copenhagen; possibly Landstingssalen, Christiansborg)

Panel 1: Nordic cases
1. Greenlandic children removed from their parents to Denmark in the 1950's (Speaker: Tine Bryld)
2. "Lebensborn": The case of children born to Norwegian women with German WWII soldiers as their biological fathers (Speaker: Kåe Olsen)
3. Forced deportations in Finland after1939 (Speaker: Jussi Nuorteva)

Panel 2: European cases

1. Archives and transitional justice with the former Yugoslavia as an example (Louis Bickford)
2. Roma - tracing the Romani people through transnational archives (Christina Johnsson)

3. Spain and Historical Memory: Lights and Shadows

Day 2 (Malmö)

Panel 3: Global cases

1. “Creating” archives documenting human rights violations - the role of the Memorial Institution in Moscow
2. The politics of archives and memory in Argentina
3. “Archives tell our stories” Apartheid, Reconciliation and the search for historical truth in South Africa (District Six museum in Cape Town - probably the former Director)

Visit of the Mandela-exhibition at Malmö Museum

Closing session:
Summary by Erik Norberg
Keynote address by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu

Closing speech

More on cooperation between UNESCO and Denmark

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