Friday, June 13

Kinga Jelinska is a cultural anthropologist and a feminist working for the reproductive health and rights movement. She has worked with many international organizations such as Women on Web, Women on Waves, International Consortium for Medical Abortion, as well as local grassroots organizations and networks on advancing access to safe abortion, and in particular safe abortion with pills in countries where abortion is legally restricted. The strategies are grounded in human right to information and right to health, often using new media to spread the information.

Shirin Musa is co-founder of Femmes for Freedom, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for women’s rights, and especially women who have been forced into or are enforced to stay in a marriage. Femmes for Freedom strives for complete compliance of the United Nations CEDAW treaty, with the special emphasis on article 16 that determines that men and women in as well as after marriage should be treated equally. Shirin Musa herself has had an experience of being trapped into an unwilling marital captivity. In 2010, she divorced her husband by Dutch law, but he enforced her into the marriage by Islamic law. On the basis of the Dutch law, she demanded that her husband should be convicted, with success.

Gijs Bruggeman is legally deafblind. He was born deaf and at the age of 9 was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome type 1, which led to his blindness. He was well aware that his live would change dramatically by becoming a deaf blind person but accepted this as part of his identity. He knew that it was crucial for him to get the best education and support. With no other support than a sign‐language interpreter he attended High School. Due to his limited vision there was absolutely no way for him to graduate in The Netherlands without the adequate support. He thus moved to the United States, where better support to disabled students was offered. Gijs graduated within 5 years and got his B.S. degree in Business Administration. At the moment Gijs works as coordinator for the Deaf blind at the Welfare for the Deaf Foundation (SWDA).

Jonneke van Wierst is a free-lance writer/ journalist. She has worked for Amnesty International on the subject of immigration detention and the rights of irregular migrants in The Netherlands since 2010. At this moment she is working on a storytelling website project for Amnesty on the lives of the irregular migrants who have united in Amsterdam in a movement called ‘We Are Here’. The position of these people is a hotly disputed subject in Dutch society -just as the subject of immigration detention. In the past van Wierst wrote articles on the subject of irregular migration and immigration detention for national papers. She worked as a radio and TV news journalist, mostly between 1990-2010. In this period she frequently tackled subjects involving human rights and migration. In 2011 she published a children’s book on the great Dutch scholar and Humanist Erasmus. Van Wierst has her M.A. in English language and literature from the University of Amsterdam, together with a B.A. from the Tilburg Academy of Journalism.

Bashir Abdulkadir worked as an accountant in Somalia for 8 years. In 2008 he fled to the Netherlands, where he arrived at Asylum Center Ter Apel, in Groningen (Northern province). Abdulkadir’s asylum procedure took 9 months, where after he was allowed into the country. Living in the Netherlands since 2005, Abdulkadir has learned to speak Dutch and currently serves as an administrative assistant and an interpreter for Somalian refugees at VluchtelingenWerk, an organization that represents the interests of refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands.

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