Seminar – The Role of Archives in Promoting Human Rights

Date: Wednesday 29 May 2024
Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Venue: Virtual and In person at Richelieu Amphitheatre, SUAD Campus
Open to public
Free entry

Register for the eighth session of the seminar series in Records Management & Archival Sciences titled The Role of Archives in Promoting Human Rights

The seminar aims to emphasize the significance of archives in safeguarding citizens’ rights. Specifically, speakers will highlight the crucial role archives play in documenting information essential for the protection of various rights, including economic, social, cultural, and political rights.In this context, a representative from the International Council of Archives (ICA) Human Rights Section will elucidate the initiatives undertaken by the ICA to uphold the role of archives as guardians of freedom by advocating for human rights. Additionally, another speaker will share insights and experiences on utilizing archives to advance truth, justice, and reconciliation efforts.

About the speakers

Prof Vitor
Prof Vitor Fonseca graduated in History from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (1979) with a Master’s degree (1987) and a Doctorate in History from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), 2007. He completed his post-doctoral internship (2009-2011) at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. He has worked in the Arquivo Nacional do Brasil for 35 years and is a Professor at the Department of Information Science and Director of the Post-graduate Program in Information Science. He is further a member of the Experts Group on Archival Description, the Program Commission and President of the Section on Archives and Human Rights (International Council on Archives). He was the former President of the Technical Chamber of Standardization of Archival Description at the National Archives; former member of the Memory of the World Program (UNESCO) at national, regional and international level. He also served as the regional advisor to the Regional Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Memory of the World Program (MOWLAC) and was the former scientific editor of the magazines Arquivo & Administração and Acervo and member of other editorial committees of national and foreign magazines.


Prof Verne
Prof Verne Harris is Acting Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He was Mandela’s archivist from 2004 to 2013, directed the Foundation’s archives programme for 15 years and the dialogue and advocacy programme for 5 years. He is an adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela University, served in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and is a former Deputy Director of the National Archives. He has authored or co-authored six books, the most recent one being Ghosts of Archive (2021). He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Cordoba (Argentina 2014) and the University of Pretoria (South Africa 2023), held the Follet Chair at Dominican University (Chicago) in 2018-9, received archival publication awards from Australia, Canada and South Africa, and both his novels were short-listed for South Africa’s M-Net Book Prize. He was a selection panel member for Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity (2017-2022) and has served on the Boards of Archival Science, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Freedom of Expression Institute, and the South African History Archive.



Dr Proscovia
Dr Proscovia Svärd is an Associate Professor at the Department of History, Sorbonne University, Abu Dhabi. She was before Associate Professor at the Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information systems and Technology, Forum for Digitalization, Mid Sweden University. She is also a Research Fellow at the Department of Information Science, University of South Africa (Unisa) in Pretoria and she carried out her Post-doctoral Research at the School of Interdisciplinary Research and Postgraduate Studies, University of South Africa, between 2016-2017. She completed her PhD at the University of Amsterdam. She has a Licentiate Degree in Data and Systems Sciences, BA and MA in Archives and Information Science from Mid Sweden University, Sweden and a BSc in Media and Information Science from Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research interests include; enterprise content management, records management, information culture, e-government development, public sector information (PSI) and Open Data, long-term preservation of digital information, truth and reconciliation commissions and their documentation processes, the role of archives in enhancing accountability and transparency in government institutions, information access and the link to democracy and development and New Public Management and its impact on the management of government information. She is the author of a book entitled “Enterprise Content Management, Records Management and Information Culture Amidst e-Government Development”.

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