Global Human Rights Defence

Global Human Rights Amazon Workgroup

Target:

GHRD aims to draw attention to the visibility of Indigenous people of Suriname. Awareness, recognition, acquaintance with our culture rituals and libations.

Preserving the intangible heritage. GHRD – Amazone aim is also to  project is to strengthen the identity of the indigenous communities in Suriname by bringing traditional values back to the fore and empowering the indigenous community by making known and preserving the cultural heritage again. The aim is therefore to set up an educational program and more information to make the traditional life patterns in the villages clearly recognizable.

To reach this goal:

  • Applying lawful and lawful means.
  • Commemorating Columbus Day October 12, the suffering that has been done to us.
  • August 9 Day Natives celebration.
  • Collaborate with other organizations working in the same field, Internationally and locally.
  • Organize network meetings
  • Maintaining contacts with the appropriate government, municipal and private bodies.
  • Publishing documentation
  • Human Rights and Human Rights Education
  • Rights of indigenous peoples
  • Fundamental rights Amazonian Indigenous
  • Empowering Indigenous Women
  • Reparation payment in the form of education, financial support and support of projects and all the above points.
  • Projects such as: clean water, solar projects, health, education, Agriculture, Hunting and fishing, Knowledge of flora and fauna for specific purposes, Traditional Costumes, Knot hammocks, Making rope, Traditional food and drinks, Medicines, Ceremonial and rites
  • Making an inventory of traditional customs, skills and crafts and those who still have knowledge of them and passing on this knowledge and skills to the indigenous population. – Connection will be sought with organizations who already stand up for the interests of the target group, such as the Association of Indigenous Village Heads Suriname (VIDS), the Organization of Indigenous People in Suriname (OIS) and the Amazone Party Suriname (APS) Foundation Paatu-Palumeu.

Mission and Vision

Providing and offering teaching materials on these topics is also part of this mission. The slavery past of our Indigenous people and oppression in the world must be recognized. To this end, the GHRD Amazone group is developing a number of core activities aimed at our slavery past in order to consciously confront the world with this Dutch slavery past in the former colony and Amazon areas. Awareness, recognition and introduction to culture and history are our priorities. We also draw attention to the recognition of our collective property, which is not recognized in Surinamese law, but is recognized in international law.

The peace treaty of 1686 concluded by Gouverneur van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck with the Arawaks, Caribbean, and Warrao and with the colonial administration must be recognized by the Surinamese government and the Dutch government.

Background information on the “red slave”

The “red slave”, “The Indian or red slave” is a forgotten page in Dutch and Surinamese history. Bookcases have been written about the Dutch trans-Atlantic slavery past, and in recent years the perspective of the Afro-Surinamese community has been reluctantly accepted In all the commotion of grief, defence, guilt, penance, recognition of colonialism and slavery in Suriname and the Caribbean we have skipped an essential page. What are the reasons for this? The books say that when the Europeans set foot in the Caribbean and Atlantic coasts of South America, the Arawaks and Caribbean lived here, which these Europeans called “Indians” for short, because they thought they had arrived in India. Then we read about how the Europeans take people from Africa and sell them in the Americas to be slaves on the plantations. The original inhabitants of Suriname and its neighboring countries then disappear from the pages, but the original inhabitants – still incorrectly called “Indians” – still live and work in Suriname and the Netherlands.

The indigenous people have traditionally been the first inhabitants of the Americas

The indigenous people have traditionally been the first inhabitants of the Americas and therefore also of Suriname. In Suriname the natives are divided into the following tribes:

Kalian (Caribbean)

Lokono (Arawaks)

Trio

Akuriyo

Wayana

Tunayana (Katwena)

Mawayana

 Sikiyana

Warraus

The Caribbean and the Arawaks are the largest indigenous tribes.

The indigenous people, like the other Surinamese population groups, have partly swarmed to the city or abroad. But their base is still in the villages in the northern part of Suriname.

But even those communities are not unaffected by economic and socio-cultural developments. With the gradual disappearance of the own language, which has been supplanted by Sranan Tongo, Dutch, English or French, the traditional cultural heritage is also disappearing. Many indigenous people have lost touch with the traditions and knowledge and skills that are part of their cultural heritage.

Some developments such as education and medical facilities are of course real achievements, but the loss of this heritage also leads to a loss of the sense of belonging, a loss of social cohesion and thus the disappearance of the typical characteristics of the indigenous communities.

The indigenous people today form a minority within Surinamese society. The loss of Indigenous identity means that further discrimination is not imaginary – Indigenous people are still regarded as third-class citizens – and that they have little influence on improving their social position.

These developments have also changed the governance of the communities. There are still (elected) village heads who are assisted by ‘basyas’, but because their authority is no longer naturally derived from the traditions of the communities, they are confronted with issues for which they are not automatically well equipped. Where there is insufficient experience in effective leadership, it is difficult to give sufficient direction to communal activities, to act as a connecting factor in the community and to strengthen local institutions.

Mattia Ruben Castiello
Media quality coordinator

Mattia is currently in charge of quality checking and improving all the social media and website handles of the Global Human Rights Defence.
With a bachelor in Psychology from Spain and a master in Cultural Anthropology from the Netherlands, Mattia’s passion now lies in Human Rights in regard to the refugee and migrant crisis. Having lived his whole life in East-Arica, Mattia has had the opportunity to work with a vast amount of non-government organisations and health institutions. This has provided him with knowledge in diverse cultural understandings as well as interest in concerning global issues.

Jeremy Samuël van den Enden
Coordinator Bangladesh & Communication Officer
Mr. Van den Enden has a MSc in International Relations and specializes in inequality, racial dynamics and security within international diplomacy and policymaking. He studies the contemporary as well as modern historical intricacies of human rights in the global political arena. Furthermore, Mr. Van den Enden assists GHRD in revitalizing its internal and external communication.
Célinne Bodinger
Environment and Human Rights Coordinator

As the Environment and Human Rights Coordinator, Célinne is passionate about the health of our planet and every life on it.

Prerna Tara
Human Rights Coordinator

Prerna specializes in Public International Law and envisions a peaceful world where every human lives with dignity and respect.

Lina Borchardt
Team Head (Promotions)
(Europe)

She is currently heading the Promotions Team and University Chapter of Global Human Rights Defence. Her background is the one of European and International Law, which I am studying in The Hague. She has previously gained experience at Women´s Rights organizations in Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey over the past years.
She has been working for Global Human Rights Defence in the Netherlands since 2020. Her focus now is concentrated on the Human Rights and Minorities Film Festival and the cooperation of GHRD with students across the country.

Bianca Fyvie
Coordinator and Head Researcher
(Africa)

Bianca has widespread knowledge about social problems and human rights issues, with a specific focus on social justice in Africa and the empowerment of communities and individuals. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Stellenbosch University as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work and Human Rights from Gothenburg University. She has participated in courses on Women’s Leadership at Stellenbosch University, and has worked with organizations such as AIESEC towards furthering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She also has experience in working directly with marginalized and vulnerable groups in South Africa while qualifying as a Social Worker.
Bianca is the coordinator for a group of interns doing research and reporting on Human Rights topics in a range of African countries. Her focus is on ensuring that these countries are monitored and have up to date reports and research conducted in order to allow relevant and updated information to be produced.

Alessandro Cosmo
GHRD Youth Ambassador
(European Union)

Alessandro Cosmo obtained his B.A. with Honors from Leiden University College where he studied International Law with a minor in Social and Business Entrepreneurship. He is currently pursuing an LL.M. in Public International Law at Utrecht University with a specialization in Conflict and Security. 
As GHRD’s E.U. Youth Ambassador, Alessandro’s two main focuses are to broaden the Defence’s reach within E.U. institutions and political parties, as well as mediate relations between human rights organizations abroad seeking European funding. 
Alessandro believes that human rights advocacy requires grass-roots initiatives where victims’ voices are amplified and not paraphrased or spoken for. He will therefore act on this agenda when representing Global Human Rights Defence domestically and abroad

Hiba Zene
Coordinator and Head Researcher
(Africa)

Hiba Zene holds a Bachelor’s degree in International and European Law from The Hague University and, has significant legal knowledge in the field of international human rights law. She actively advocates for the protection of all human rights of vulnerable minorities and marginalised groups. Focusing, specifically on the human rights of children and women in Africa.
Hiba is the coordinator and head researcher for GHRD Africa. As a human rights defender for GHRD she has examined and investigated various human rights abuses, violations and issues in Africa. She has led research missions addressing issues on Statelessness in Kenya, Child Abuse in Uganda, and Teen Pregnancy in Kenya.

Thaís Ferreira de Souza
Coordinator and Head Researcher (International Justice and Human Rights)

Senior Paralegal at PGMBM (Amsterdam office), working to bring justice for victims of wrongdoing by big corporations, with a focus on human rights and environmental law.
Previously, Thaís worked as a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, providing legal advice on international human rights law and international criminal law. She also worked at the State Court of Justice of the Rondônia State (TJRO) in Brazil from 2013 to 2017, initially as a legal clerk and posteriorly as a legal advisor to judges. In 2016 she served as the regional representative of the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Procedural Law (IBRASPP) in the State of Rondônia, Brazil and during her bachelor’s degree, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Research Group ‘Ethics and Human Rights’ of the Federal University of Rondônia for over three years.

Fairuz Sewbaks
Coordinator and Head Researcher
(Africa)​

Fairuz Sewbaks holds extensive legal knowledge regarding international human rights, with a specific focus on human rights dealings taking place in continental Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Hague University in public international law and international human rights and successfully followed advanced human rights courses at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. She furthermore participated in the Istanbul Summer School where she was educated about the role of epidemics and pandemics in light of human rights.

 

Fairuz is the coordinator and head researcher for GHRD Africa. Her primary focus is to establish and coordinate long-term research projects regarding the differentiating human rights dealings of vulnerable and marginalized groups in continental Africa, as well as conducting individual research projects.

Priya Lachmansingh
Coordinator and Head Researcher, Political Advisor
(Asia & America)

Priya Lachmansingh is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in International & European Law at the Hague University of Applied Science.
As GHRD’s Asia & America human rights coordinator and GHRD Political Advisor, Priya’s prominent focus is to highlight human rights violations targeted against minority and marginalized groups in Asia and America and to broaden GHRD reach within Dutch political parties and as well seek domestic funding.

Fabian Escobar
Coordinator and Head Researcher
(Europe)

My name is Fabian Escobar, L.L.B. International and European Law candidate to The Hague University. I was born in Honduras and been living in The Netherlands, more specifically Amsterdam the last 8 years. I am passionate about Human Rights, Civil and Political Rights, fighting racism, and empowering women and ethnic minorities. In GHRD I am the coordinator for the Europe Team, I am thankful for being part of this team and that I have been given the opportunity to learn and apply my learning.