Conference 2015: Securing Archives at Risk

1 October 2015, 9am-6pm, Hotel National, Bern, Switzerland.

The conference “securing archives at risk” was organized by swisspeace in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Archives and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in the scope of the “Archives and Dealing with the Past” project.

The event addressed the topic of the protection, security and access to archives at risk. When archives and records hold sensitive information with regard to accountability, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, they are often at risk not only for political reasons following armed conflict or situations of transition, but also due to lack of resources, bad archival conditions and natural hazards.

The objectives of the conference were to understand the risks associated with archives that contain information on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law; to understand the current national and international legal standards; and to identify what can be done in the respective countries and if needed, in cooperation with other actors to protect, secure and give access to such archives.

Conference Report /Conference Progam / List of participation / Experts biographies  / Voices on archives at risk (see below) / Photos of the conference & Videos of the conference


Voices from around the world on archives at risk

Why is it important to protect and secure human rights archives at risk? In the following videos, practitioners and experts from Colombia, the Marshall Islands, Syria and other places around the world explain why they think it is important to safeguard and give access to human rights archives in their country.

Bangladesh, Mofidul Hoque, Liberation War Museum

Cambodia, Vanthan Peoudara, The Sleuk Rith Institue - Permanent Documentation Centre

Colombia, Ana Margoth Guerrero, Human Rights Archives of the National Centre for the Historical Memory

Egypt, Ahmed Atef, Wikithawra Project

Germany, Dagmar Hovestädt, Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records

Marshall Islands, Bill Graham & Cathy Debrum Wakefield, Nuclear Claims Tribunal

Switzerland, Sarah Bernasconi, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs  

Syria, Malek, Dawlaty

Note: These videos have been collected by swisspeace with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The views expressed by the speakers are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official views or positions of the Swiss Federal Archives, the FDFA nor of swisspeace.

Bangladesh, Mofidul Hoque, Co-Funder and trustee, Liberation War Museum 

Cambodia, Vanthan Peoudara, Deputy Director, The Sleuk Rith Institue - Permanent Documentation Centre  

Colombia, Ana Margoth Guerrero, Director of the Human Rights Archives of the National Centre for the Historical Memory

Egypt, Ahmed Atef, Co-founder, "Wikithawra" Project

Germany, Dagmar Hovestädt, Press Relations Officer, Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records

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Marshall Islands, Bill Graham & Cathy Debrum Wakefield, Nuclear Claims Tribunal

Switzerland, Sarah Bernasconi, Head of the Task Force for Dealing with the Past and the Prevention of Atrocities, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Syria, Malek, Field Worker, Dawlaty