Earlier this year, IFOR was pleased to receive a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to help expand it's work at the United Nations in support of conscientious objectors around the world. IFOR saw a need to grow the capacity of human rights advocates to defend C.O.s and has created a Fellowship that will allow human rights professionals to learn more about the right to conscientious objection while gaining experience working to support those whose rights are being threatened or violated. The fellows will work along side IFOR's main representative to the UN in Geneva, Derek Brett for a period of 6 to 12 months.
We are pleased to introduce our first IFOR Fellow for this project, Martina Lanza. Martina has an M.A. in Human rights and International Relations and her principal interests are Children’s rights, conscientious objection to military service and nonviolent conflict resolution.
Martina's commitment to the right to conscientious objection and peace came from her long-time activism for the Italian association Movimento Nonviolento (Nonviolent Movement). This association works to support peace and nonviolence as and is committed tobuilding a society free from violence and war. Movimento Nonviolento often works in collaboration with IFOR's branch in Italy, Movimento Internazionale della Riconciliazione.
Before joining IFOR, Martina served as Human Rights advisor and researcher at Human Rights Centre of the University of Padua (Italy) and at Regional Children ombudsman office in Venezia (Italy). She has represented Movimento Nonviolento at the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection to military service (EBCO) since 2012.
In addition to serving as an additional IFOR representative in Geneva, Martina will aid the International Secretariat in sharing information about IFORs work in Geneva and the situation facing C.O.s in different countries around the world. IFOR is glad to welcome her to the International Secretariat!