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International human rights advocate presents at BSC

Posted on 9/22/2013

Bjorn Engesland
Norway Secretary General Bjorn Engesland
Bjørn Engesland, secretary general of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and Kristi Rendahl, North Dakota Prairie Talks coordinator and torture rehabilitation facilitator, will offer three presentations on human rights abuses and the challenges and threats that human rights advocates face on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the Basin Electric Auditorium in the National Energy Center of Excellence on the Bismarck State College campus.

The free public presentations are held at 10:30-11:45 a.m., 1:30-2:45 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m.

Englesland's visit is co-sponsored by Bismarck State College's Embracing Diversity Team and the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Bjørn Engesland started working in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in 1995 and became secretary general in 1996. He has a master's degree in law and is a member of the board of the Institute for Human Rights.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was founded in 1977. The committee bases its activities on the Helsinki Declaration that was signed by more than 35 European and North American states at the Conference of Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, later OSCE) in 1975. The declaration states that respect for human rights is a fundamental factor in the development of peace and understanding between states.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, which monitors compliance with the human rights provisions of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) within all OSCE signatory states and supports initiatives to strengthen democracy and civil society. In the last few years the Norwegian Helsinki Committee's international activities have focused especially on the emerging democracies in central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The committee works irrespectively of states' ideology and political positions, and concentrates on addressing breaches of the Helsinki Declaration, OSCE documents and other international human rights treaties. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is politically independent.

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