People

PRESIDENT OF THE COMMITTEE

JUDr. Sylvia Tiryaki, PhD.

After finishing her studies at PF UK in Bratislava in 1996, professor Tiryaki practiced law until 2002. She was the deputy for the head of the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Kültür University, where she lectured on International Law, Human Rights and International Conflicts (2003-2017). She became coordinator of international projects for a Turkish economic and social sciences organization (TESEV, 2003-2008), co-founder and executive director of the Global center for political trends (GpoT Center in Istanbul, 2008-2018), Associate Fellow for the Middle East at GLOBSEC (since 2020), and an external consultant and analyst of the Middle East and Turkey for the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in Slovakia (2018-2021). Since 2019, she has been a professor of international law and human rights at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA).

VICE-CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE

Mgr. Dagmar Kusá, PhD.

She is a member of management and a teacher at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA). She received her PhD in political sciences from Boston University. She also used to work in the former Helsinki Committee until 2004. Since 2004, she is the program director at the Bostonian International Center for Conciliation where she holds the position of trainer in transformations of conflicts related to identity. She also works as a national expert for citizenship at the European Democratic Observatory and is a co-organizer of the world’s annual Muslim-Jewish conference.

VICE-CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE

PhDr. Peter Guráň, PhD.

He was a representative of the Slovak Republic in the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2009-2017, vice-chairman of the Committee for Children and Youth of the Government Council of the Slovak Republic for human rights, national minorities and gender equality, and general director of the Social and Family Policy Section of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic (1999-2005). He was head of the department for research and children’s rights of the Slovak National Socialist Party (2005-2011) and is the author and co-author of many domestic and foreign publications in the field of family and children’s rights. He lectures at the University of Trnava.

BOARD MEMBER

PhDr. Kálmán Petőcz, PhD.

Philosopher, political scientist and diplomat. He was vice-chairman for civil society of the Slovak Government Council for human rights, national minorities and gender equality, vice-chairman of the Hungarian Civic Party (1992-1998), vice-chairman of the European Liberal Party (ELDR, 1997-1998), ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations in Geneva (1999-2005), vice-chairman of the World Conference against Racism in Durban (2001), director-general of the Section for European Affairs (2006), director-general of the Section for Human Rights and National Minorities at the Government Office of the Slovak Republic (2010-2012) and program director of the Forum of the Institute for Research on Minorities (2006- 2010). He lectured externally at the Faculty of Arts of the Comenius University in Bratislava, the University of Konstantin Filozof in Nitra and the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA).

BOARD MEMBER

PhDr. Dagmar Horná, PhD.

Political scientist. She is the chairperson of the national commission of the Human Rights Olympiad, chairperson of the civic association OLYMP, an expert for the National Project Institute of Gender Equality and the National Project Further Education and Counseling for Adults as a Tool for Better Applicability on the Labor Market. She is also a university teacher at the Department of Political Science FIF UK in Bratislava, where she leads a course on the Origin and meaning of human rights as an external associate. She works as a cooperating project manager and lecturer at the UNESCO Center for Human Rights Education at Comenius University. She was director at the Department of Human Rights of the Section of Human Rights and National Minorities at the Government Office of the Slovak Republic (2010-2012), deputy of the permanent member of the National Commission for Human Rights Education (2006-2007), member of the executive committee of the Central European Political Science Association (2000-2004) and chairwoman of the Slovak Association for Political Sciences at the Slovak Academy of Sciences (1998-2002).

BOARD MEMBER

Ing. Viliam Figusch, CSc.

Formerly a chemist. After completing his scientific training, he worked as a researcher at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Since 1993 he has been devoted to the issue of European protection of human rights. He was the director of the Information Office of the Council of Europe in Bratislava (1993-2010) and is an active member of the national commission of the Human Rights Olympiad.

LEGAL ADVISOR AND MEMBER

JUDr. Michal Davala, Ph.D., LL.M.

A lawyer in the field of international and European law with a focus on human rights. He studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland (LL.M., 2010) and at Masaryk University in Brno (Ph.D., 2012). He completed an academic and research stay at the Hague Academy for International Law and the International Institute for Human Rights in Strasbourg. He worked at the Department of Approximation of Law and Government Office of the Slovak Republic where he focused on international cooperation, legislation and European Union law. He currently works in advocacy and cooperates with Amnesty International in Slovakia.

PROJECT MANAGER

Lucia Kobzová

She is a student of the bachelor’s degree in political sciences with a focus on law at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Studies (BISLA). Outside the academic sphere, she worked with youth, interned in the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic and worked on a development project in Uganda. She is currently interning at the Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and Informatization and writes articles on the security of the cyber and information space for Infosecurity. She is primarily interested in issues of human rights and democracy, digital policies, cyber security, law and environmental issues.

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Natália Fáberová

She is an undergraduate student of political science at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA) with a focus on international relations. Besides the academic sphere, she works in the sphere of the prevention of radicalism, extremism and violent extremism within the non-profit organization Partners for Democratic Change (PDCS), and the European Observatory of Online Hate (EOOH) project. She is also working with youth in non-formal education under the organization Future Generation Europe (FGE), as well as through mentoring projects. The topics she is most interested in are human rights, negotiations, conflict mediation, international law, criminology and neuroscience.

INTERN

Lenka Porubčanová

She is an undergraduate student of political science and international relations at Charles University in Prague. In the past, she completed an internship at the European Development Agency, and semester abroad at a university in Germany. She is mainly interested in international conflicts, diplomacy, geopolitics, and is currently a member of the Political Science Club of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University. 

INTERN

Viktória Hojstričná

She is an undergraduate student of International Relations at the University of Birmingham. She completed an internship for the Slovak Liaison Office for Research and Development in Brussels, where she worked on projects in the field of science, and humanitarian and social sciences within the EU. He is interested in current political events, populism and foreign diplomacy. Her main focus is the international protection of human rights, the protection of children, youth and women from violence, and the problems of feminist political theory.

IN MEMORIAM

HONORARY CHAIRMAN OF THE HELSINKI COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN SLOVAKIA

Prof. PhDr. Miroslav Kusý, CSc.

Prof. Miroslav Kusý was the founder and first chairman of the former Helsinki Committee in 1993. The first Helsinki Committee in Slovakia stopped being active in 2004. Originally a Marxist philosopher, professor Kusý came to the position of democratic socialism. After 1968, he was expelled from the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia for his attitudes towards the occupation of Czechoslovakia and the normalizing tendencies of the regime at the time. He was one of the first signatories of Charter 77. He was persecuted, followed by State Security, and even imprisoned. During this period he worked as a laborer. After the revolution, he was elected rector of Comenius University. He co-founded the Helsinki Committee, the Milan Šimečka Foundation, the UNESCO Department for Human Rights at the Comenius University and the Human Rights Olympiad of which he was chairman and expert advisor for many years. In his publication, journalistic and pedagogical work, he was a consistent supporter of the principles of liberal democracy and the culture of human rights, including the rights of minorities. He is the holder of the highest state award of the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, and the Republic of Hungary. Professor Kusý died on February 13, 2019 at the age of 88.