"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Nathalie Meurens, LLB, LLM

 

Nathalie Meurens is a Belgian lawyer with in-depth knowledge of Belgian, EU and international law. She currently works as a Legal Advisor for Milieu Ltd. She has been involved in a variety of studies as legal expert and/or project manager including: Member States policies for children with disabilities (or with different abilities) (European Parliament), Study to collect data on children’s involvement in judicial proceedings (DG Justice), Legal framework applicable to racist or xenophobic hate speech and hate crime in the EU Member States (DG Justice), Ad hoc briefing paper on the EU framework of law for children’s rights (European Parliament),Study on the evaluation on the implementation and functioning of the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data set up by Directive 2004/82 in Belgium (DG Home), Study regarding the compensation of crime victims in internal and cross-border situations (DG Justice), as well as various conformity studies on the implementation EU Directives.

Before joining Milieu, Nathalie was a trainee at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. She has worked as an attorney at the Brussels office of an international law firm with a focus on corporate law. She has also completed internships with the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, the New York office of Human Rights Watch, Fondo de Desarrollo Microempresarial, a micro-credit NGO based in Ecuador and New York based Global Policy Forum working on UN policies monitoring.

Nathalie obtained her Licence en droit from Universite Catholique de Louvain, holds a Master degree in European law from Leicester University, UK and a Master of Law with international law focus from University of Toronto, Canada. Between 2009 and 2010, Nathalie studied international affairs and human rights at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs in New York, USA. During her studies Nathalie carried out research on the impact of UN Security Council resolutions on human rights obligations, on European intellectual property issues and on the intersect of the right to water and international trade regulations on which she completed her Master’s thesis.

Her interests relate to children rights, disability rights and non-discrimination law and policies.

#RaiseYourShield

This Civil Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’d like to challenge you to reflect on how fear may have influenced your opinions, especially of others, and to take a step towards the courage to overcome those fears. Why the focus on fear you might ask?

Famed marketer and author Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why” outlines six typical manipulations used in sales and marketing, one of which is the use of fear. On fear, Sinek says, “When fear is being employed, facts are incidental. Deeply seated in our biological drive to survive, that emotion cannot be quickly wiped away with facts and figures.”

In the current political atmosphere, in the U.S. and around the globe, fear is often used by politicians and campaigners to polarize debates and to demonize marginalized communities, using them as scapegoats for the real economic, social, and political challenges that societies face.

Martin Luther King, Jr. understood how important fear is, so much so that he gave a sermon on it named “Antidotes for Fear.” It’s worth reading in its entirety, especially because it recognizes the importance, necessity, and creativity of fear (kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/draft-chapter-xiv-mastery-fear-or-antidotes-fear). However, particularly pertinent section was highlighted by King’s wife Coretta Scott King in her book “My life with Martin Luther King, Jr”:

“First Martin spoke of the many kinds of fear that troubled men and women in this period of change and "calamitous uncertainty"— fear of illness or economic disaster, fear of personal inadequacy in our highly competitive society. More terrible was the fear of death, even racial annihilation, in this atomic age, when the whole world teetered on "a balance of terror . . . fearful lest some diplomatic faux pas ignite a frightful holocaust."

"Some fears are normal and necessary," he said, like the fear of snakes in a jungle, but when they become neurotic and unchecked, they paralyze the will and reduce a man to apathy or despair. He quoted Emerson, who wrote, "He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."

How, then, to overcome fear? First, Martin said, "We must un-flinchingly face our fears . . . this confrontation will, to some measure, grant us power. . . . "Second, we can master fear through one of the supreme virtues known to man— courage . . . courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.”"

MLK Coretta Scott King Simon Sinek
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