Organized by UN-Habitat and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, a very interesting Panel Discussion on “Reviewing State of Safety in Cities”, was held on June 28th in Room XXV of Palais des Nations. This event was organized in the scope of the outcomes of the UN “Habitat III” conference, resulting in the “New Urban Agenda”, and to facilitate partnership between local and national governments, civil society and other stakeholders to fully endorse the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.   During the Panel, it was examined how nowadays’ speed of urban development brings...

IIMA is pleased to announce the recent Human Rights Council resolution 35/14 that focuses on the issue of international youth rights. This resolution was adopted after the IIMA office, along with other stakeholders and States, pressed the Human Rights Council for a better promotion of youth rights through UN mechanisms. The resolution was made during the 35th regular Human Rights Council Session in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2017. It recognizes the fact that the world’s youth population face “… growing challenges that disproportionately affect [them]…”[1] and invites states to take concrete...

On June 6 thru 23, 2017, at Palais de Nations, Geneva Switzerland, the IIMA office was busy with work as they prepared for their participation in the 35th regular session of the United Nations (UN) Human Right Council (HRC). The main role IIMA played in the 35th UN HRC was through the submission of oral statements thanks to the work of interns and volunteers. Four oral statements were given on behalf of IIMA and VIDES, along with the co-sponsorship of several other joint statements. The first oral statement was presented on June...

On Thursday, May 4th, IIMA and VIDES attended an enlightening event at the UNOG Library organized by the foundation “CAUX – Initiative of Change”. The event, “Youth Breaking Barriers of Exclusion”, brought together stories of young volunteers who made big changes in their community through their self-managed initiatives. Barbara Hintermann, Secretary General of CAUX, gave her welcoming remarks, highlighting how this meant to provide a space for young leaders and give them a voice. Four projects have been presented: small audiences joined in turn short presentation from each one of...

When the Human Rights Council (HRC) meets, the 47 Member States and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with ECOSOC consultative status have opportunities to stress particular human rights issues, announce their opinions on actions that have been taken or not taken, and can attend meetings and organize “parallel events”, also known as “side events”, on issues related to the work of the HRC. IIMA, VIDES International and the Permanent Mission of El Salvador co-organized a side event during the 34th session of the HRC titled “Youth for Human Rights and the Common Good.”...

On November 18th, the General Assembly established the Declaration on the Right to Peace. Many States and civil society groups have been fighting for the recognition of this right for twenty years.  This lengthy process was due to the great lack of consensus as to the meaning of the concept of peace as a right and because it would increase the obligations of States, for example, to actively and transparently control the arms trade and to suppress the illegal sale of these. The first attempt to adopt peace as a right was carried out by UNESCO in 1997....

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. From November 25th through December 10th (Human Rights Day) the UN proposes the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Violence against women is a human rights violation, a consequence of the persisting inequalities between men and women in law and practice, and it has been identified as a global pandemic. "Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation...

An Interview with Maria D’Onofrio, Advocacy Officer at  Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice The IIMA Human Rights Office conducted an interview with Maria D’Onofrio, Advocacy Officer at Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA) and Secretary General of the International Catholic Center of Geneva (CCIG). On September 22nd D’Onofrio sat on the Panel Discussion on Youth and Human Rights during the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council. As a young women and a former intern of the IIMA Human Rights Office, we asked D’Onofrio to share the story of her personal empowerment and how this led her to become a permanent human rights advocate in...

An Interview with Simon-Pierre Escudero, Founder of  Asociación Tierra de Jóvenes in El Salvador The IIMA Human Rights Office conducted an interview with Mr. Simon-Pierre Escudero, founder of Asociación de Tierra de Jóvenes in El Salvador. On September 22nd, Mr. Escudero sat on the Panel Discussion on Youth and Human Rights during the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council. Tierra de Jóvenes was founded in February of 2014 to protect the rights of street children and youth ages 4-25 in El Salvador. Gang activity in this country is particularly pervasive and street children are most often the victims of recruitment. To...

The Committee is holding its 91st session at the Palais Wilson from November 21 to December 9, 2016.  The Committee is a body of 18 independent experts tasked to monitor the implementation of this Convention by its State Parties.  During this session, the Committee will be considering the reports of the following States: Argentina*, Italy*, Portugal*, Togo*, Turkmenistan, and Uruguay*. * These reviews are attended by IIMA representatives. The International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) was adopted on December 21, 1965 and entered into force on January 4, 1969.  As of October 2016, there are...