On January 24th2019, the World Day of Education was celebrated for the first time, organized by UNESCO to raise awareness on the world's educational emergencies. An “Education for Peace and Development” panel discussion was held at the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) involving many States and representatives of civil society.   According to the latest data presented by UNICEF, 262 million children and adolescents worldwide are deprived of access to education, less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school while about 4 million children and young refugees...

If I think of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I picture a distinguished, elegant and beautiful woman in her 70th birthday. I imagine her smiling with a wrinkled face, with a clean but worn-out dress, tested by time and events. She has a high-sounding name, but what does it mean to say that some rights are “universal”? I borrow Liz’s words, who said at the beginning of the internship “hay que reconocer que somos diferentes, intentar comprendernos y ver lo en que coincidimos”. In English this translates to “we must...

The 31st session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held from 5 - 16 November 2018 in Palais des Nations in Geneva. The UPR is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council, which evaluates UN member states every four years, and provides the state with recommendations to improve human rights conditions.  IIMA creates and submits reports to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, detailing the status of women’s and children’s rights. These reports are then read by other UN states who use this information to formulate...

"We are all guilty. We have the tools and resources to protect children, even in situations of armed conflict; but we have not been able to do it. We need to act now." Gamba, V. Ambition and interest, as well as mistrust and suspicion have been the cause of huge violations of human rights. In the news as well as on social networks, we hear how the world "falls apart". But it hurts in the soul, knowing that our children and young people, "the most vulnerable group in our society"[1] are...

UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) organizes every year, the "World Investment Forum", which is characterized as the pre-eminent platform that brings together businessmen and politicians to discuss issues of investments and development. Organized under the overall theme Investing in Sustainable Development, the “Ministerial Roundtable: Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development”[1] was addressed by professors, entrepreneurs and politicians, who presented strategies, good practices, and ideas aimed at creating associations to promote the prosperity and to achieve SDGs 8 and 9. The participation of Ms. Amelia Anne Kyambadde who is currently Minister of...

October 15-19 the Working Group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights debated on the zero draft legally binding international instrument regulating transnational enterprises activities. It is a burning topic, because if the proposed international instrument is adopted it would oblige states to respect human rights in business transnational activities. On Wednesday the 17th, a group of faith-based NGOs organised a side event titled “High-level religious voices for a future treaty”. Franciscan International, Caritas Internationalis, Misereor, CIDSE, CAFOD, Fastenopfer and Brot für die Welt convened to integrate...

"I was a victim of several floods generated by multiple typhoons. Once the Pasing river overflowed and submerged our house, almost reaching the second floor. That was the time in 2009 when I became a more active defender of the environment, I saw the need and felt the strong desire to do something concrete about that." This is Zarah De Guzman from VIDES Philippines who shares her experience. Now she is 23, but her story brings us back to when she was 14. On September 28th she was invited to share...

Do you not fear ridicule with this peace talk of yours? -  Oh yes, but what is ridiculous? I, having believed in a kind of ascending sunrise for the human race, or those whose convictions are being swallowed by the ascending darkness? Talking about peace is not easy, one always risks making a fool of himself. In spite of this, Henrik Sørensen, Norwegian painter and author of “The Dream of Peace”, thought it was a risk one should take. The International Day of Peace was celebrated last September 21 in the so-called...

On Friday 14th September 2018 the new High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet gathered NGO representatives to thank them and to engage in a constructive dialogue. In her introduction, she underlined the pivotal role played by civil society in ensuring participation at the UN level. Non-governmental organisations are in fact human rights partners. They are an essential presence in the Council; the broadest existing arena committed to fighting inequalities, climate change and human rights challenges. Bachelet recognised that human rights defenders are facing tough times in many countries, where they are...