"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...

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...

The 30th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group concluded on 18th May 2018. It was held from the 7th to the 18th of May, at Palais des Nations in Geneva where it reviewed the human rights situation on the ground of 14 States. The UPR is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council which reviews the human rights situation of each of the 193 UN Member States once every four years and a half. It provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have...

Open Call for NGOs to apply for Consultative Status with the United Nations (Deadline: 1 June 2018) NGOs interested in applying for ECOSOC consultative status should submit their application and required documents on or before the deadline 1 June 2018. The following link provides background information, the benefits and instructions how to apply: https://bit.ly/2ozYpVw NGOs that are accredited with ECOSOC can participate in a number of events, including, but not limited to regular sessions of ECOSOC, its functional commissions and its other subsidiary bodies. NGOs may:  attend official meetings; submit written...

From February 26 to March 24, 2018, Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA) Human Rights Office and VIDES International contributed to the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council with ten oral statements regarding the rights of the child, rights of persons with disabilities, and interventions on the UPR outcomes of 7 countries where the FMA are present. During the annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child, we expressed in our statement satisfaction for the choice of the theme: “Protecting the rights of the child in humanitarian situations”. Particularly,...

The annual full-day meeting of the Human Rights Council on Monday, 5th of March 2018, gives a special attention to the rights of the child. This meeting gives an opportunity to discuss how the fulfilment of the rights of the child can contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It shows the importance of integrating a child rights-based approach, good practices and challenges. The goal is to leave no one behind and reach the furthest behind first. The High Commissioner, Moderator and the Panellists mentioned that the...

On Friday, 23 March, in Room XX at Palais des Nations, the 37th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded. It adopted 42 resolutions and extended six country mandates included those of Syria and South Sudan, the right to privacy, human rights and the environment, cultural rights, the rights of people with albinism. Likewise, a consensus decision was reached to hold a high-level panel on the legacy of Nelson Mandela. The HRC also approved the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) outcomes of 14 States. The Council opened with a three-day high-level...

During the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, on 21 March 2018, at 1 p.m., in Room XXIV, at Palais des Nations, IIMA and VIDES International co-sponsored a side event entitled, “Arts and Cultural Education as a Right,” which was organized by the Permanent Mission of Spain and UNESCO Etxea. This event presented best practices for Arts education as a tool to promote human rights. In fact, Arts education and creative expression form the basis for quality education and for the full development of the young students. In her...

On 26 February 2018 at Palais des Nations in Geneva, in Room XX, the 37th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) commenced with the high-level segment with the speeches from the Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres, the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations Miroslav Lajčák, the High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the Federal Head of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation followed by interventions of dignitaries from over one hundred States. Seventy years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)...

Il 26 Febbraio 2018 a Palais des Nations, a Ginevra, nella sala XX,  è iniziata la 37° sessione del Consiglio di Diritti Umani (HRC) con le dichiarazioni del Segretario Generale delle Nazioni Unite, António Guterres; del Presidente dell'Assemblea Generale delle Nazioni Unite, Miroslav Lajčák; dell'Alto Commissario dei Diritti Umani, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein; di Ignazio Cassis, Capo del Dipartimento Federale degli Affari Esteri della Confederazione Svizzera; in seguito sono intervenuti alti dignitari di più di cento Stati. Settant’anni fa, la Dichiarazione Universale dei Diritti Umani (UDHR) delineava i tre pilastri fondamentali...