On December 12, 2020, the network of the nine Institutions of Higher Studies of the Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (ISS-FMA) Asia organized an online Conference on “Human Trafficking - A violation of Human Rights”. There were approximately 800 participants, mainly students and some faculty members coming from India, the Philippines, and Japan. The event, which marked the observance of Human Rights Day, aimed to raise awareness on one of the most extensive forms of modern slavery, that is, Trafficking in Person (T.I.P.). Dr. Regina Mary Rathinaswamy,  Core Group Member of ISS...

Geneva, Switzerland - December 10, 2020 The theme of this year’s Human Rights Day observance: Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights, is closely related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the greatest challenge of our times. It highlights the “need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts”. The Covid-19 crisis has unmasked the fact that human rights are far from being universal. In fact, we are confronted by deepening poverty, inequalities, injustice, discrimination, exclusion, destruction of the environment, and structural gaps in human rights protection. The...

November 20 marks the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. Since then, the World Children’s Day offers each of us an important occasion to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights towards the realization of a better world for children. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has very negatively impacted the enjoyment of children’s rights worldwide. The health crisis has aggravated pre-existing inequalities in education, especially for those children at risk of digital exclusion or with special needs. Despite the best...

In view of the world event Global Compact on Education, wanted by Pope Francis, which took place online on October 15, 2020, IIMA contributed to a video on the plural reality of Catholic education in the world, through a short video on moving forward the Global Youth Agenda. This contribution is based on the longstanding commitment of IIMA Human Rights Office in promoting Youth Empowerment and Human Rights through multiple advocacy activities within several UN human rights bodies and in especially the Human Rights Council. To learn more about IIMA work on Youth rights,...

On October 29, 2020, IIMA Human Rights Office participated in the Online Training organized by the International Catholic Center of Geneva (CCIG) and UPR Info on “Human Rights Indicators for Monitoring UPR Progress”. The training aimed to highlight the crucial role of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in the monitoring of the government’s action on the UPR Recommendations, through the use of Human Rights Indicators. The latter are specifically designed to measure whether Human Rights are effectively implemented within a given State, especially for the most vulnerable groups. In order to ensure...

The United Nations Human Rights Council held its forty-fifth session from 14 September to 6 October 2020 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, opened the session by providing updates of the human rights situations worldwide and by leading an interactive dialogue on the human rights implications on the COVID-19 Pandemic. Statements by the International Labour Organization, World Health Organization, among other speakers, all highlighted the crucial impact of the pandemic on vulnerable populations including: children, women, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities,...

The 2020 International Day of Rural Women, celebrated on October 15, will focus on “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19”, to create awareness of these women’s struggles, their needs, and their critical and key role in our society. The crucial role that women and girls play in ensuring the sustainability of rural communities has been increasingly recognized. Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labor force, including informal work, and perform unpaid care and domestic work within families in rural areas. They make significant contributions to...

October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl Child, which was established in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly through the adoption of Resolution 66/170. This particular focus on the girl is a recognition that every child, in particular  every girl, has the dignity to be respected and the rights to be protected. It was the Fourth World Conference on Women held in 1995 in Beijing, China, that highlighted  the right  of every girl. The conference culminated in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: the most...

Since 1994, World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (https://en.unesco.org/themes/teachers/ceart ), which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. In 2020, World Teachers’ Day will be dedicated to the theme “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”, providing the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession and draw attention to the voices of teachers worldwide. This...

On September 9, 2020, we will commemorate, for the first time, the International Day to Protect Education from Attack. The General Assembly resolution establishing the International Day affirms that governments have the primary responsibility to provide protection and ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels to all learners, especially those in vulnerable situations. Between 2015 and 2019, 93 countries experienced at least one reported attack on education and more than 22,000 students, teachers, and academics were injured, killed, or harmed in attacks on education during armed conflict or insecurity. Among...