MariaGrazia Caputo was the director and main representative of the International Institute Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA) Human Rights Office to the United Nations in Geneva (Switzerland) until December 2018. Ms. Caputo has served in this capacity since the establishment of the office in 2007. Previously, Ms. Caputo founded and served as general director of VIDES International for 20 years, where she worked to promote voluntary service, youth leadership, and international development cooperation.
The area of particular interest to Ms. Caputo is human rights, with special attention to the Right to Education for children and adolescents. At the United Nations in Geneva, she has presented best practices related to youth empowerment, quality education for indigenous and vulnerable children, along with the rehabilitation and reintegration of children in street situations.
In addition, Ms. Caputo has organized many IIMA training courses in collaboration with VIDES International for hundreds of educators coming from Africa, Asia, America and Europe; presented numerous side events during Human Rights Council sessions; and submitted written and oral reports at the UN on over 15 countries in different regions where IIMA is present.
Ms. Caputo has over 40 years of experience in formal and informal education for youth and youth focused services. She has taught at the secondary and university education levels, including at the Salesian University (UPS) in Rome, and has published several articles on education and didactic methodology. Ms. Caputo received a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences from University de La Laguna (Spain), and a Master’s degree in Literature from University of Rome (Italy).