The United Nations Human Rights Council held its forty-ninth session from 28 February to 1 April 2020 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The agenda of the session included several high-level meetings addressing crucial human rights issues, such as the Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child focusing on the rights of the child and family reunification, and the Panel discussion on the importance of robust public policies and services for the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in contributing to the COVID-19 pandemic recovery. During the forty-ninth...

(Regunathapuram-India) On March 12, 2022, IIMA members in India, and in particular the Auxilium College of Education in Regunathapuram, organized an International Seminar on "The Role of Youth in Safeguarding Mother Earth", which was attended by 500 people, including students, professors and educators, in the framework of the Institutes of Higher Learning of Asia and Africa. There were important references on: 1. How environmental degradation occurs. 2. The impact of human activities on the environment, climate change and global warming. 3. Strategies to stop the deterioration of the environment: the use...

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the great inequalities of our times, the poverty, abuses, violations of human rights, as well as the weaknesses of the political, social, economic, civil, and cultural systems at the local, national and international levels. Equality and inclusion remain an elusive dream and a challenge if we are to build a humanism of justice and peace based on the respect of the human rights of all, irrespective of one’s age, gender, race, nationality, religion, and status. The Human Rights Day brings to our attention the fact that “all human...

On December 7, IIMA Human Rights Office participated in the UPR pre-session of Venezuela by supporting the intervention of Ms. Norayma Angel, Director of the Oficina de Derechos Humanos del Vicariato Apostólico de Puerto Ayacucho (Amazonas). In her statement, Norayma presented the situation of indigenous people, and in particular their right to self-determination, right to land and its links with mineral extraction, right to health and education. During the previous UPR of Venezuela in 2016, several States expressed their concern and gave a series of recommendations on the right to self-determination and...

The United Nations Human Rights Council held its forty-sixth regular session from 22 February to 23 March 2021 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.  It started off with a high-level segment from 22 to 24 February where dignitaries representing more than 130 countries addressed the Council on their governments’ efforts to promote and protect human rights. It was held for the first time entirely online. This session also welcomed the new president, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan of Fiji.  It was opened with speeches from Secretary-General of the United Nations, António...

Every year, on the 8th of March, we celebrate International Women’s Day, an event promoted by the United Nations in order to celebrate the progress reached by women in the economic, political, and cultural fields. The theme proposed for 2021 is: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. This celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign slogan is: “Choose to challenge”. It is important to know this celebration as...

IIMA Members from PNG, Sr. Pamela Vecina and Sr. Alice Fulgencio, participated at the in-country consultation for Papua New Guinea’s Universal Periodic Review held at Emmaus Conference Center, Port Moresby, from February 15-17, 2021. They represented the Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA). A total of twenty five representatives of various NGOs working on several human rights issues across the country attended the conference. The three-day conference-workshop was a project sponsored by the International Catholic Center of Geneva (CCIG). The project’s aim is to help civil society actors to acquire a methodology...

The 37th Universal Periodic Review Working Group (UPRWG) Session was held from the 18th to the 29th of January 2021. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council that reviews the human rights situation of each of the 193 UN Member States once every 4 ½ years. It provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and which recommendations they will have to implement before the next review. Istituto Internazionale Maria...

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...