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...

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...

In the occasion of the 30th Convention on the Rights of the Child anniversary, ratified in 1989 by the highest number of Countries (196) and in the fastest way than the others, a three-day commemorative celebration was held in Palais des Nations on the 18th, 19th and 20th of November in Geneva. The event, that took place in the symbolic city of the Convention writing and negotiation, was the peak of a series of events organized throughout 2019. Moreover, the “30 Years of Children’s Rights” book has been published in...

From September 9th to 27th, 2019, the Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA) Human Rights Office and VIDES International, participated in the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council delivering three oral statements on the following: Items 3 & 5 Clustered interactive dialogue on SR Report on indigenous peoples; Item 6 on the UPR outcomes of Costa rica and Nicaragua. IIMA and VIDES welcomed the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. However, the attainment of the full and equitable enjoyment of the human rights of all indigenous peoples...

On the occasion of the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council, IIMA and Vides International, together with the permanent Mission of the Philippines, organized the side  event: “Promoting a Safe and Empowering Environment for all Children and youth - best practices for child and youth protection and participation through human rights education” held at the Palace of the Nations on September 25, 2019. The event was co-sponsored by sixteen Permanent Missions: Egypt, El Salvador, Italy, Portugal, Ethiopia, Montenegro, Poland, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Thailand, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Spain, Holy See, Uruguay; and also...

From June 24 to July 12, 2019, Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA) Human Rights Office and VIDES International, contributed to the 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council with five oral statements on migrants, education, violence against women, women and climate change and on the UPR outcomes of the Dominican Republic.   The Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants highlighted in his report the situation of  migrant girls and women. In our oral stamen we recommended that States provide complete gender-responsive and child-sensitive information on migration-related risks and on the...

IIMA and VIDES International had the pleasure to be co-organizers of the side event “Climate Change: It is happening here, it is happening now”, that took place on June 26, 2019, during the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), organized by the Permanent Mission of the Philippines and the Associazione Papa Giovani XXIII (APGXXIII) . Among the distinguished panelists were the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Philippines, H.E. Mr. Evan Garcia, Mr. Obiorar Okafor, Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, Mr. Stefano Saldi, Representative of the...

The 41st session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations started in Geneva on the 24th of June (until the 12th of July). With the participation of numerous experts there will be more than 100 reports examined on various topics, such as the right to education, health, migrants, freedom of expression, racism, genocide prevention, extreme poverty, trafficking in human beings among others. Public debates and parallel events will take place as well on different issues. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet opened the session with a...

"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...