Dear friends,

We are glad to inform you that after our pleasant experience with the Italian blog, the IIMA Human Rights Office has decided to open a new blog in English.

On this blog, you may follow our main activities with the United Nations and its mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights, as well as news from the UN bodies and IIMA offices in different countries related to the right to education.

Do you want to collaborate with us? You can apply for an internship at the IIMA Human Rights Office. Click here!

Have a great time reading!


The needed of a Security Council Reform

During a conference held in Rome on 16 May 2011, the UN General Assembly President Joseph Deiss, argued the importance of a Security Council reform to avoid the loss of credibility of the United Nations.


7th Session of the CDW reviews Banjul Declaration

On 17 may 2011, the Committee on Women and Development (CWD) of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), opened in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia) its 7th Session concerning “Narrowing Gaps, Maximizing Opportunities: Beyond Beijing+15”.


The Protection of Human Rights and the importance of National Institutions

During the annual conference of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, underlined the importance of these institutions in maintaining and restoring rule of law as well as in assisting victims of human rights violations.
These institutions play a key role especially in post-conflict situations, contributing to restore the normal life of society. An important issue raised is the necessity to establish a close cooperation between the national institutions and the UN human rights bodies, such as the Human Rights Council.
Finally, Navi Pillay stressed that national human rights institutions must fulfil the “Paris principles” in order to ensure an effective national system for the protection of human rights. 


A new database on death penalty

On May 5th, 2011, the IIMA Human Rights Office participated in the Side event “The Death Penalty Worldwide: new data regarding the practice and laws of death penalty retentionist States” held at Palais des Nations, in Geneva. 


UN expert warns of impact of prolonged Israeli occupation on Palestinian children

After an eight-day visit to Cairo and Amman, Mr. Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, expressed his concern about the situation of Palestinian children, still subjected to attacks, detention and abuse.

European Union obtains the observer state status at the United Nations

On 3 May 2011, the General Assembly recognized to the European Union the observer status. By now the European Union can intervene during the Human Rights Council sessions, participate in the general debate of the General Assembly, present proposals and amendments, but they will not have the right to vote or to put forward candidates.
This decision is important because give to the EU the possibility to participate at the UN works and it creates a precedent to recognize the status of observer to other regional organizations. Today, the Human Rights Council counts two observers: Holy See and European Union.

Twenty years on from the Windhoek Declaration: Freedom of the press in a changed world

On 3 May 2011, the IIMA Human Rights Office participated in the World Press Freedom Day, commemorated by the United Nation Information Service, UNESCO and the United Nations Office in Geneva, to celebrate the 20thanniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration.


VIDES meets the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people during his visit in Costa Rica

The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people, James Anaya, visited Costa Rica last 25-27 April 2011. He was invited by the Government to assess the impact of the hydroelectric dam “El Diquis”, that will be built in the indigenous territory of Terraba, on the local communities settled in this area. In other words, his task was to verify if the hydroelectric project carried out by Costa Rica Government would imply a violation of indigenous people’s rights.


The Human Rights Council holds Special Session on Syria

On April 29, 2011, following the request of 38 member and observer states, the Human Rights Council held the 16th special session to respond to the grave violations of human rights in the Syrian Arabic Republic.


46 Salesian Sisters of the Mother Ersilia Canta House (Rome) visit the IIMA Human Rights Office

On 29 April 2011, the IIMA Human Rights Office welcomed 46 Salesian Sisters coming from India, South Africa, Ethiopia and Japan among other countries.
All sisters, who were pilgrimaging to Annecy, scheduled the Human Rights Office in Geneva in their plan.
After the presentation of all Sisters, Sr. MariaGrazia Caputo, Director of the Office, and her young collaborators, illustrated the mission of the office: promote and defend human rights worldwide, and in particular the Right to Education for all.

UN Panel begins investigation into the Libyan country

A panel composed by three UN experts arrived in Libya on 27 April to investigate into the violence and the abuse of human rights perpetrated by forces supporting Muammar al-Qadhafi.
The creation of the panel led by Professor Cherif Bassiouni and composed by Asma Khader and Philippe Kirsch, follow the decision of the UN General Assembly to suspend Libya’s membership in the Human Rights Council and the authorization gave by the UN Security Council to the Member States to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.
The UN agencies strengthened all the efforts to intervene in the place more hit of the country and to fulfil medical, food and water priorities.