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!


IIMA attends the panel on “ Humanitarian Principles in a changing world: Bridging the gap between policy and practice”

On the 26th of April, IIMA attended a panel on “Humanitarian Principles in a Changing World: Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice”, organized by Caritas Internationalis. The meeting was opened by the speech of the moderator, Mr. Alistair Dutton, Humanitarian Director of Caritas Internationalis, which presented the four humanitarian principles of independence, neutrality, humanity and impartiality, recalling that September 11th was a turning point for humanitarian interventions.


IIMA participates in a NGOs informal meeting on “Youth Employment”

On the 18th of April, IIMA participated in a discussion on “Youth Employment” organized by the International Catholic Centre in Geneva (ICCG). The meeting featured Mr. Larry Kohler, member of the Executive Committee of the International Catholic Center of Geneva and former ILO officer, as well as the participation of representatives of some Catholic-based NGOs.

Director-General's Briefing with NGOs

On the 16th of April, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, invited the leaders of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC to a briefing on the Secretary-General’s five-year action agenda. The meeting focused on the key challenges before the United Nations and the role of civil society in addressing these challenges. Mr. Ban Ki-moon's agenda consisted of five priorities: sustainable development, prevention, world safety and security, supporting nations in transition, and working with and for women and young people.

Human Happiness Must Be at the Centre of Development Measurement Tools

On the 2nd of April, 2012, the UN General Assembly convened a high-level meeting in New York to discuss how well-being and happiness can be used as parameters for measuring countries’ development, which depends not only on economic factors. The meeting was organized by Bhutan, who has recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970’s.


Ban Ki-Moon, Dialogue with the Youth of Five Continents

The General Secretary of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon took part this Tuesday (11th April 2012) in an ongoing dialogue with the youth of the whole world. The participants represented all the continents. The six youngsters had been selected for the consultations between the UN, civil society and as representatives of the universities. They discussed different topics, such as youth unemployment, technology, and the rights of women, thanks to Google+.

UN Experts ask States to Include the Promotion of Human Rights in Rio+20

On March 19th, 2012, a group of 22 independent experts of the UN urged the governments to include the respect and the promotion of human rights among the objectives of the International Summit on durable sustainable development “Rio+20”, which will be held from the 20th to the 22nd of June 2012. The experts also expressed their fear that the complexity of the objectives would negatively influence their accomplishment.

Panel on Human Rights Education in Formal and Informal Settings

On March 14th, 15th and 16th, 2012, several  NGOs  organized a  series of panels on Human Rights Education (HRE) in Practice.    
The first one, entitled “International Policies on Human Rights Education,” organized by the Organisation Internationale pour le Droit à L'éducation et la Liberté D'enseignement  (OIDEL) and Soka Gakkai International (SGI), and was held on Wednesday, March 14th.

Human Rights Council Holds a Panel on Sexual Orientation

On March 7th, 2012 at Palais des Nations, the Human Rights Council held a “historic” panel on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  The panel commenced with an impassioned call to action via video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon for members of the Human Rights Council to respond to “disturbing” patterns of violence and discrimination committed against persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity, which set the tone for the discussion, reminding people that “lives are at stake.” 


Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture

On March 5th, 2012, as part of the Human Rights Council at Palais des Nations, the UN held an interactive dialogue on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  The focus of this discussion centered around accounts in recent years of harassment undergone by human rights defenders and citizen journalists in particular, usually at the hands of the State, in an invidious effort to silence their reports of human rights violations.  


Annual Report to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

On March 2nd 2012, Ms. Navy Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, presented her annual report to the Human Rights Council.
Ms. Pillay said that 2011 was a critical year for human rights, a year characterized by “challenges to human rights linked to the global economic, climate, energy and food crises, famine in the Horn of Africa, armed conflict, racism and xenophobia, and lingering poverty.ˮ Ms. Pillay also recalled the mobilization of civil society against authoritarian governments in the Arab world.

Panel Discussion on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Expression on the Internet

On February 29th, 2012, the Human Rights Council held the first ever panel discussion of freedom of expression on the internet.  There were some complaints before the discussion even got under way that the panel was being moderated by an Al-Jazeera English journalist rather than the president or vice-president of the Council (according to UN protocol, they said) and admonitions that the United Nations  is “not a TV talk show.” 

NGOs Call on States to Ratify the UN Complaints Procedure

Geneva, 28 February 2012 – For the first time ever and more than twenty years after the official recognition of their rights, children can access justice at the international level thanks to the active campaigning promoted by an NGO coalition from across the world since 2006, which has resulted in the adoption of a new Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Panel on Human Rights Mainstreaming and International Cooperation

On the 28th of February, the Human Rights Council held a panel discussion on human rights mainstreaming and international cooperation. The panel opened with a message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon recalling that respect for human rights is a responsibility for all United Nations Member States and agencies.


Urgent Debate on Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

On February 28th, 2012 the Human Rights Council held an urgent debate on the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.
Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser (President of the UN General Assembly) opened the meeting affirming that the report on Syria published by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria painted a dire picture of the situation on the ground.