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.

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Have a great time reading!


"YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: WHICH STRATEGIES?" IIMA and VIDES presenting their best practice at the UN.

 On June 4th, at the United Nations in Geneva, IIMA and VIDES Human Rights Office organised, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Uruguay and with the co-sponsorship of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and of Permanent Missions of Costa Rica, France and Holy See, the side event: “Youth Empowerment: which strategies?”. The side event’s goal was to invite all the participants, especially States, to reflect on how young people can become real protagonists of their lives and catalysts for social change.   
The Ambassador of Uruguay, Laura Dupuy Lasserre, presided over the Side Event as moderator. The panel was composed by: the Ambassador of Costa Rica, H.E. Christian Guillermet, the Apostolic Nuncio H.E. Mgr. Silvano Tomasi,  the Vice Minister of Labour and Social Security on the Uruguayan Government Dr.Nelson Loustaunau, the Human Rights Officer Mr.Christian Courtis of the Office of the High Commissioner  for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Child and Youth Advisor of OHCHR Ms. Imma Guerras, Ms. Maria D’Onofrio of VIDES International, the Assistant Director General for Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Mr. Josè Manuel Salazar, Ms. Molly Kaniampadickal, and Mr. Thomas Vattathara of IIMA India.
First to take the floor, Mr Nelson Loustaunau, presented the complex social situation of young people in Uruguay. Then, H.E. Christian Guillermet, after commending the work of IIMA and VIDES at the Human Rights Council to promote the right to education, underlined the importance of education for young people to build a democratic society. Mr Josè Salazar, presented data on global youth unemployment trend and possible strategies to face this serious crisis. Ms Imma Guerras, OHCHR,, presented the results of her research on how youth rights  were addressed in the past with the UN and announced the organization of an international meeting on youth rights in 2014. Mr Christian Courtis,  OHCHR, focused on the importance of the right to education: although education is recognized as a cross-cutting right included in many human rights conventions and in the Millennium Development Goals,a major effort is needed to promote continuous and quality education to prevent school dropout and to adequately prepare youth for the world of work. Mgr.Silvano Tomasi, talked about education as the main way to overcome the current serious economic crisis: an integral education which develop not only technicians, but citizens engaged in the society. Ms Maria D’Onofrio asked: “What is the vocation of young people?”Answering the question, she highlighted that “youth are a key human resource, the driving force for development and peace in their own society. Thanks to their dynamic abilities, energy, creativity as well as thanks to their incredible attitude to work together as team going beyond any kind of geographical and cultural barrier, young people are called to be catalysts for change [...] oriented toward the realization of the common good.”
The presentation of IIMA best practice for youth empowerment, was introduced by Ms. Molly Kaniampadickal, and Mr. Thomas Vattathara, both coming from Guwahati, capital city of Assam, India. Before beginning the presentation, they offered to the panellists a traditional Indian scarf as  symbol of welcome.
Molly and Thomas, presented their experience in a professional school, educating young people belonging to different tribes and religious groups, often in conflict between them. In the school young people, besides studying to get a job, learn to value their cultural identity and appreciate that of the others.  Human rights, equality, respect for diversity and dignity for everyone are at  the core of all educational activities carried out. After completing their studies, 85% of students easily find a job. More importantly, they become active and responsible citizens who contribute to build a society based on democracy, justice and peace.              

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