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!


Human rights 365

On 10 December every year, Human Rights Day commemorates the date on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”


"United Nations International Volunteers Day"


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme will organize a special event on 5 December 2014 in observance of International Volunteer Day (IVD). This year’s celebration at the United Nations Headquarters in New York will recognize and celebrate the contributions and engagement of corporate volunteers making change happen locally, nationally and internationally.

7th Forum on Minority Issues

On November 25-26, the 7th Forum on Minority Issues took place to promote dialogue and cooperation. The goal was to identify, share, and analyze the good practices, opportunities, challenges, and initiatives to better implement the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities. 


From Lampedusa to Geneva: the second UPR of Italy

Monday, October 27 in room XX at the United Nations in Geneva the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of Italy took place. 


Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been commemorated consistently since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly, by reslution 47/196, assigned this day to raise familiarity with the need to eradicate destitution and desperation in all nations.


During the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council ( September 8 to 26 , 2014) IIMA and VIDES have contributed to the Periodic Review of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica and Nicaragua with a Joint Oral Statement for each country during the  item 6 ( Universal Periodic Review , UPR consideration of outcomes ) . Also presented was another oral statement on the empowerment of young people (Youth Empowerment: a human rights perspective) during Item 8 (General Debate on Follow Up) . The latter was a response to the recent side event (Youth Empowerment: a Human Rights perspective, March 11, 2014) on the situation of young people in the world, co -sponsored by 25 states and by the UNOHCHR .

Panel on history teaching and memorialization processes

On Thuesday, September 9th, 2014 IIMA attended the High-Level Panel Discussion on history teaching and memorialization at the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The President of the HRC(Baudelaire Ndong Ella) opened the meeting by giving the floor to Flavia Pansieri (United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights), who has introduced the two reports of Pablo de Greiff (the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and Guarantees of non-recurrence).


Human Rights Council: 26th Session – Week Three: June 23 – 27, 2014

The third and final week of the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council took place from June 23 until June 27, 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The week contained an array of official and unofficial events that covered many topics and concluded with the official decision making process on the new resolutions. IIMA attended several of the sessions as well as a few of the side events.


Oral Statement on Youth Empowerment

On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 IIMA and VIDES presented a joint oral statement on youth empowerment during the 26th session of the Human Rights Council. The statement was presented during the Item 8 General Debate on Follow Up and Implementation by Maria D’Onofrio and was entitled “Youth Empowerment: A Human Rights Perspective.” The statement was in response to the recent cross-regional statement on the situation of youth worldwide that was supported by 116 cosigning States.


Human Rights Council: 26th Session - Week Two: June 16 – 20, 2014

From Monday, June 16 through Friday, June 20, 2014, IIMA attended the second week of the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The week began with a panel discussion on the identification of the best practices in combating female genital mutilation (FGM).
Over 125 million girls and women have undergone FGM in 29 African countries that contain the highest prevalence rates, with even more affected within specific populations worldwide. The practice violates the right to physical and mental integrity and is a form of gender-based violence and discrimination. Despite the adoption of legislation and policies to end FGM and some encouraging indicators of improvement, increased efforts are still needed to eradicate the practice, such as nationwide awareness campaigns and public displays from local leaders as they denounce the practice.


High-Level Panel on the Identification of Good Practices in Combating Female Genital Mutilation

On Monday, June 16, 2014 IIMA attended the High-Level Panel Discussion on the identification of good practices in combating female genital mutilation at the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. 


Human Rights Council: 26th Session - Week One: June 10 – 13, 2014

The 26th session of the Human Rights Council began on June 10, 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, opened the Council with her opening statement that described the achievements of the Office since the previous Human Rights Council (March 3-28, 2014) and was followed by a General Debate with the Member States.
In her opening statement, Navi Pillay referred to the Universal Periodic Review as an impartial and non-selective process which has succeeded “in encouraging States to recognize and resolve gaps in human rights protection” through constructive dialogue with civil society and international organisms. She emphasized the dignity of all human beings and that all, without discrimination, are holders of human rights. On the other hand, the persistence of war crimes, political and civil conflicts, such as in Syria, Israel and Palestine, and Thailand, and also many human rights violations around the world mean that the new Post-2015 Development Agenda must take into consideration human rights and international accountability.


PLURAL + Youth Video Festival Invitation

The IIMA Human Rights Office is pleased to extend the invitation from the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) “to submit original and creative videos that focus on Migration, Diversity and Social inclusion, for consideration in the 2014 PLURAL + Youth Video Festival”.


The Ambassador of Italy Visits the Human Rights Office

On Thursday May 15, 2014 at 9:30am, the Human Rights Office welcomed a visit from the Ambassador of Italy, Maurizio Enrico Serra, Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Geneva, and the First Secretary Marco Lapadura.
The meeting focused on the primary issue that IIMA and VIDES International promote “Youth Empowerment through Human Rights”. The Human Rights Office and the Italian Ambassador discussed the main issues raised at the March 11, 2014 Side Event which took place during the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council through the collaboration of the Permanent Mission of Uruguay and 25 other participating States.


IIMA participates in the19th Session of the UPR


The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a cyclical review process that evaluates the status of human rights in each UN Member State every four and a half years. During the UPR, Member States of the Human Rights Council provide specific recommendations to the State under review.
The 19th Session of the UPR took place from April 28 to May 9, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Using the information provided by our local members, IIMA together with VIDES International and other NGOs, contributed to the review processes of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Costa Rica and Nicaragua.


VIDES International for Albanian women


Give young women a lifetime of opportunity through professional cooking classes and personal development.
Why we care: With no education and proper training, young women from Lezhe, Albania are at risk of being extremely marginalized, sexually exploited, or underground immigration.
How we’re solving this: We’re giving young women in Lezhe shelter and protection, teaching them how to cook through professional training, and hosting sports activities for their all-around development.
With your support, we’ll provide room and board for 10 at-risk young women (16-25 years old) for 12 months. Also, we’ll organize professional cooking courses, totaling 400 hours, for 15 women who are staying at the shelter home. Finally, we’ll host sports activities for 30 girls from the Youth Centre to help them make the most of their leisure time.


Our Side-Event on Youth Empowerment.

On Tuesday, March 11th, Room XXVII in Palais des Nations turned into a forum for ideas and hope.
“Youth Empowerment through Human Rights” was the headline of the Side-Event IIMA and VIDES International, with the Permanent Mission of Uruguay, organized during the 25th session of the Human Rights Council. The event gave the floor to young people.
Co-sponsored by OHCHR and by 25 Permanent Missions, the Side-Event represented the last step on a long road: the interaction with the reality for young people; the Side-Event in June 2011 on “Young volunteers and Human Rights” and the event in June 2013 on “Youth Empowerment, which strategies?”; the ILO resolution adopted at the 101st International Labour Conference in June 2012; the Expert meeting on the human rights of youth organized by the OHCHR in July 2013; IIMA and VIDES crowd sourcing in Latin America to gather experiences directly on the field, and the meetings with several Permanent Missions in Geneva to raise awareness about youth and to promote the Side-Event and ask for sponsorship.


The Pursuit of Happiness

20th of March - Have a good Day of Happiness! 
"Happiness may have different meanings for different people.  But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live. Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury.  It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family.  It should be denied to no-one and available to all.
(From the UN Secretary-General’s Message for International Day of Happiness 2014)


Our SIDE EVENT on the 11th of MARCH!


The opening of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

On the 3rd of March the Human Rights Council in Geneva opened its 25th regular Session, scheduled to end on the 28th of March. Room XX of the Palais des Nations was crowded with ambassadors, delegations, NGOs, Civil Society and numerous Press Officers for the opening four-day High-level Segment during which over 90 ministers and other senior dignitaries will address the 47-member Council on global human rights matters.


YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: our Side-Event to build the Future

Albania, Argentina, Austria, Burkina Faso, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Maldives, Morocco, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Holy See, Tunisia, Hungary.
These 25 Permanent Missions, along with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, have now committed to co-sponsoring the Side-Event which IIMA and VIDES International are organizing, together with the Permanent Mission of Uruguay. It will take place on the 11th of March and is entitled “Youth Empowerment through a human rights-based approach”. It has been recognised that we are the first to raise this topic.


Working for WOMEN'S RIGHTS

57th session of CEDAW : 10-28 February 2014

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol, entered into force on 22 December 2000.
CEDAW Committee consists of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the world.
Countries who have become party to the treaty (States parties) are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. During its sessions the Committee considers each State party report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations.

In the next session, the following States are going to be examined: Bahrain, Cameroon, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Finland.


News about Children's Rights

The Third Optional Protocol to the CRC on a Communications Procedure sets out an international complaints procedure for child rights violations. It will enter into force in April 2014, allowing children from states that have ratified to bring complaints about violations of their rights directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva. 

During its 65th session, the Committee reviewed Congo, Yemen, Holy See, Portugal, Russian Federation and Germany.  The CRC will publish its concluding observations on Wednesday, 5 February. The next CRC session will take place from May 13 to June 16, 2014.

What's Next:

A general debate on Children’s rights and Justice is scheduled on 13 March, during the 25th session of the Human Rights Council. A conference on  “Media, social networks and children’s rights” is scheduled for the 12th September, during the 27th HRC session. 


The CRC on the Holy See

On the 16th of January 2014, IIMA attended a meeting between the Committee on the Rights of the Child and a delegation from the Holy See to discuss the implementation of their human rights obligations in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols. This was only the second such meeting since the Holy See ratified the Convention in 1990. It is significant that the Convention on the Rights of the Child is one of only three international instruments which the Holy See has ratified. The meeting, unusually, took place in the presence of a large amount of media representatives along with victims of sexual abuse. Such meetings are a regular feature of being a State Party to the convention and are not arranged in response to any one particular issue. However, the controversy surrounding the abuse scandals within the Catholic Church ensured that this would be the predominant subject of discussion.


The 65th session of the CRC

IIMA is currently attending the 65th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. This body periodically meets with a delegation from each State Party, to discuss the State`s progress towards meeting their obligations under the convention and its optional protocols.