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!


For Victims of Torture, Is It Ever Enough?

UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture Expert Panelists

The discussion on the use of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture took place on April 16, 2015. The Director of the Human Rights Treaties Division, Ibrahim Salama, opened the discussion by reminding everyone that the Fund has existed for 30 years and has raised more than US$160 million since its inception, and introduced the panel of experts, representing different sectors of victim support. They were Felicitas Treue, CCTI, Mexico; Suzanne Jabbour, RESTART, Lebanon; Adam Bodnar, on the Board of Trustees; C. Streetter, Representante Permanente Alterno de Chile – CTI; Peter Kiama, IMLU, Kenya; Lin Piwowarczyk, Boston Medical Center, USA; and Paulo David.


Oral Statement on Youth’s Participation

On the occasion of the 28th Session of Human Rights Council, IIMA addressed once again the topic of Youth Empowerment, by delivering and oral statement co-sponsored by VIDES International, Salesian Missions, Inc and VIS along with the support of Comitato per la promozione e protezione dei diritti umani, Don Bosco Network, Fundación Jovenes y Desarrollo, Misiones Salesianas and VIA Don Bosco BELGIUM.


Oral Statement, Item 6 of Italy and El Salvador

During the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council (March 2nd to 27th, 2015) IIMA and VIDES contributed to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Italy and El Salvador with a Joint Oral Statement for each country during item 6 (UPR - consideration of outcomes). Other NGOs, including local NGOs, supported both statements.
IIMA and VIDES took the opportunity to express satisfaction in seeing that both countries accepted most of the recommendations relating to the protection of children’s rights, young people and women; especially those in most vulnerable situations (migrants, Roma, unaccompanied minors, and children/youth living/working in the street). Recommendations were given to enact effective measures in order to combat violence against women and children, promote the right to education for all children, combat unemployment and underemployment for youth and women, ensure the recompilation and dissemination of national data relating to children living and/or working on the streets, and reinforce national policies pertaining to child labor.


Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy

On Tuesday February 24th of 2015 the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy was carried out at the International Conference Center of Geneva with a successful outcome. Throughout the day, different discussion panels took place featuring human rights advocates and victims of human rights violations. Among them we can highlight the participation of Tamara Suju, Venezuelan Human Rights lawyer, Yeon-Mi Park, a 21 year old North Korean defector, Saa, a Nigerian schoolgirl who escaped from Boko Haram, Pierre Torres, a French journalist held hostage by ISIS for 10 months, Ashiq Masih, husband of Asia Bibi who’s currently on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy, María Corina Machado, Venezuelan opposition leader, Alex Chow and Lester Shum, Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Hong Kong Federation of Students, and Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya, Cuban Human Right’s activist; among others. 



On Wednesday February 18th, the Graduate Institute of Geneva hosted the screening of the movie “Difret”. Produced by Angelina Jolie, this award-winning film tells the story of a female Ethiopian lawyer who defends a 14 year old girl charged with killing a man who, claiming to follow traditions; abducted, raped, and intended to force her into forced marriage. The film was screened after brief welcome remarks by Philippe Burrin, Director of the Graduate Institute, and Michael Møller, Acting Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. 


Silent Victims of War : Cultural Heritage at Risk in Conflicts and Crises

The panel discussion entitled “Silent Victims of War: Cultural Heritage at Risk in Conflicts and Crises: the case of Syria seen through UNOSAT satellite imagery analysis" was held at UNOG Library on February 5, 2015. The discussion moderated by Francesco Pisano Director of Research and Technology Application Knowledge Systems at UNITAR, featured the participation of prominent speakers: Einar Bjørgo Director of UNOSAT, Vittorio Mainetti from the University of Geneva, Blandine Blukacz -Louisfert Chief of the Institutional Memory Section at the UNOG Library, Giovanni Boccardi Head of Unit for Preparedness and Emergency Response of the Cultural Sector of UNESCO, and Peter Stone Blue Shield International Secretary.

Informal consultation of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Peace

On Friday, January 30th, IIMA attended the Informal Consultation with the Chairperson-rapporteur, Christian Guillermet-Fernandéz, of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Peace.  The Human Rights Council decided in its resolution 20/15 of July 5, 2012, to establish this working group with the mandate of progressively negotiating a Draft United Nation declaration on the Right to Peace. This informal meeting took place exactly before the third session of the Working Group occurring next April 20. The session collected current opinions of States and NGOs in order to find out points of convergence to proceed with the elaboration of this draft text. During the first part of the meeting many States (Guatemala, Egypt, Cost Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Russia, Venezuela, Indonesia, Algeria), International Organizations and NGOs expressed their support to the Chairperson’s work, congratulating him and highlighting the importance of the right to peace as a prerequisite to all other rights established in international human rights instruments.