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!


November 25, 2015- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Six years after the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, in December 1999, the United Nations have established the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with the resolution 54/134. The day chose is not a causality, it evokes November 25, 1960, when during the dictatorship of Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, the three Mirabal sisters, opponents to the regime, where tortured and brutally assassinated.


10th Anniversary of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) – A Focus on Prevention

On November 19, 2015 the office attended the panel discussion “10th Anniversary of the responsibility to Protect – A Focus on Prevention”, co-organized by the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Core Group in Geneva and the Permanent Missions of Australia, Ghana, Hungary, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uruguay as part of the Geneva Peace Week 2015 at Palais de Nations.

The panelists were Jennifer Welsh, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Responsibility to Protect, Volker Türk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Davide Rodogno, Professor of International History, Geneva Graduate Institute, Elisabeth Decrey Warner, Executive President, Geneva Call. The discussion was moderated by Simon Adams, Executive Director, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

Michael Møller, Director-General, UN Office at Geneva, made some introductory remarks recalling the birth of the Responsibility to Prot
ect (R2P) as the outcome document of the UN World Summit 2005 containing three fundamental pillars: 1) the responsibility for every state to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing ; 2) the responsibility of the international community to encourage and assist states in fulfilling their duties and 3) to take appropriate collective actions, in a timely and decisive manner, in accordance with the UN Charter, if a state fails to protect its populations.


20 November - Universal Children’s Day

Today is the anniversary of the Convention which formulates in a consistent way the fundamental rights of every child to be guaranteed and recognized all around the world.

The Convention (November 20, 1989) provides a control mechanism to monitor the actions of the states party, which have to present a periodic report about the implementation of the rights of the child in their territory before a Committee of independent experts.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human rights treaty. Until the present day, there are 196 states party to the Convention.

The Convention has 54 articles and three Optional Protocols (about the involvement of children in armed conflicts, about children’s sexual exploitation and about complaint procedures).


The role of International Organizations in the maintenance of peace and security

On November 18, 2015 the human rights office assisted to the panel discussion “The Evolution of the Role of International Organizations in the Maintenance of Peace and Security on the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations”, organized as part of the Geneva Peace Week 2015 in the UN Library.
The panelists were Ivan Ingravallo, Associate Professor of International Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy, Robert Kolb, Professor of Public International Law, University of Geneva, Roberto Virzo, Associate Professor of International Law, University of Sannio, Italy and Gian Luca Burci Legal Counsel, World Health Organization and Adjunct Professor of Law, Graduate Institute in Geneva. The discussion was moderated by Niels Blokker, Professor of Institutional Law, Leiden University, Netherlands; former Deputy Legal Adviser, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


With suffering we speak

A night of terror and suffering, a new wage of pain for hundreds of families and French citizens.
The human rights office of IIMA and VIDES woke up heartbroken and without words in front of this new monstrosity and inhumane violence.
The members of the human rights office want to express our solidarity with all the persons affected and with the entire France, we condemn this act of hate and persistent violation of human rights.


The Venezuela President speaks to the Human Rights Council

Yesterday, November 12, 2015 the office attended the speech of Mr. Nicolás Maduro Moros, President of Venezuela, during a special session of the Human Rights Council at Palais de Nations. The speech was carried out three weeks before Venezuela holds parliamentary elections.
At the beginning of the session, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, addressed President Maduro in a video message. The High Commissioner welcomed the participation of Venezuela in the Universal Periodic Review and urged Venezuela to ratify again the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.


The Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court

On November 11, 2015 the office assisted to the panel discussion “The Rome Statute, Accountability and the Protection of Human Rights”, co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Denmark and Cyprus to the UN, at Palais des Nations.
The panelists were Judge Silvia Alejandra Fernandez de Gurmendi, ICC President, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Claudio Grossman, Chairperson of the Committee against Torture, Dr. David Donat Cattin, Secretary General - Parliamentarians for Global Action, Ambassador Christopher Onyanga Aparr, Permanent Representative of Uganda to the UN in Geneva and Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN in Geneva.


Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar – The endless struggle of a leader and a country drenched in violence and oppression for democracy and peace

Myanmar, former Burma, has a long history of occupation and struggle for independence, democracy and self-determination. In the 19th and 20th century, the British and the Japanese occupied its territory. Finally, in 1962, the country reached independence but this step wasn´t as positive as awaited: with a coup d’état the military took control over the country and under the slogan “the Burmese Way to Socialism” transformed Myanmar in a single party state where freedom of expression and association were strongly restricted and human rights were constantly violated.
During these decades of oppression and violence, the world got to know the situation of Myanmar mostly through the story of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD). This woman of extraordinary strength and endless believe in freedom and human rights has dedicated almost thirty years of her life leading the Burmese population in its struggle for peace and democracy in Myanmar. She didn´t abandon Myanmar not even when she had to decide between her family and her country. Despite huge personal sufferance she always chose to continue fighting for and with her homeland.


Dialogue with two human rights experts.

On the 4th of November, 2015 the human rights office has hosted an encounter with Maria Francisca Ize-Charrin, former Director, Research and Right to Development Division Director a.i., Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and in the afternoon to Dr. Elias Khouri, Representative of the Union of Arab Jurists at the United Nations at Geneva.

In the morning Mrs. Ize-Charrin talked about the path of human rights, what had happened in the world before they were recognized as rights, and what needs to be done to make sure they are respected and enjoyed by all. In particular, she stressed the fundamental link between human rights and spiritual values.

In the afternoon Dr. Elias Khouri, explained the situation in Syria, speaking about the history of the country and what lead to the present situation. He also explaining how the west media is transmitting a distorted image of the events, blaming Assad for all of them and excluding him from any negotiation of Syria’s future, even when most of the population is on his side