Attending the Ninth Session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime 15 – 19 October 2018, Vienna

Here is the link to the agenda of the conference – both the schedule for the formal events of the Conference and Side Events.  Today I had the opportunity to deliver a statement in relation to Item 2 (b) Trafficking in Persons Protocol.   Many of the points raised in the statement are the difficult points in the various negotiations taking place during the conference including  allocation of sufficient resources.

“We are more conscious than ever of the interconnections between systemic root causes including poverty, gender inequality, the persistence of patriarchy, misogyny, DEMAND, gender based violence, including non-state torture, and sexual exploitation coupled with weak legislation, poor budgetary allocations and a dismal record in the number of persecutions recorded.  All these factors compound to facilitate the flourishing of this criminal activity that violates human rights, and prey on peoples vulnerabilities and desires for a life of dignity and wellbeing.”   The recommendations follow from this paragraph. COP 9 Vienna 2018 Statement Final    See   You Tube Video

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 3.51.52 PM

Yesterday, Mirjam Beike deliver a statement in Geneva  “We delivered a statement at the 4th Session of Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations in Geneva, in collaboration with the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy International Association and the Mining Working Group.”  The original statement (longer version) can be found here:

Video    Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 3.59.43 PM

Some photographs from Vienna

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 8 of the 11 Days of Action – International Day of the Girl from Latin America at the GSIJP Office

Today at the GSIJP Office we celebrate reflections from Latin America.  Three countries contributed to the Girls Speak Out in the United Nations on October 11.  Columbia shared many photographs

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

and a video which I think contrasts girls living and having childhood experience – school, play, culture and games and another group of girls who are influenced and socialized into a different reality.  Sr Bianca, the  director of the program makes the following observation: “El vídeo enviado en el correo anterior fue iniciativa de las niñas y Adolescentes, desafortunadamente es la realidad que viven en su barrio, ya pueden ver el tipo de música y la forma de bailar a tan temprana edad; este programa existe para tratar de ofrecerles otra a alternativas que dignifiquen su proyecto de vida y prevenir toda clase de abuso.”

 

Translation – “The video sent in the previous email was an initiative of girls and adolescents.  Unfortunately it is a reality that young girls often live in neighborhoods where they are influenced (socialized) into sexualized behaviors through music and dancing at a young age.   The program exists to offer alternative experiences such that girls have an opportunity to experience childhood and their dignity as girls to counter and prevent all kinds of abuse.”  Thank you Sr Bianca for your work and dedication with and for girls.

Read the experience of girls in El Salvador (Spanish Only)

 

 

Preguntas Katherine y Preguntas Keiry y Preguntas Milagro

Read from two more girls Julissa y Lidia  Preguntas y dibujo Julissa y  Dibujo y preguntas LIdia

 

 

 

We have some drawing from girls in Honduras 6 – 10 years expressing what they would like to be when they group up.  We have a doctor, a professor, a swimming instructor,  another doctor,  religious sister and a secretary.  These girls were excited to take part and responded immediately and confidently.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

International Day of the Girl (IDG) 11 October 2018

Day-of-the-Girl-2018_social-images-01October 11 is fast approaching and we are on Day 5 of the 11 Days of Action leading up to the celebration.   Join us for a Twitter Chat at 11AM EST led by @GlobalGirlsGLOW to discuss how girls and their allies can act against injustice!  Join the conversation using hashtags #HerStoryCampaign #IDG2018 #generationgirl #11DaysofAction  You can follow on Facebook  at Day of the Girl Summit @DayoftheGirlSummit.  Yesterday October 4th the GSIJP Office featured Indira from the Mahila Documentary.  If you got to Justice Peace page of the website you can see the Facebook and Twitter posts WGG Her Story

Today, Her Story is asking girls and their allies around the world to share a story about a time they or a girl they know took action to challenge injustice. Then share a photo or video of girls in action and tag @GlobalGirlsGlow and @LitWorldSays with #HerStoryCampaign #GenerationGirl.

All this will culminate in the Girls Speak Out at the Unites Nations on Thursday October 11 starting at 3.00 p.m. EST.  It will be Webcast Live from the United Nations

Congratulations to Afrida from Indonesia was was in solidarity with Day 4 showing the Mahila Film in the classroom and photographing the class activity and sharing with you all.  And my observations it is a day for girls and boys!  Well done Afrida!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Helena Moderno (left) from Portugal is doing an internship at the GSIJP Office for 6 weeks and is engaging in the IDG activities particularly the social media part. On the right is Alexis our new staff and the WGG wristband with the slogan ‘Girls’s Rights are Human Rights’

Read the reflections of girls from Myanmar and their experiences of being girls  Khin , Nu and Shwe by clicking on their names.  These experiences will be captured in the Girls Speak Out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nepal

 

Read this great poem from Sanju in Nepal.     Woman Thou Art That Light – Nepal

Congratulations Sr Taskila!

 

 

Opening of the UN General Assembly 73rd Session September 19, 2018

Officially the United Nations General Assembly opened on September 18th but it was preceded on the evening of the 17th with an annual prayer service at the Church of the Holy Family.  Secretary General,  António Guterres noted that this moment is the bridge between one General Assembly and the next.   While remarking that we live in abysmal times he said that the presence of the Archbishop from Colombia demonstrated that peace is possible.  This instills hope.  We have a great opportunity to translate prayer into actions for peace.

Archbishop Luis Castro Quiroga of Colombia, the former President of the Colombian Bishops Conference and one of the leaders in the Colombian Peace Process, gave a reflection on some very practical way to bring about peace.  Peace comes through dialogue,  accepting difference, listening.  There is a dual aspect to peace – inner peace and exterior peace in all spheres including environmental.  Peace bring joy.  Peace is a reconciliatory process with God and others.  It engages both truth and reparation.  Truth cannot be hidden.  Peace to be a just peace is peace with mercy.  It engages with the full weight of the law and and full weight of mercy.  This is the meaning of transitional justice.  It is not impunity and neither is it penalty.  Peace has an ethical, spiritual and cultural foundation.  It engages a change of perception from seeing the other as different to seeing the other as my sister or brother.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The President-elect of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, also participated ‘desiring to drink from the well of wisdom and good will.’  Too many people are living at the edge.  Her Excellency recalled the plight of people on the move and their great desire for peace.  Migrants she noted are not a threat.  People are moving because of hunger and conflict.  Her Excellency expressed a deep desire for multilateralism to work within the General Assembly and her wish to facilitate such a process.  She also looked to the faith communities for support.

Her Excellency María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés is Ecuadorean and only the 4th women to hold the position since the founding of the United Nations some 73 years ago.  Her Excellency dedicated her Presidency to “all the women of the world”, and paid tribute to the legacy of three who held the post before her, namely Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (India) in 1949, Angie Brooks (Liberia) in 1969, and Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa (Bahrain) in 2006.

PGA 73rd Session

Image – credit to the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM)

There are 7 focus areas – gender equality; migrants and refugees; decent work; people with disabilities; youth, peace and security; environment; and revitalization of the United Nations. Spanish  French  English

PGA

President-of-the-general-assembly address in Spanish

Citar:  QuoteText in English

Quote:  “The General Assembly is not just the most democratic and representative forum in the world. It is a space embracing the most diverse cultures of the world. You, dear colleagues, constitute an invaluable center of global thought and vision which has tremendous influence in the world and on our governments and our peoples. Your thinking, wisdom and vision set the standards for our cooperation and development, among our nations and for our people. Each day we must search for solutions to the most difficult problems that face humanity and our planet.”

 

Launch of ‘Inherent Dignity’ an advocacy guidebook

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 3.12.48 PM

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here is the link to  Inherent Dignity which you can download for use.   The Launch was live-streamed on Facebook.   Please promote this guide in your networks.  It is a wonderful compendium of the human rights tools that can combat trafficking in persons.      The guide provides an overview of the abuses that assault dignity and then outlines the human rights mechanisms that champion the ‘Inherent Dignity’ of every person.  The guidebook ‘Inherent Dignity’ is focusing the response towards the transformation called for and committed to  in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – our hope for the future.   It is the one living in poverty, excluded, left behind, marginalized, discriminated against who is vulnerable to human trafficking.  It is the same dynamic of exploration and abuse that is  encapsulated in the current economic system – neo-liberalism – profit over people and planet.

There are some aspect of this guide book that I love    a) The title ‘Inherent Dignity.’   It is easy to read and provides the introduction to good discussion at the local and grassroots level.  The Guide says it is for local actors.  It is here that change will be effected – having the discussion in the family, in the local community with local leaders empowering people to know another reality, a reality of inherent dignity.

b)  The insight and statement  that human rights violations occur before a girl or women is trafficked … poverty, lack of access to education, health, domestic violence, sexual abuse, gender inequality … Angela Reed call it ‘cumulative disadvantage,’ cumulative human rights violations break down ‘inherent dignity’ and breaks the person – in spirit, in body, in mind must receive attention and be realistically addressed.  The guidebook also notes that human rights violations occurring during trafficking experience and after.

c) Highlights the active role that girls and women who have been trafficked have in prevention work is to be commended.

d) The language of rights holders and duty bearers give rise to the central role of participation of all in efforts to combat human trafficking.

e) The chart illustrating the paradigms – ways of understanding  the multifaceted drivers of human trafficking is very useful in discussion (see page 21) – users of the guide may identify others.

f) Read the experience of Cathy’s experience on Page 27.  And then see the analysis of Human Rights Violations that occurred before, during and after being trafficked.  Do you think there are girls and women with similar experiences in your neighbourhood?

 

Read ‘Inherent Dignity’  alongside the Good Shepherd Position Papers. It is a companion Document to the Position Papers   French      Spanish

 

 

Trafficking - 5.2 8.7 16.2 GPA CTP

What took place at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at a glance.

HLPF in NumbersHLPF VNR's

The 8 days concluded with a Ministerial Declaration.  The Ministerial Declaration did not happen by consensus as was hoped for but required a vote.  It was adopted by 164 votes in favour and  2 against  (Israel and the United States) and no abstentions.

The Russian Federation requested a recorded vote to delete paragraph 16 on gender equality.  134 Member States voted to retrain the paragraph, 10 were against and there were 10 abstentions.

Vote

UN Water in its report noted that the world is not on track with water and sanitation READ  SDG6_SR_2018_3_highlights_web_ENG and makes suggestions as to what to do.   Secretary General, Antonio Guterres addressing the HLPF said that while much progress has been made, the world has also backtracked in areas that are fundamental to the shared  pledge to leave no one behind.  For the first time in a decade, the number of people who are undernourished has increased, gender inequality continues to deprive women of basic rights, and investment in sustainable infrastructure remains “entirely inadequate” – all amid runaway climate change, eroding human rights and persistent pockets of poverty.

If you have not already reviewed Good Shepherd engagement with the SDG’s the document is here in English and Spanish  Report HLPF 2018 GSIJP Office Final  and Spanish Report HLPF 2018 GSIJP Office Final

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 11.23.55 AM