Statement on International Migration…

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NGO Com on Migration  Misión de México ONU  Switzerland at the UN    IOM        GCM

Representative of the GSIJP Team and Mercy International Association team in Geneva for the thematic consultation on migration.   Today Cecilie Kern delivered our joint statement on behalf of both organizations.

 

Read the statement GCM Thematic Session 3 – Informal Stakeholder Dialogue Statement Final

Some snippets:    …vital to maximizing the positive benefits of migration and reducing vulnerabilities for people on the move.    …policies are human rights-based, and therefore universal, and applicable to all migrants, regardless of status.  …border management policies must be human rights-based and gender and age-sensitive. Authorities, including border agents, police, military and other security forces, must be held accountable for human rights violations, including exploitation and corruption.  … provide all migrant women workers with safe, orderly and regular channels for migration that guarantee human rights, full labor rights and social protection for them and their families … Families should never be separated by policy enforcement, and children, including unaccompanied and separated children, should never be placed into detention or criminalized for their migratory status or that of their parents …

Congratulations Cecilie and Colleen – well done!   Today is ….

Refugee Day

Sunday, December 18 International Migrants Day

In the liturgy of Advent from December 17 to 24 we pray the O Antiphons – biblical expressions of longing for the coming of God.  I invite you today to joint in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are migrants and refugees throughout the world praying ‘come to our rescue.’ In the O Antiphons for today there is reference to Moses, the one who rescued the people when they were slaves in Egypt.   Read Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s reflection for the day.   Secretary-General Tells States to Mark International Migrants Day by Rejecting Intolerance, Discrimination, Xenophobic Rhetoric.

ban_ki-moon_portraitSome quotes from Secretary General  ‘to add insult to injury, we have witnessed the rise of populist movements that seek to alienate and expel migrants and refugees and to blame them for various ills of society.

Yet, within this turbulence, we also find rays of hope, with concerned citizens and communities opening their arms and hearts. We have also seen a promising international response, culminating with the New York Declaration adopted in September at the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants. It is now crucial that Governments honour and build on their commitments to govern large movements of refugees and migrants in a way that is compassionate, people-centred, gender-responsive and rooted in fundamental human rights.’  

The bold print is mine for emphasis.  This parallels our Congregational Direction Statement ‘As mission partners (lay and sisters) we struggled to find a way to address global issues. We identified as the most pressing needs of today as poverty, human trafficking, migration, refugees, gender inequality, violence against women and children and religious intolerance.   Being the ‘Moses/Miriam’ leader is indeed happening in our Congregation.  See this article from Lebanon  Solidarity in Action or this video from the Philippines Buhay na Ganap -subtitles in English)

Secretary General continues ‘Every migrant is a human being with human rights. Protecting and upholding the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their status, is a foundational element of the New York Declaration.’   “The motto of the dispensary in the words of the director, Antoinette Assaff, RGS in Lebanon is “Religion is for God. The dispensary is for everybody.”

Secretary General calls for a sustainable response to migration needs to address the drivers of forced and precarious movements of people. These include poverty, food insecurity, armed conflict, natural disasters, climate change and environmental degradation, poor governance, persistent inequalities and violations of economic, social, civil, political or cultural rights.’

The vision of Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is of a ‘world of peace, prosperity, dignity and opportunity for all.’  This is our vision too!

Oped_OHCHR_Al_Hussein_300x200The High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid is unrelenting in his call for human rights of all migrants and refugees. “On the occasion of International Migrants Day, 18 December, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is featuring the following stories to highlight the Office’s work to safeguard and promote the human rights of migrants and refugees. More people than ever are on the move and the challenges raised by large-scale movements of refugees and migrants fuel our call for a renewed global commitment to uphold and protect the human rights, safety and dignity of migrants and refugees.  Read more  including spotlight on human rights of migrants in wake of Calais camp eviction.

On December 10th The Human Rights Commissioner called on everyone to “Stand up for someone’s rights today”  Let us stand up for the rights of all migrants and refugees as we pray ‘come to our rescue.’

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Berta Cáceres, assassinated in Honduras on March 2nd

Terrible news from Honduras regarding human rights defender, Berta Caceres. We will keep her in our thoughts and prayers. She is a victim of what we call the Extractives Development Model–the nexus of unscrupulous business, corrupt government and the devastating extractives industry. (Rosa Lizarde)

BertaWe are shocked and saddened to learn of the assassination of Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader of the Lenca people, Berta Cáceres.

Berta Cáceres’ faithful leadership of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) reflected not only her dedication to nonviolent resistance to illegal logging and mega-projects that devastate the environment but also her deeply felt belief in the rights of indigenous communities to their land and livelihoods.  Maryknoll

Photo: Berta Caceres, courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize.

Berta Caceres  (You Tube) Berta Cáceres, galadornada del Premio Goldman 2015, Honduras

Interesting Articles Featuring Winifred at the UN

IMG_1549.jpgJeanette Mc Dermott, Communications, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Province of the Mid North, USA recently spent two weeks in New York following the work of Winifred Doherty as the NGO representative on behalf of the Congregation.  Read her article in  Items of Interest-March 2016

Catholic Ireland featured an article on Sisters speak out against trafficking at the UN

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 Aine, Angela and Winifred

A third article related to this time period is a summary of the side event Maisha – A New Life outside the Mines which was held durn the Commission for Social Development on February 4, 2016. Report on Side Event Feb 4 2016

A quote from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights – Article 25 on the right of everyone to a standard of living adequate for health and well being – linking with the rights to Social Protection for everyone.

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A New Resource – Handbook

A new resource, a hand book for implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights has been published.  Since I came to the GSIJP Office in 2008 you in the networks have been engaged in collecting information for the then Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights – Magdalena Sepuleveda (2008 – 2014) The Handbook has been published by ATD 4th World and Franciscan International and is available in French, English and Spanish

The book is in four parts:  Part 1 – The basics;  Part 2 – Key principles for engaging with people living in poverty; Part 3 – Empowering people in extreme poverty to claim their rights; Part 4 – Monitoring and ensuring accountability.

This handbook will be very helpful to you in your various ministries with people living in poverty.  It is a human rights perspective and suggests actions that can be taken with local government and other sectors of society to ensure that rights are respected and protected.  The focus is on the barriers that prevent people living in poverty from enjoying many fundamental rights such as the right to food and nutrition, housing, work, heath and education.  These are the subject matter of the new Sustainable Development Goals that came into force throughout the world on January 1, 2016

There you’ll also find links to the introductory video with subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and German HERE

Pilot implementations/trainings are being explored in 6 countries, tentatively: Benin, Kenya, India, Philippines, Argentina, Bolivia.  If you want to be part of these implementations/training let me know.

Chapter logo30th Congregational Chapter Direction Statement “In response to the most pressing needs of today such as poverty … we commit ourselves, on unit, regional and congregational levels, to: Develop clear strategic plans integrating spirituality and justice and peace with the best ministry practices.  This includes holding ourselves accountable to monitor and evaluate the results.   See Part 4 Monitoring and ensuring accountability.  This Handbook is an excellent resource, making human rights work for people living in extreme poverty, bringing about structural and systemic change.

Making Human Rights Work

English, Spanish, French

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