Catholic sisters among those embracing international efforts against Human Trafficking writes Chris Herlinger, a reporter for Global Sisters who attended the July 13th ‘side event’ at the United Nations.
‘Mercy Sr. Angela Reed, who represents the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy International Association at the U.N. has conducted extensive research on the issue of sex trafficking in the Philippines and her native Australia.
“There is no quick fix or grand solution for eliminating the exploitation and commodification of people,” she said, stressing that the problem has its roots in poverty and related issues.’ Read the full article here
The High Level Political Forum (for those who love acronyms HLPF) starts on Monday July 11th. Full details of all that will take place is on the website Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform If you have a smart phone you can down load the app HLPF and have immediate access. The website is only in English (apologies). The HLPF is the central platform for follow up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By clicking HERE you can see easily the sustainable development goals which is the subject of the review. Commitment to implementation began in every country on January 1, 2016. The theme of this years’ review is ‘Ensuring That No One Is Left Behind.’ There are the official meetings of the HLPF and multiple side events.
Part of the official meeting is the presentation of 22 national reports on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Good Shepherd is present in 1o of the 22 countries -Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Venezuela. A direct link is HERE and the reports are in French, Spanish and English depending on the language of the country. (The French report is not yet posted)
Apart from inputs from governments there are inputs from Intergovernmental Bodies and Forums – including the Commission for Social Development, Commission on the Status of Women, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Human Rights Council , Human Rights Treaty Bodies, International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Dialogue on Migration These are points of contact that the GSIJP Office follow at the United Nations throughout the year. The full list can be accessed here
A third group is Major Groups and Other Stakeholders We are members of the Women’s Major Group and have signed on to that paper. Click HERE The paper is divided into six areas 1. Introduction; 2. The Women’s Major Group; 3. Addressing the systemic causes of ‘being left behind’; 4. Key areas of action for implementation, follow-up and review to ensure no one is left behind; 5.Ensuring that the Review of 2030 Agenda Leaves No One Behind; and 6. Conclusion.
The focus on addressing systemic causes of ‘being left behind’ is central to our work at the United Nations. ‘Identifying and responding to the intertwined systemic issues of neoliberalism, fundamentalisms, militarism, racism and patriarchy, and their correlation to inequality and gender inequality, are essential for the successful implementation o the 2030 Agenda and shout be an important focus of follow up and review processes at all levels…” and address the systems that negatively affect the lives and lived realities of all girls and women of all ages.
In section 4 there is a call for a) inclusion and participation of grassroots women’s organizations in planning, implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda at the local and national level. The advice of 19 year old Berryl from Kenya sums this up quite succinctly: “Bringing girls and young women to the table during the discussions about the SDGs is important because girls are the experts in their own lives. Girls and young women in the communities should be taught about the SDGs and how they affect their lives so they can monitor the implementation and how well the governments are doing. I think that world leaders need to:
- Give better support to girl advocates by providing resources and encouragement.
- ….allocate budget[s] for implementation of the SDGs, especially Goal 5 and Goal 16.
- Invest in girls and their access to education
An educated, empowered girl is good not only for the family but also for the community, country and the world.”
b) Financing and capacity building for women’s rights groups at all levels.
c) Gender disaggregated data
Section 5 states that women’s groups must be meaningfully engaged at all levels of the implementation, follow up and review from the national level to the global.
We also have a voice in the Major Group of Non Governmental Organizations See HERE
Another set of inputs can be found in Partnerships and Voluntary Commitments
Throughout the HLPF the GSIJP Office are using the brochure prepared by the Good Shepherd International Foundation ONLUS ‘Promoting Inclusive Development for Women and Children.’ highlighting Participation, Empowerment, Livelihood and Human Rights in programs focusing on community development and economic justice; child protection and education; girls and women’s empowerment; and migrant and anti-human trafficking. See the brochure by clicking on the link
Good Shepherd International Foundation Brochure – Where are the SDGs?
How We Help
- Community Development and Economic Justice
- “Projects to eradicate extreme poverty” (SDG 1)
- Market research, business training and planning, micro‐finance and micro‐credit to start micro-enterprises to raise level of income (SDG 8)
- Advocating to change unjust structures discriminating women and to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation (SDG 5)
- Children Protection and Education
- “Programs protect and promote the rights of the most vulnerable children” in a holistic model of care
- Psycho‐social assistance (SDG 3)
- Nutritional Support (SDG 2)
- Remedial education to be mainstreamed in the school system (SDG 4)
- Awareness of human rights and activities for social cohesion and peace building (SDG 16)
- Girls and Women Empowerment
- Projects “help to achieve SDG no.5”
- Engaging women and girls living in poverty (SDG 1), at‐risk of exploitation or victims of violence (SDG 16)
- Counseling, psycho‐social assistance (SDG 3)
- Reintegration in formal education (SDG 4)
- Skills training, access to micro‐finance and micro‐credit, support to income generating activities (SDG 8)
- Migrants and Anti‐human Trafficking
- Programs to protect children, girls and women who have been trafficked or victims of commercial sexual exploitation (SDG 5, 8, 16)
- Programs in border areas, where the rights of children, girls and women migrants are most at risk (SDG 8)
- Psycho‐social support programs for children and women refugees (SDG 3)
On February 9, 2016 the Group of Friends United Against Human Trafficking held an interactive discussion on the interdependence between the eradication of human trafficking and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. See more information at Mercy Global Action where Sisters of Mercy call for a radical shift in understanding and addressing Human Trafficking. Good Shepherd collaborated in the statement made by Angela Reed.
The Good Shepherd Statement to the Commission on the Status of Women is published in the 6 languages of the UN and can be accessed HERE The statement was endorsed by a number of other ECOSOC accredited organizations. “Our organizations wishes to address the Commission on behalf of one group of women and girls who are extremely vulnerable to the denial of their human rights and are often excluded from conversations about rights and sustainability; that group is prostituted persons. We do applaud and support the recent development of networks of women who have successfully exited prostitution and who speak openly of the exploitative nature of prostitution, its stigmatization and consequent discrimination.”
As you will see we are collaborating with Mercy International co-hosting a paralle event together with Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH). The event will take place on 17 March, 2016 and is entitled ‘No Random Act: Human Trafficking and the Interplay between Systemic Oppression and the Individual Life Course’.
A second side event is in partnership with our Mission partner Nancy Fritche Egan Monday March 21st, 2016.
Here are the links to the NGO Briefings during the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Wednesday February 10, 2016 See markers No 21 and 29
Thursday February 11, 2016 The co-chair for this NGO Briefing was Amber Williamson, an intern from Manhattan College, who is interning at the Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office. Amber began last week of January and will continue two days a week until the end of May. Secondly, a panel presenter is Susan O’Malley, Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women. She has some interesting points to make around the definition of ‘gender’. See marker 33 for specific reflections. Another interesting concept is the role of the public sector.
Friday February 12, 2016 This is the last of the NGO’s Briefings. See marker 14 Bringing to the attention of the Commission that there are good resource documents for use at grassroots level. One is Making Human Rights Work for those Living in Extreme Poverty and a Hand book on Civil Society Guide to National Floors of Social Protection
Photographs with NGO friends from Afria and Asia before the NGO morning briefing prior to the opening of the Commission for Social Development. Read Good Shepherd Statement to the Commission published in the UN Journal today Statement No 58
See the video on Commission for Social Development Good practice is evidence based and data driven! People must remain the center of global, national and local efforts
#MaishaCSoCD Maisha – a new life outside the mines is one such good practice.
Sustainable Development Goals are integral to Social Development! Know your goals!
Check out the Civil Society Declaration 2016 “we strive for a world that is just, equitable and inclusive…”
” … Almost 40 years later, on 3-12 February 2016, CSocD will meet again under the Romanian chairmanship and, as Ambassador of Romania to the UN, I will chair this 54th session. The reform of the UN social sector is once more on its agenda, this time in the context of implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted last September. After all, as the UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson remarked a few days ago: “Development is a work in progress. Development is never finished”. Read more here
H.E. Mr. Ion Jinga Ambassador of Romania to the UN (center) is chair of the 5 member-state bureau of the Commission for Social Development. There other members are Mr. Andreas Glossner (designate) Germany; Ms. Amina Smaila. Nigeria; Luz Andujar, Dominican Republic; and Mr. Mohammad Hassani Nejad Pirkouhi (designate) Islamic Republic of Iran.
For each Commission the Secretary General prepares a report on the theme of the Commission. For the 54th session the theme is ‘Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world‘ It is in Spanish, English, French, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
There are 5 sections including Introductions and Conclusions and Recommendations.
Section 2: Social Policies for sustainable development has two subsections.
- A. Supporting a people-centered, inclusive, and integrated 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and
- B. Eradicating poverty, promoting equality and decent work and respecting human rights.
- A universal policy framework centered on social justice, inclusion and participation. 2
- Promoting inclusion through special, targeted measures.
Principles and values are well enunciated – people-centered, inclusive, integrated, equality, human rights, and social justice. However, the challenge is how to close the gap between the values and the reality. One mechanism that Good Shepherd is supporting is the implementation of National Floors of Social Protection reference in Paragraph 19 as one example of a concrete action, and it is achievable but requires political will. Such implementation Social protection floors is an intergal part of the right to social security coming form Article 22 of the Declaration on Human Rights . Article 22 “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.” It is encouraging to read of the movement towards universal health coverage in Indonesia, Rwanda, Thailand and Vietnam.
- C. Promoting inclusive institutions and participation
- D. Social policies as a means for inclusive growth and environment protection.
Section 3 Strengthening coherent approaches to policymaking for sustainable development
This is a direct challenge to the silo approach focusing only one policy to the detriment of others. The Secretary General report call for the aligning of macroeconomic policy frameworks with social and environmental goals. (Paragraph 34) What could be the scenario in Kolwezi where the documentary Maisha – A life outside the mines was filmed if in the first instance macroeconomic policy was aligned with social and environmental goals? Even today, how can the empowered people of Kolwezi move towards participation in decision making in all that affects the life of the community at the social, environmental and economic level, locally, nationally and internationally? Maisha CSocD Side Event Concept Note (1) The end of Paragraph 35 suggests that social and environmental policies should be integrated into macroeconomic policy frameworks. This, in my opinion is to continue with the same model that caused the problem in the first place. Rather, we should be attempting to integrate the macro-economic policy into robust social and environmental policy framework thus addressing ‘the underlying structural causes of development challenges’ (Paragraph 5). Social injustice, environmental injustice, systemic exclusion, poverty and inequality are largely the results of dominant macro economic policy. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has the vision but do we have the will and the courage to implement it?
Section 4 Financing a social perspective on development
Successful implementation of any policy requires sufficient and sustainable financing. Resources are in abundance. There never appears to be shortage of resources for military operations. The cleft between richness and poverty is gross. A human rights framework underpins true social development with the principles of equity, social justice and solidarity that were the foundation of the World Summit for Social Development.
Some quotes from Laudato Si on Inequality
Para 48 The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation.
Para 49 … Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
Para 82 Yet it would also be mistaken to view other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination. When nature is viewed solely as a source of profit and gain, this has serious consequences for society. This vision of “might is right” has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity, since resources end up on the hands of the first comer or the most powerful: the winner takes all. Completely at odds with this model are the ideals of harmony, justice, and peace.
Good Shepherd have submitted a statement to the Commission. It is on the Commission Website in the 6 languages of the UN. Statement 54th Session of Commission for Social Development (English) Français Español
The statement addresses the causes and effects of poverty and its consequent human rights violations, and disempowerment of women, girls, children and local communities on a daily basis. It is our experience that when people are at the centre of their own development they can and do move out of poverty to enjoy quality life and well-being.
This statement will be further elaborated through our documentary ‘Maisha – A new life outside the mines’ illustrating the ministry of our mission partners in Kolwezi, DRC under the leadership of our Mission Development Office in Rome and its director Cristina Duranti.
“The second project is a new development within the already successful ‘No Interest Lending Scheme developed by Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with the Australian Government and banks. Good Shepherd Microfinance offers loans and other people-centred financial programs to people on low incomes at 650 locations across Australia. People are enabled to define and then realize their own economic well-being and feel valued and in control of their finances and lives. The new development, to be launched in early 2016, is an insurance scheme that permits people flexibility in what to insure and in how to pay. It is Australia’s first insurance product for people on low incomes. In their May 2015 Budget, the Australian Government made a commitment to develop the country’s first Financial Inclusion Action Plan programme. ‘Essentials by AAI’, developed by Good Shepherd Microfinance and Suncorp, showcases what can be achieved when community-based organizations and an ethical corporate sector work together in collaboration with governments. Essential by AAI These partnerships are based on inclusion, respect and shared commitment to justice and equality.”
The statement concludes with 5 Recommendations.
If you are on Facebook or Twitter why not start a conversation on what does social development mean in the contemporary world? A significant part of our contemporary world is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
‘Laudato Si’ has much to say about the contemporary world, poverty and growing inequality. A quote from our statement “There is a need for people-centred socioeconomic policies to alleviate inequality, reform public services and pensions, create good jobs and better labour conditions, address low living standards, enact land reform, and secure the human rights to food, water, energy, transportation and housing, among others. Social justice should be at the core of every effort and a strong focus should be put into tackling the root causes of poverty and inequality.”