Monday June 20 is World Refugee Day. The critical nature today of people journeying from their country of birth to life in another nation has prompted a global effort, led by the UN, to develop comprehensive, people-centered agreements: including a Global Compact on Refugees

June 20 celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. This year, the focus will be on the right to seek safety. “Every person on this planet has a right to seek safety – whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they are forced to flee.” Read more on the UNHCR Website. You have the opportunity from the Website to post your photograph I stand #withrefuges

The Good Shepherd Position Paper on Migration includes references to refugees. Paragraph 3 states “The movement of peoples today includes migrants, temporary workers, refugees, asylum seekers, internally-displaced persons (IDPs) and stateless persons, each defined under separate legal frameworks in national and international law; all are entitled to move in safety and dignity.” This links directly with this years’ theme. Paragraph 5 outlines our response “We embrace our Judeo-Christian spiritual foundation that rests on a commitment to “welcome the stranger.” Our first response to migrants and refugees is to welcome them as one would welcome the Divine among us. We honor the culture and heritage each brings and we celebrate the positive contributions newcomers make to the lives and development of host communities. The service needs of persons in resettlement or status regularization are extensive, including language skills, health care, social integration, trauma healing, employment skills, legal help, etc. We listen to their experiences, accompany them, develop programs and work in partnerships to serve complex needs and to facilitate self-empowered social participation.” Paragraph 6 (d) urges us to ensure gender analysis in service planning give attention to women and children, sustaining family relationships, including communication with family in country of origin and 6 (h) to know the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to Status of Refugees and its protocols including the Global Compact on Refugees.

The NGO Committee on Migration has issued the following Statement in honor of World Refugee Day: The Right to Seek Safety. It was presented by Eva Sandis.

The recently concluded International Migration Review Forum summary report identified ‘the need to coordinate between the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees was stressed, as was the need to bring together the work under the Global Compact for Migration, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.’ You can access the NGO Committee on Migration weekly updates on their website.

Read more on Ukrainian Refugees and use some the prepared core messages on your social media.

CSW continues into the Second Week March 21 – 25

CSW 66 is continuing in this second week beginning on Monday March 21 – with the formal program within the United Nations and Parallel Events as hosted on the NGOCSW Website. It is still not too late to register and gain access to all that is happening at the NGOCSW Forum including our Virtual Booth displaying the event that are happening this week in Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Congregational Event took place on March 16th with an attendance just short of 300 participants sponsored by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, Republic of Korea. We pay tribute to the panelists who shared from the wealth of their experience at the grassroots and the moderator Cristina Duranti, CEO from the Good Shepherd International Foundation.

Another event that Good Shepherd Co-sponsored was “My Voice our Equal Future” a girls hosted events. We are very proud of all the girls presenting and marvel at their knowledge, creativity, ingenuity and engagement within the CSW 66 processes. This programme includes a Good Shepherd girl student from India of whom we are all very proud. This was her second panel presentation – a much more comprehensive sharing than the first day. How exciting to see Good Shepherd girl advocates from around the world joining with other girl advocates for gender equality, sustainability and the future of our planet. Jasmine presented on Climate Change and Technology and the concrete steps she is taking at local level. Congratulations Jasmine!

Winifred was a panelist at the Religions for Peace Parallel CSW 66 Parallel Event entitled ‘Multi-religious Collaboration: The Tipping Point for Engendered Climate Change Policies ‘ where she addressed the issues of the issue of Human Trafficking.

“The root causes of human trafficking can be attributed to the inequalities caused by economics systems particularly the neo-liberal capitalist systems that exploit people and planet. … quoting Pope Francis “the Amazon today is a wounded and deformed beauty, a place of suffering and violence. Attacks on nature have consequences for people’s lives. ” Read the full text French Spanish

Girl events from Asia Pacific and Madagascar Africa were held on Saturday March 18th The event from Asia Pacific was a collaborative event across countries. This year the GSIJP Office worked to ensure that girls are present in events and present within the CSW 66 process.  We have had girls from India,  Philippines, Sri Lanka and Latin America take part in Girls’ Statement Writing, moderating and facilitating process and meetings with UN Member States and being part of the delivery of the Girl’s Statement to the CSW 66. This is scheduled for Tuesday 22nd.   All this was made possible because of the zoom platform, internet connectivity and the facilitation of Mission Partners in all regions of the world together with the dedicated follow through and skilled approach of my colleague Alexis Schutz. It is impressive to hear girls from Asia Pacific witness to their engagement on the global stage.  Indeed they are the policy makers and political leaders of tomorrow ensuring gender equality and sustainability.  It is indeed a source of HOPE for the congregations to have the privilege of engaging with Girl ‘Mission Partners’ in addressing the structural and systemic issues facing our world. They do so with ease while addressing various topics displaying both breath, and depth of knowledge – social protection, gender equity, social inequality, economic justice, climate crisis and the digital divide – all intersecting and interconnecting issues that require a new paradigm to address.   The global community needs to move from a mindset of  scarcity to abundance, from profit making to equitable sharing.   We must seek to change the current data indicating that the top 10% of adults hold 85% of the world’s total wealth, while the bottom 90% hold the remaining 15% of the world’s total wealth. and in relation to gender equality ‘the ten richest people in the world are men’  this too must change!   The crises facing humanity today are facilitated by the systems and structures of patriarchy seeking to control, usurp, own, and exploit both people and the planet.   This system has to give way to one of equity, human rights, gender equality, sustainability and sharing – with the implementation of universal social  protection for all; – access to medical care for all, universal child benefits for every child; a sustainable income for every person unable to work, and pensions for all older people.  The power struggle is equally at work in the dominance of the global north and its institutions over the global south – this too has to change! Enjoy the progamme entitled ‘Sirius Talk’. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. These girls are the brightest stars in our future!

This event was followed by a program from Madagascar, equally impressive and inspiring with new a learning for me on ‘Aquaponic Agriculture’. Aquaponics is a food production system that couples aquaculture (raising fish, with the hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) whereby the nutrient-rich aquaculture water is fed to the growing plants. Olivia presented aquaphonic agriculture which she had learned from an expert Mr Anton Lavale who works on this in Madagascar. Sambata and Hasina both sophomore students presented on social inequality and the threats and devastation caused by weather related events in Madagascar, so relevant to the CSW 66 theme ‘achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster reduction policies and programmes.’

Some events are continuing for the rest of the week – do join in if you have the opportunity. A girls event will take place from Latin America tomorrow.

Keeping our Pledge to End Child Labour by 2025

For July, we are providing an account from our Good Shepherd Partners in Lebanon showing the ugly face of child labour. We read of the dire situation of families and their children and the work undertaken in collaboration with Wells of Hope in the Middle East in the fight to end human trafficking. Nayiri, a social worker, in creating awarenss of adult rights in relation to human trafficking encounters many children who are engaged in labour. She addresses some of the consequences in counselling session and by offering social support. It pains me everytime I read ‘that trafficking in children is a ‘worst form of child labour’. This is a way of sanitising the violence of child sexual abuse. It is not labour it is violence! As long as conflict continues, profiteers continue to violate human rights, and governments fails in their duty to protect the human rights of people, implement universal child benefits and social protection, people seeking to survive are targets of exploiters.

Graphic in Arabic is done by one of our team members at Wells of Hope. 

CSW65 Continues

This all virtual CSW 65 experience is challenging – the inability to meet in person, exchange ideas, meet official delegates, and chat informally with women traditionally gatherered in NY is a certainly different. No exchanging of hugs and embraces, no coffee appointment, no walking and talking, moving from one venue to another, and no personal interaction is certainly a great loss and yet women as always are making the best of the virtual world with over 25,000 registered and participating on the NGOCSW 65 Virtual Platform which I think is a great success thanks to the dedication of the NGOCSW Committee on the Status of Women and all who work behind the scenes to make it a reality. The only signs that CSW 65 is taking place are captured in the banners on the railing outside the UN. Asking which one comes first is asking the wrong question because transformation demands that they are all realized simultaneouly!

The Secretary General of the United Nations held a Town Hall with women and girls on March 16th. A few quotes from his address ‘But we should not talk of getting “back to normal”. It has become clearer than ever that what was considered normal was often discriminatory, unjust and unsustainable.’ … ‘Around the world, we advocated with Member States to ensure that women entrepreneurs are targeted in stimulus packages; that women working in the informal economy can access social protection; that recovery packages include greater investment in the care economy.’ You can read the full text HERE

US Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the Commission on the Status of Women 65 on behalf of the USA saying that  “the status of women is the status of democracy,” mentioning Eleanor Roosevelt’s who shaped the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. “When women face obstacles to obtaining quality healthcare; when women face food insecurity, when women are more likely to live in poverty, and therefore disproportionately impacted by climate change, more vulnerable to gender-based violence, and therefore disproportionately impacted by conflict, well it’s harder for women to fully participate in decision-making, which of course in turn makes it that much harder for democracies to thrive.”  Olivia Dalton, a spokesperson for the US Mission to the UN noted that the Vice President Harris is the first Biden administration White House official to address the U.N.; she is the highest-ranking U.S. government official to ever address CSW; and she’s the first female U.S. vice president to ever address the U.N.

During the first week there were 4 ministerial roundatbables and 4 interactive dialougues. Background notes, biographies of speakers and the recordinding can be accessed HERE. The General Discussion resumed on Friday 19th and continues in the second week. Member States address the Commission Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here A list of speakers can be accessed at the top on the page on UN Women’s CSW 65 Page

While the formal program continues virtually within the United Nations the NGO community are hosting multiple parallel events on the NGOCSW 65 Virtual Forum Platform Good Shepherd around the world are presenting a very comprehensive program of the various activities from east to west and north to south. The program schedule can reviewed and many of the events have been recorded either on Facebook or Youtube. I was so happy to have the Contemplative Sisters engaged in designing the Women’s Sanctuary Space on Monday March 15th. It has been recorded on Facebook The videos ‘Glow Within Us All’ and ‘The Call to Belong.’

Some of the Asia Pacific Presentation

Presentation from Africa – Anglola

Fundación Internacional del Buen Pastor América LatinaCongregación de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Buen Pastor – Región América Latina. Bolivia-Chile,…

Recording on Facebook
Live on Facebook
Live on Facebook
Live on Facebook

Inviting you to participate in a UN Consultation with Civil Society / Invitándote a participar en una consulta de la ONU con la sociedad civil – January 13 – 24, 2020

This is a global on line discussion on the role of the United Nations in protecting and promoting civil society space. The discussion will start on January 13th, 2020 and continue until January 24th, 2020. The target audience for this consultation are civil society actors at international, regional, national and local levels working on issues related to development, peace and security, human rights and humanitarian action. You can preview of the questions below, and remember you need to create a profile to begin. See

Q1. Partnership/participation:

  1. What are entry points for you to engage with the UN? What are the challenges you face in engaging with the UN (e.g. unclear about entry points/contacts, opaque and complex procedures, etc.)? Have you ever contested decisions that restricted your participation in the UN?
  2. How do you receive information about UN processes? Have you experienced any difficulties in accessing information about the UN’s policies and processes? What measures do you suggest to improve access to information and quality of information?
  3. With a view to “leaving no one behind”, what can the UN do to reach out to diverse civil society actors or groups (e.g. women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals) in your country/region/area of work? Can you provide good examples of the UN reaching out to specific groups?
  4. Do you have any comments about civil society participation in intergovernmental forums (e.g. Security Council, ECOSOC, Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, various commissions etc.)? Do specific groups (e.g. women, youth, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT groups etc.) face greater obstacles than others in accessing UN inter-governmental fora? How could the UN support efforts towards more diversity?

Q2. Protection of civil society actors:

  1. What role do you expect the UN to play in situations when civil society actors are at risk (e.g. of intimidation, threats and attacks off-line and on-line)? Can you provide examples of the UN taking such measures?
  2. How could the UN strengthen its protection role, including in cases of intimidation and/or reprisals against people who cooperate or seek to cooperate with the UN?

Q3. Promotion of and advocacy for civic space:

  1. What role should the UN and its senior leadership play vis-a-vis State authorities in terms of ensuring safe civil society participation in national policy discussions and decision-making processes? How can the UN support diverse participation in these processes (e.g. of women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals)?
  2. What role should the UN play to ensure people have a say in their country (e.g. regarding national laws and policies on protests, access to information, freedoms of expression and association)?
  3. How could the UN strengthen its political support to civil society (e.g. through more positive narratives on civil society, meetings during high-level visits, regular consultations etc.)?

On Day 12 ‘Orange the World Campaign’ Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines are featured in the Global Sisters Report

antiVAW2 c

“Wearing orange on the 25th of every month is a practice followed by a number of sisters and staff of the Religious of the Good Shepherd, Province of the Philippines-Japan. But on Nov. 25, Good Shepherd-run institutions and centers in the Philippines were especially ablaze in orange to commemorate the start of the 18-day anti-violence against women campaign in keeping with the United Nations’ “Orange Day” campaign to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls.’  Read the full story at Global Sisters Report    Congratulation to all and well done!

 

Mapping of the Sustainable Development Goals

An interesting mapping of the Sustainable Development Goals is available HERE

The UN Office at Geneva has mapped out the expertise on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) found across international organizations, NGOs and other institutions based in Geneva.  Good Shepherd’s main focus – contributing operations in the field to SDG’s 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,16, and 17.   Also, focusing on gender equality and poverty eradication in Norms and Standard Setting, Legal Frameworks and Support, Capacity Building and Training and Outreach, Advocacy and Communication! Well done Good Shepherd!  Check out the website – it is interactive and an interesting way to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals

Thanks to Sr Marie Halligon we have some french translation “Ah oui, mais l’avez-vous lu? ND de Charité du Bon Pasteur contribue aux opérations 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, 7, 7, 7, 17 et 17 de SDG, en mettant davantage l’accent sur l’égalité des sexes et l’éradication de la pauvreté dans les normes et standards, les cadres juridiques et le soutien, les capacités Bâtir et former et sensibiliser, défendre et communiquer! Bravo NDC du Bon Pasteur!”

 

Mapping

E_2018_SDG_Poster_without_UN_emblem_Letter-US

Another interesting website is the The Human Rights Guide to the Sustainable Development Goals   See Spanish:    La guía de los derechos humanos a los ODS  and French:   Le Guide sur les droits de l’homme dans les Objectifs de Développement Durable 

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.

 

 

 

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