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.
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 Latina – Congregación de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Buen Pastor – Región América Latina. Bolivia-Chile,…
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
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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:
- 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?
- 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:
- 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)?
- 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)?
- 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.)?
“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!
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!”
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
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
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:
Some photographs from Vienna
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
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)
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.
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?
As the updated Position Papers of the congregation are launched negotiations of the 5the week of the Global Compact on Migration have just finished – May 4 – 8, 2018
We must pay tribute to our excellent colleague and NGO Main Representative to the United Nations – Cecilie Kern – our migration expert – for keeping abreast of the negotiation, supporting in ever way possible the NGO Committee on Migration in their tracking and contributing to the enhancement the negotiations to ensure the human rights of each and every migrant. Her dedication and passion in this cause are unrivaled. Here is a Copy of the document start of negotiations on June 4. Cecilia has provided an update on the current position as we moved into the week of June 4th negotiations. Read more here ETW GCM
This work did not begin today or yesterday but has been ongoing since the year long negotiation leading up to the New York Declarations on Refugees and Migrants in September 2016 – a year after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals. The New York Declaration give rise to the work on the Global Compacts and here we are on the road to Morocco (10 and 11 December 2018) when the Global Compact will be adopted. See More about the Conference It will be preceded by the Global Forum on Migration which Good Shepherd have been engaged in over the years – with regresentatives coming from the Philippines, Malaysia and the GSIJPO in New York.
See New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants Available in Spanish and French. What is in the position paper on Migration?
- Reference to the global situation today and the fact that the Global Compact on Migration is being negotiated.
- Why migration happens and what can happen in the process.
- Who is on the move today?
- Here is our main point of advocacy
- ‘all persons, regardless of migratory status are rights holders.’
- protection of migrants is a moral imperative
- upholding the integrity of the family
- ensuring the rights of the child and of spouses
- avoid criminalization of the migrant
- implement human rights and labour rights
- no to xenophobia
5. Welcome the stranger – recognize and honor difference – listen – accompany – provide services
6. Critical to responding
- cross border OLCGS projects – share with us in the comments box what you are doing.
- know your local, national and regional reality
- educate on human rights
- be gender sensitive
- focus on long term solutions
- advocate – human rights, family unity, no to detention of children, due process
- address systems and structures that discriminate
- seeks universal social protection floor policy
- highlight the need for ‘protection’
- oppose efforts to restrict migration
- speak abut the failure to address political , social and economic inequalities
Be eager to see the final edition of the Global Compact on Migration which we expect after the 6th round of intergovernmental negotiation to be held in New York July 9th – 13th, 2018
Make links with the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 13, 16 and 17
The Mission of the Holy See to the UN hosted a side event on June 4 entitled ‘The Protection and Integration of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations.’ This could be a title for our position paper on Migration. See Goal: “to facilitate a reflection and discussion on the main challenges and responses for the protection and integration of migrants in vulnerable situations, especially the selected target groups of women and girls, and families, and the selected target areas of health care and dignified work.” Read the Holy See reflection on the side event Side Event
The UN Women and UNEG (United Nations Evaluation Group) have developed a guideline in 5 languages to evaluate the SDGs with a gender lens. Link to English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish
Another excellent resource linking the SDG’s with various human rights mechanism has been published by the Danish Institute For Human Rights. It too, is is multiple languages and has an interactive dimension – you can choose a goal or target and see the linkages to human rights.