Infographic: Violence against women

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is on November 25 and is followed by the Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence.  Violence Against Women is global pandemic in many forms.  See the  Infographic: Violence against women for more information.

In 2013 the office published the results of a survey of services provided globally by Good Shepherd Sisters in 24 countries.  This is in 3 languages on the website English French and Spanish

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Outcome Document CSW 57  Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls is available in all 6 languages of the UN and is well worth reviewing.  It will be reviewed during CSW 60 in March 2016.

What has your country to celebrate in terms of ending gender based violence and what tis the more that needs to be done?


Here is the link to the tool kit for the 16 days campaign  Toolkit

2015 Call to Action: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls”  Good ideas in the toolkit from engage your Government to orange cyber space!  Use orange on your Facebook page and use the hashtags  #orangetheworld and #16days

Transforming our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 5 Target 5.2 ‘Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.’

Check out our position papers Prostitution of Women and Girls  ‘The prostitution of women and girls is a chronic form of gender violence that has been structurally embedded in societies over the centuries. Good Shepherd’s position echoes the UN 1949 Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others “that prostitution is incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, and endangers the welfare of the individual, the family and the community…” Prostitution is, by its nature, exploitative and is never part of a global decent work agenda.’


Support our campaign: Challenging UN Member States to Address the Situation of Women and Girls at the Hands of ISIS

Since preparing this letter in November 2014 we have decided to use to gather signatures in support of this letter.  We invite you to sign the petition by Clicking here.  Thanks for your support.

We, Sisters and Lay Mission Partners of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, 82 delegates from 28 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East are shocked and outraged by what we have witnessed in Northern Iraq. We are gathered in Angers, France, for an Inter Continental Assembly and have decided to bring to your notice and ask for your action on this subject.

Our main concern is that ISIS is selling girls and women on the open market.  This is a flagrant violation of human rights and all international conventions.  We see this exploitation of girls and women as a perpetuation of violence against humanity.

It is an outrage that ISIS is dealing in the commodification of girls and women. These girls and women are marketed by age and we are scandalized to see the girl child being sold in contradiction to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Could not the same international coalition that developed a strategy to defend and free up the oil wells in the Middle East, now focus an even stronger concerted voice to negotiate the liberation of these girls and women?   Could not the governments of all nations denounce this human rights violation?   As human beings, have we lost our sense of solidarity to save life and to combat violence against the weakest and the most vulnerable members of society?

We denounce in the strongest terms what is happening to girls and women and we appeal to the international community to use its political influence to have a total cessation of the use of human beings as weapons of war.

Yours faithfully,

You can access the letter in Spanish and French

CSW 59 advert

Good Shepherd Statement to the Commission on the Status of Women 59th Session

The Good Shepherd Statement to the Commission on the Status of Women has been published in the 6 languages of the United nations.  Link to our statement  This is the reference number E/CN.6/2015/NGO/25   The following NGO’s at the UN supported the statement –  Dominican Leadership Conference, International Federation of Women in Legal Careers, International Federation of Women Lawyers, International Presentation Association of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Passionists International, Religious of the Sacred Heart Mary, Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries,  Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and UNANIMA International.

“Today, the various Good Shepherd grass-roots services work with women and girls in 72 countries who are constrained by situations that are the same, or often worse, than those that existed in 1995. Under the current model of economic globalization, women and girls who are living in extreme poverty and denied access to basic services are highly susceptible to forces of irregular migration, prostitution, and trafficking for sexual and /or labour exploitation.

Prostitution is a violence of human rights and constitutes violence against the person prostituted. …”


The Barbershop Conference at the United Nations

The Barbershop Conference was held today at the United Nations.  It was lively, engaging and creative.  I was touched to hear Permanent Representatives from the following member states – Palestine, Indonesia, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovenia, Tunisia and Pakistan make commitments to gender equality.   Mr. Max Bryant, a youth advocate for girls education is 13 years of age from New Jersey and is a Model UN Student in his school.  He was excellent. You can hear him towards the end of the session.  “Unjustifiable that people can be denied eduction because of a single chromosome.”  Max Bryant.

Webcast recording is here

Among the presenters was  Magnus Scheving, from Iceland, a writer, actor, producer, entrepreneur and athlete. He demonstrated that the principles of ‘Lazy Town’ can be easily adapted to promote gender equality emphasizing the power of positive role models.  

lazy town

LazyTown is an educational musical children’s television program


Christopher Graves, Global Chairman of Ogilvy Public Relations had some interesting thoughts to share.

Check out the HeForShe Campaign  Click Here


International Human Rights Day December 10

Human Rights Day

‘Human rights matter every day for everyone, everywhere’

In his traditional message for the Day, UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, highlighted the first words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by virtually all UN Member States on 10 December 1948, more than sixty years ago: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”Read the full text here

On December 1st the High Commissioner Prince Zeid wrote an op-ed  ‘Stand in Solidarity with Courageous Women’s Human Rights Defenders.’ In this op-ed , he discusses achievements and gaps in guaranteeing equal rights for all and stresses the importance and courage of women human rights defenders, and the challenges they face. OHCHR will begin a new campaign on Human Rights Day, 10 December, to galvanize recognition for human rights advocates. – . The campaign runs from Human Rights Day, 10 December this year, to International Women’s Day, 8 March 2015.  We encourage everyone to join the ranks of these strong and inspiring advocates, on social media (#reflect2protect) and on the ground.   Read more


Young people against prostitution and human trafficking: the greatest violence against human beings. Theme of Youth Symposium at the Vatican

Joseph Loh

Joseph  Loh was a youth delegate on behalf of Good Shepherd, Taiwan.  Joseph send us the follow update on his experience.   “This year I was honored to be invited to the conference by the Vatican through Monsignor Marcelo. After a long tiring journey, I experienced warm friendship, and mutual support of the participants. People came from different Foundations with different backgrounds from all around world. We were no longer strangers but co-workers in preventing human trafficking.

Presenters from Mexico shared personal experiences that they were victims but became the survivors after they were helped. What they shared was very touching and moving. This motivated us; we all know now that what we are doing is worthwhile. People help each other and care about the harm that human trafficking has done to victims.

josephAnother important event was Pope Francis’s speech. He was so down to earth and I got a chance to talk to him personally.

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My topic was Prevention of Human Trafficking in Taiwan. There are two key points in my report. One was to prevent and protect the victims in Taiwan; the other is the high sea issue in Asia. For the former point, Good Shepherd is commissioned by the Taiwan government to run a shelter for victims in Nantou, and we did an efficient job with official support. For the latter point, I made an example of Cambodia fishermen who worked on foreign ships, therefore their safety and labor rights cannot be guaranteed while working on the high seas.

During the 15 minutes debate, the representatives, including participates from Cambodia, ask questions about the high seas issue, since they had never heard of it and could not imagine such situations in their own countries. Apparently, the high seas issue presented by us is a very new issue for current human-trafficking in Asia, furthermore, some representatives ask for our presentation file to study.  See here

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to Monsignor Marcelo and I appreciate Sr. Winifred and Sr. Thersese Thong for giving me this opportunity to attend this international conference. It is my pleasure be a volunteer in Good Shepherd. Every country has different ways to deal with human trafficking issue, but all of us face the problem.”  Joseph Chih Ko LOH  November 27, 2014

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Congratulations Joseph, well done!

Orange YOUR Neighbourhood – End Violence Against Women

Orange your neighbourhood

To mark the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, the United Nations Secretary- General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women invites you to    “Orange your Neighbourhood”

Orange the World in 16 days

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

This year, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women invites you to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood.” Take the UNiTE campaign to local streets, shops and businesses, and organize “Orange Events” in your own neighbourhoods between 25 November and 10 December 2014.

Color your neighborhood orange November 25 to December 10, 2014 – End Violence Against Women!

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year, and runs from 25 November, (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), to 10 December (Human Rights Day).

In 2013, the UNiTE campaign launched a global call for action to “Orange the World in 16 Days.” UN entities, civil society organizations and individuals across the world led an array of creative and highly visible events in over 50 countries, which drew attention to the issue and created opportunities for discussion around current initiatives and solutions. The initiative aimed to create the symbolic image of a world free from violence against women and girls. The colour orange was a uniting theme which ran through all events as one of the official colours of the UNiTE campaign, and as a bright and optimistic colour, representative of a world free from violence

Unite to end Violence


Malaysia responds to the TIP Report Findings

The Trafficking in Person Report 2014 is a good benchmark with regard to the global situation of trafficking in person for sexual exploitation and labour.  Each country is reviewed and evaluated.  Check out the report TIP 2014 and posted on this blog on June 21st.  Here is the response of Malaysia rejecting US findings Click here and another ‘Malaysia is serious about addressing human trafficking’ Click here to read more  What is happening in your country?  Is the report covered in your press?  Another report Click


Preparations have begun for CSW 59

Preparations are already underway for CSW (Commission on the Status of Women) 59 tentatively scheduled for 9-20 March 2015. Read more   The Commission will undertake a review and appraisal of the progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This will mark 20 years after its adoption at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.   Member states have been invited to do a review.  Guidelines have been provided by UN Women in all 6 languages of the United Nations.   English     French    Spanish   Arabic   Chineese

It is a 13 page document with background and introduction and guidance on the content of national reviews proposing 4 sections.

  • Overview analysis of achievements and challenges since 1995
  • Progress in implementation of the critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action since 2009
  • Data and Statistics
  • Emerging priorities

Pages 11,12 & 13 outline the critical areas of concern and strategic objectives.

  • A. Women and poverty
  • B. Education and training of women
  • C. Women and health
  • D. Violence against women
  • E. Women and armed conflict
  • F. Women and the economy
  • G. Women in power and decision-making
  • H. Institutional mechanisms for advancement of women
  • I.  Human rights of women
  • J. Women and media
  • K. Women and the environment
  • L. The girl-child

In Africa, Member States have been requested to submit reports to UN Women and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) by June 30th 2014. This provides time for analysis and compilation of the regional report ahead of the review process scheduled to take place in November 2014.  FEMNET (Africa) make the following suggestions for engaging in the process.  See here for more details including   Ninth Regional Conference on Women (Beijing+20), which will take place 11–14 November 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

How to engage in the process?

Given the deadline for submission of country/national reports is 30 June 2014, please contact the Ministry of Gender or Gender focal in your country to make submissions and get involved in the process of developing the reports. Additionally, this is an opportunity to mobilize other women’s rights organizations to submit shadow reports following the submission of the national reports.

ESCAP (Asia Pacific) the date is passed April 15.   See   See more  Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing +20 Review (17-20 November 2014)

ECE (Europe) date is passed May 1st See  The Beijing+20 Regional Review Meeting will be held on 6 – 7 November 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

ESCWA: (Western Asia)  A consultative regional workshop is tentatively scheduled for April 2014. A high-level regional conference is tentatively scheduled to take place in June 2014, at a venue to be determined. – 

Already some national reports have been posted See drop down box

Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ireland, Paraguay, and Senegal.