WORLD PEACE DAY: “THE RIGHT TO PEACE: THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AT 70”

#1International Day for Peace is marked on the 21st   day of September every year around the world. This day, according to the United Nations General Assembly, is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.  Peace is not necessarily the absence of conflict. A truly peaceful society can only be achieved where the human rights of individuals in a society, irrespective of ethnicity, sex or creed are upheld and respected, and their basic needs are met. The theme for the 2018 Peace Day is; “The Right to Peace: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.” This theme was deliberately chosen to correspond with the event of the 70th anniversary celebration of the adoption (10 December 1948) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “a milestone document in the history of human rights.”

The 2018 International Peace Day ceremony, marked by the traditional ringing of the Peace Bell, was led by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, at the UN Peace Garden in New York.

 

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Mr. Guterres rings the Peace Bell

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ 2018 Peace Day message:

“This year we mark the International Day of Peace as we prepare to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This foundational document is a reminder that peace takes root when people are free from hunger, poverty and oppression and can thrive and prosper.  With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as our guide, we must ensure the achievement of the Sustainable     Development Goals. I encourage you to speak up. For gender equality.  For inclusive societies.  For climate action.  Do your part at school, at work, at home. Every step counts. Let us act together to promote and defend human rights for all, in the name of lasting peace for all.”

 Learn more: International Day of Peace: https://bit.ly/YpcjJT

Watch the UN Peace Day ceremony: https://bit.ly/2pqhlW1

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SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEMS: TOOL FOR REDUCING EXTEREME POVERTY AND INEQUALITY

5The World Banks defines extreme poverty as living on less than $1.90 per day. The organization estimates that about 10.7% of the world’s population or 760 million people still live in extreme poverty. World leaders made a commitment in 2015 through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2030. SDG 1 calls for an “End to Poverty in all its Forms Everywhere.” Access to Social Protection or social security has been identified as key to achieving SDG 1. Therefore, SDG 1:3 states that governments “implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 to achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.” As described by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Social Protection or social security are set of policies and programmes designed to reduce and prevent poverty and vulnerability across the life cycle. This includes nine main areas: child and family benefits, maternity protection, unemployment support, employment injury benefits, sickness benefits, health protection, old-age benefits, disability benefits and survivors’ benefits.

The Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Guy Ryder, notes that “when access to essential benefits and services is guaranteed for mothers and children, for persons with disabilities or illness, for the elderly and unemployed, countries actually make their economies resilient while ensuring the human rights to social security.” Unfortunately, only 1 in 5 people around the world have access to universal social protection coverage as indicated in the 2017 – 2019 World Social Protection Report. Governments must therefore, recognize that providing social protection for the people is not only the right and just thing to do, it is actually a very economic smart thing to do. Countries that have made efforts in expanding their safety net programmes have seen a rapid decline in the rate of poverty and experienced economic growth.

Read more:

ILO World Social Protection Report 2017 – 2019: https://bit.ly/2CyyaTn

Infographic : https://bit.ly/2BbsTV2

2018 WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS: “RESPONDING TO THE TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE”

7A United Nations General Assembly resolution 64/293 designated July 30th as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in 2013. This was to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of the rights of victims of human trafficking.” Trafficking in persons is a global phenomenon to which no country is immune. Pope Francis has called it a crime against humanity. And the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, describes human trafficking as a ‘vile crime that feeds on inequality, instability and conflict.’ Mr. Guterres laments that “human traffickers too often operate with impunity, with their crimes receiving not nearly enough attention.” Human trafficking has been described as the fastest-growing criminal business enterprise earning criminals over $150 billion annually. Trafficking in persons often involve very powerful local or international criminal syndicates who in many instances evade prosecution because of weak or corrupt criminal justice system.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime 2016 (UNODC) Global Report on Trafficking in Persons8 indicates that children are the second most commonly detected group of victims of trafficking after women. Between 25 – 30 percent of the total victims of human trafficking victims detected over the 2012-2014 period were children. This is especially true for the Sub-Saharan African region. It is estimated that over 10 million children worldwide are currently in the situation of slavery. This is the worst form of violence against children. One child in slavery is far too many.  For this reason, the UNODC has chosen, ‘responding to the trafficking of children and young people’ as the theme for the 2018 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Read more:

UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons: https://bit.ly/2LD8HRC

June 2018, Issue Brief on Children in Trafficking by the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons: https://bit.ly/2AiEYbn

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons: https://bit.ly/1pnkWx6

2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons: https://bit.ly/2jqIZ09

 

SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEMS: TOOL FOR REDUCING EXTEREME POVERTY AND INEQUALITY

5The World Banks defines extreme poverty as living on less than $1.90 per day. The organization estimates that about 10.7% of the world’s population or 760 million people still live in extreme poverty. World leaders made a commitment in 2015 through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2030. SDG 1 calls for an “End to Poverty in all its Forms Everywhere.” Access to Social Protection or social security has been identified as key to achieving SDG 1. Therefore, SDG 1:3 states that governments “implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 to achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.” As described by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Social Protection or social security are set of policies and programmes designed to reduce and prevent poverty and vulnerability across the life cycle. This includes nine main areas: child and family benefits, maternity protection, unemployment support, employment injury benefits, sickness benefits, health protection, old-age benefits, disability benefits and survivors’ benefits.

The Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Guy Ryder, notes that “when access to essential benefits and services is guaranteed for mothers and children, for persons with disabilities or illness, for the elderly and unemployed, countries actually make their economies resilient while ensuring the human rights to social security.” Unfortunately, only 1 in 5 people around the world have access to universal social protection coverage as indicated in the 2017 – 2019 World Social Protection Report. Governments must therefore, recognize that providing social protection for the people is not only the right and just thing to do, it is actually a very economic smart thing to do. Countries that have made efforts in expanding their safety net programmes have seen a rapid decline in the rate of poverty and experienced economic growth.

Read more:

ILO World Social Protection Report 2017 – 2019: https://bit.ly/2CyyaTn

Infographic : https://bit.ly/2BbsTV2

“WORLD HEALTH DAY 2018 UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE: EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE

1Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a human right. According to the Director- General of the World Health Organization (WHO), “no one should get sick and die just because they are poor, or because they cannot access healthcare services.” Sadly, a recent report by the WHO indicates that about half the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential healthcare services. In order to highlight this issue, the WHO focused on Universal Health Coverage for the 2018 World Health Day commemorated on 7th April. WHO describes Universal Health Coverage as “means where all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardships. These would include the full spectrum of essential quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.”

ACTION: World leaders made a commitment in 2015 through the Sustainable Development Goals to provide health care for all by the year 2030. Do you know what2 progress your country is making to achieve this goal? Everyone can take the lead towards universal health coverage! Make your voice heard, start a local campaign on UHC. Click here to find out what you can do to educate yourself on this very crucial issue. Become an advocate for UHC, for those who otherwise cannot afford healthcare in your country!

Read more:   

World Health Day; https://bit.ly/2BxaPE6

Download World Health Day advocacy kit: https://bit.ly/2rCXC6n

WHO facts on universal health coverage: https://bit.ly/2jM1D4w

 

In case you missed this from our January newsletter:

8 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). DO YOU KNOW YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS? Learn the UDHR. Encourage others to do the same. Teach the UDHR to your students.  Click here to download illustrated copy of the UDHR.

ACTION: Join in the #standup4humanrights campaign and take the following pledge:

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined, so I will STAND UP
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

 

Read more:

History of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; http://bit.ly/2nQeV4G

#Standup4humanrights campaign: http://bit.ly/2A5a81t

Illustrated booklet of the UDHR: http://bit.ly/2hTiaDI

Educational resources for teaching the UDHR to youths: https://bit.ly/2J7InJD

UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES: “INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ COLLECTIVE RIGHTS TO LANDS, TERRITORIES AND RESOURCES”

6The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held it’s Seventeenth Session from April 16 – 27. The theme for the 2018 forum was; “Indigenous Peoples’ Collective Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources.” According to the UNPFII, indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. Indigenous Peoples have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Several indigenous communities from around the globe were represented at the UNPFII. Many of them had opportunities to present statements on issues of concern to their different communities.

The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, in his opening remarks

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Indigenous Peoples at the UN.  UN Photo

at the forum, painted the grim picture of the situation of the over 300 million Indigenous Peoples around the world. He noted that while Indigenous Peoples make up about 5 percent of the world’s population, they comprise 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people.  A situation he described as ‘shocking.’ Mr. Lajčák also

highlighted some of the challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples as violations of their human rights, marginalization, and violence they face for asserting their rights. Focusing on the theme of indigenous land, territories and resources, Mr. Lajčák pointed out that, “Indigenous Peoples are being dispossessed of the lands their ancestors called home,” often by big time and multi-national farmers and mining corporations. The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, in his opening remarks at the forum painted the grim picture of the situation of the over 300 million Indigenous Peoples around the world. He noted that while Indigenous Peoples make up about 5 percent of the world’s population, they comprise 15 per cent of the world’s poorest people.  A situation he described as ‘shocking.’ Mr. Lajčák also

In a recent report by Conselho Indigenista Missionaria (“Indigenous Missionary Council” – a subsidiary of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil), some of the challenges faced by a number of indigenous communities in Brazil (as well as indigenous communities around the world) include; high rate of suicide, lack of health care, high child mortality, alcohol and drug, lack of indigenous education and lack of general support from the State.

Learn more:

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: https://bit.ly/2pvCccv

UN News on Indigenous Peoples’ land rights: https://bit.ly/2H4EU1M

Conselho Indigenista Missionaria report on violence against indigenous peoples in brazil in English, Espanol and Portugese: https://bit.ly/2F1w133