#3By Juliana Marques Boyd, SNDatUN Intern: Everyone has the right to a life of dignity. This basic human right as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights implies that a person has, or at least is given, the opportunity to attain his or her fullest potential in a given society. It is the duty of the government of every country to provide its citizens their basic human rights. However, when a certain demographic of the population are denied their fundamental human rights, either because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or for whatever reason, this often breeds frustration and resentment. And if not timely addressed, frustration and resentment often result in violence. No human being is born a criminal, but a person’s circumstance in life may place him or her on this trajectory. This notion is especially true with young people.

The world is facing new and difficult times when curbing violent crimes, whether within or across borders, is becoming a great challenge for governments and the international community. Many people are still of the opinion that violence should be combatted with violence. In other words, the law enforcement should use heavy-handed techniques to deal with criminals, and criminals should be incarcerated without the option of rehabilitation programs. This option may sound appealing since incarceration may act as deterrence to crime.  But this solution to crime is not sustainable. There are always historical, social, economic, psychological or political factors to why people commit violent crimes. Therefore, in order to effectively combat violence, it is very important to first examine some of these factors. Addressing the social structure in any society that perpetuates the subjugation or exclusion of certain demographics of its population could offer a more sustainable solution to the issue of violence and crime; this could be presented in opposition to the combatant solutions being proffered by many governments. It is often injustice which breeds violence. And simply put, violence only breeds violence. Any society that covertly or overtly denies a certain population of its young people the opportunity for social engagement and upward social mobility is susceptible to violent crimes.

I want to assure my readers that my article is certainly not an apology to perceived or #4real criminals. Where a person comes from or what the person has been through in life should never justify crime. However, my article seeks to remind us that many governments have failed to protect their citizens as well as ensure that its young are provided the opportunity to thrive in peaceful and fruitful environments. Every society should do its soul-searching on whether it supports a social structure that equally provides for the needs of every member of that society notwithstanding the person’s social, religious, economic, racial or ethnic background. Until all these factors are considered, the perceived ‘criminal’ may actually be a “victim”.   Everyone has the right to a life of dignity, liberty, and security!

Read more:   What are human rights? http://bit.ly/JakXo5



5Six Catholic Religious Congregations at the United Nations, namely; Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Congregations of St. Joseph, Franciscans International, Augustinians International, Passionists International and VIVAT International are collaboratively sponsoring a two-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, from June 6-8.    This is part of an effort by these Catholic Religious congregations/NGOs at the UN to educate and empower their members at the grassroots on the very crucial issue of migration and human trafficking. The theme of the workshop is; “Women and Migration in the African Context: Religious and Migration in the 21st Century

Read more:

Women and Migration in the African Context: http://bit.ly/2pGFXYt

International Organization for Migration: http://gmdac.iom.int/

Global Migration Trends Factsheet by the International Organization for Migration: http://bit.ly/2nJo1iy



4Representatives of indigenous communities from around the world gathered in New York from April 23rd to May 5th for the 16th United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  This year’s forum was particularly special because it marked the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. Discussions at the forum were focused on measures taken by the international community, Member States of the UN and all stakeholders to implement the Declaration. The forum acknowledged progress by some member states in realizing the rights of indigenous peoples since the adoption of the Declaration ten years ago, but also expressed concerns about lack of implementation by many countries.


Read more:

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: http://bit.ly/1ompreW

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; http://bit.ly/2rB8qDM

Draft report on the 16th Session: http://bit.ly/2q4Qm0e


The pic-2United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), launched its 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons at the UN Headquarter in New York, on December 22, 2016. The following are some of the issues highlighted in the report; no country is immune from trafficking in persons, trafficking in persons has changed in recent years, victims and traffickers often have the same background, people are trafficked for many exploitative purposes, cross-border trafficking flows often resembles regular migration flows, conflict can help drive trafficking in persons, and often the most vulnerable, children, are trafficked. The report also noted that that even with solid legislative progress mad thus far, there are still very few convictions of perpetrators.

Click here to download this very informative UNDOC report
Read more: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; http://bit.ly/1RaFYPz
UN Security Council on Human Trafficking; http://bit.ly/2hSwB9x



The glRefugees summit page en.pngobal scale of migrants and refugees currently witnessed is unprecedented. According to the United Nations (UN) 2015 data, the number of refugees and migrants around the world was over 244 million, (a 41% increase compared to 2000). Migration is a very complex global issue that will require concerted efforts from the international community to find lasting and sustainable solutions. The UN has taken on the responsibility to galvanize the Member States for global action on this phenomenon. On September 19, 2016, the UN General Assembly will host a High-Level Summit, the first ever called for Heads of State and Governments on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. Major tasks of the summit will include considerations regarding to best means for the international community to respond to the growing issue of refugees and migrants, and to formulate a blueprint for improved international, regional, and national responses.
Ban Ki-moon refugees.png
As a lead up to the September 19 Summit, the Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, released a report in May 2016, titled: “In Safety and Dignity: Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.” This report provides background for the September Summit. It also calls for a comprehensive framework for addressing the large movements of migrants and refugees, root causes of such movements, and the need to protect the human rights of those compelled to embark on such often perilous journeys.

Learn more:

  •  “I was waiting for recess. Diary of a child in detention” wins the first edition of the “Justice for Children” Award: defenceforchildren.org
  •  Interactive map showing origins and destinations of migration 1990-2015 allows one to select a country and a year and then click on another country to see how many of its people that year immigrated into or emigrated from the first country.


Jeannette Pierre-LouisThe Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves regular assessment of the human rights records of all UN Member States. During the UPR process, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) are invited to contribute their perspectives and recommendations on the human rights situation of any country under review. In March a coalition of NGOs with presence in Haiti submitted their report to the UN Human Rights Council for consideration at the time of Haiti’s UPR in November 2016. We are especially grateful to Jeannette Pierre-Louis, SNDdeN, who contributed to Section V, The Right to Education (p. 10).

View a PDF of the entire report:  images.pngHaiti UPR_final (English)

Spotlight on Les Cayes, Haiti: Food Security and Nutrition Programs Make a Difference

English Zero Hunger Logo.jpgThrough 17 newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, all countries have pledged to work together to End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (Goal 2). Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are already working on this goal in Haiti. Notre Dame Family Education Center (NDFEC) serves 90 children and 60 adults in the impoverished neighborhood of La Savane on the outskirts of Les Cayes. Directed by Sister Jeannette Pierre-Louis, NDFEC is supported by Notre Dame Mission Volunteers (http://www.ndmva.org/) Haitian volunteer-teachers, adult professional volunteers, and regular youth volunteers.

As reported by Caitlin Clarke, ND Mission Volunteer, streets in La Savane are unpaved, houses are made fromLa Savane - children in classroom.jpg salvaged materials, water must be obtained from wells in the streets, and no municipal latrine system is in place. Unemployment and illiteracy rates hover around 80%, and 60% of the children are unable to afford school fees so they drop out before 6th grade. One of the reasons childhood malnutrition rates are so high in La Savane (80% of children eat only one meal a day) is unemployment; parents are unable to afford more than one meal a day for their children.

NDFEC (https://vimeo.com/123042780) has three programs that focus on food security and nutrition:

  • NDFEC’s St. Julie Youth Group started a garden on an acre of land outside of Les Cayes. In October they harvested seventy-five pounds of corn which was distributed in one- or two-pound bags to 40 members of the center, and used to provide two hot meals to the children (about 60 children served). The youth group then planted black beans and vegetables to be harvested and distributed among the youth group and families at the center.
  • NDFEC is developing a local community garden at the center. Facilitated by ND Mission Volunteers and children who attend the center, the garden will provide food and nutrition education and enable children to learn how to grow their own food in an urban setting.
  • To bolster employment and generate income, NDFEC will open a community bakery to give a means of employment for 20 families at the center and provide an affordable food source to the community. Profits of the bakery will be re-invested in the community via the micro-finance and scholarship programs available at NDFEC. https://vimeo.com/129126711