Human Rights


Declaration of Principles on Tolerance

Did you know that there are more than 2000 official languages in the world and about 4000 indigenous languages? Walking on the crowded streets of New York City I hear a lot of people – do they live here or are they tourists? – talk in languages beyond my comprehension. And every time I hear the melody of an unfamiliar language I smile and my heart leaps ... not being able to understand is a wonderful reminder that the world is so much bigger than my own one-sided and narrow perspective.

Indigenous People and the UN

The world’s estimated 370 million indigenous people are found in more than 90 countries, according to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. They regularly face discrimination and are counted among those who are extremely poor, lacking health, education and social services. They are often disproportionally affected by climate change, deforestation and environmental degradation or exploitation.

Romero Mural

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

Turning on the TV or reading the newspaper, we are confronted every day with acts of violence and situations that blatantly violate our neighbor’s inherent dignity and human rights – for example in the DR of Congo, in Libya ... sometimes in our own backyard! These realities have impelled us throughout the Society to create new ways of being peace makers – educators for truth and peace, in the class room and outside of the classroom, in women’s groups and in our educational work with children.

World AIDS Day 2010

On December 1, the world will observe World AIDS Day once again. Millennium Development Goal #6 (MDG #6) addresses the fight against HIV/AIDS. While target 6.A calls for a halt to the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015, target 6.B calls for achieving universal access to treatment by 2010. Many efforts have been made to achieve this target 6.B.

Internal Displacement: a Global Humanitarian Crisis

Disaster hits, like the earthquakes in Haiti or Chile, and people are suddenly forced to flee their homes in order to be safe and secure.
Armed conflict rages through a country and entire communities find themselves on the move to escape the violence.

These are but two classic examples of what causes people to become forcibly uprooted, cut off from their livelihoods and communities, making them utterly vulnerable without access to the most basic necessities of life such as food, water, shelter, education, etc.

Promoting Children's Rights

María Jiménez Albarrán won the first prize in EXPRÉSATE, “Express yourself: the rights of children and adolescents”, an Art and Audiovisual Media contest organized by the UN, the Foreign Affairs Secretariat of Mexico, and Save the Children. Maria was invited to the Senate of the Republic (of Mexico), where she was given a special recognition and had lunch with the senators. It was very moving for us as parents to see in the screen of the Press room how Maria walked in by herself while all the Senators clapped for her.

Educating for Tolerance

On November 16, the UN observes the International Day for Tolerance which aims to promote global understanding and respect. This day of observance was created in 1996 by General Assembly Resolution 51/95, stating the importance of tolerance as the basis of civil and global peace. As our world grows, cultures and ideas spread, and while there is an encouraging mixing of cultures, intolerance still remains all too prevalent. Intolerance can surface in the form of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, religious intolerance, incitement, etc.

Report of the DPI/NGO Conference 2008 in Paris, France

At the beginning of September 2008, I was fortunate to be able to take part, with José Basaula, Maria Teresa Devoto, Isabelle Lagneau and Cecile Meijer, in the session which takes place every year in New York for NGO’s accredited to the United Nations. As the building in New York is being renovated, the DPI/NGO Conferences will be held for several years outside the US. The headquarters of UNESCO in Paris was a good choice since we celebrate this year the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in Paris in 1948.


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