Geneva (Switzerland). From June 28 to July 8, 2019 the Course of Human Rights and Education, for the Education Coordinators of the American Interprovincial Conferences took place:   Sister Adair Sberga (Brazil), Sister Altagrace Mathias (Haiti), Sister Arelys Paulino (Dominican Republic), and Sister Ivone Goulart for the Youth Pastoral Sector, contact for the America Schools were present. The location of the course was the Office of Human Rights (IIMA), in Veyrier, Switzerland. Four sisters participated and at times two interns.

The objectives of the 2015-2020 Plan of the Youth Pastoral Sector were:

  • Promote awareness and the development of skills to intervene in the territory in order to guarantee the promotion and protection of human rights and affect – from an educational point of view – the youth policies of the countries where we work.
  • Identify strategies and content to educate young people to know and understand the practical implications of human rights, justice, peace, and integrity of creation, for a sustainable future for each person and for all peoples.
  • Enhance the sensitivity and competence of the FMA involved in province animation, so that the Childhood Convention can be fully realized as far as the participation of children, young people, educators, families, and the educating communities is concerned.
  • Reread the Preventive System according to the language of Human Rights.

Mother Yvonne Reungoat, in her Circular 982 writes: “If educating is human awakening, education necessarily translates into the commitment to support what fosters the dignity of the person of the young. Human rights are a privileged way, indeed, the way to do it. Education to rights and to human rights raises awareness that the person is a source of rights and duties because the face of the other obliges each to recognize it, respect it, promote it in its originality and awaken its responsibility: each person contributes to the spiritual, moral, and material well-being of the social community. The Salesian charism offers us an extra motivation to educate to human rights because it recognizes the image of God in every young person. Young people are a generation to love with the original dedication of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello and with the creative boldness of the whole educating community.”

The content was:

  • United Nations: United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Conventions and Treaties
  • United Nations and Institute: The Office of Human Rights and the commitment of the Institute to Human Rights (Circular 982 of M. General)
  • Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
  • Children’s Convention and the right to education
  • Sustainable development objectives – Agenda 2030 and objective 4: Quality education
  • Education to human rights: content and method
  • The “I Can” initiative of the Congregation of Catholic Education and OIEC
  • Specific issues: climate change, migration
  • Rights of the young
  • The ten principles of Abidjan

The methodology used: theoretical-practical formation sessions, participation in the Human Rights Council Session to the United Nations, meetings with some relevant personalities (independent experts, ambassadors, Holy See, NGO representatives …)

Planning was carried out with Sr. Sarah Garcia, Executive Director of IIMA.

28 June – Arrival of the participants, taking the badges in the UN and Human Rights Education, OHCHR Methodology, Education, and Training Section with Elena Ippoliti Specialist of Droits de l’Homme Section de Methodologie, Education and Formation, HCDH.

29 June – General orientation

  • Nature and objectives of the course
  • Commitment of the Institute to Human Rights and the Office of Human Rights
  • The human person and human rights
  • The United Nations Organization (UNO)

The UN and human rights – Charter-based bodies (bodies and procedures established through resolutions of the competent UN bodies)

  • Council of Human Rights
  • Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
  • Special Procedures

30 June –  The presence of the Holy See at the UN (with Fr. Massimo)

  1. Treaty-based bodies (organs and procedures established through treaties) Conventions and treaties
  2. Conventions on childhood and the right to education

1 July: Participation at the Human Rights Council (HRC), Visit to the UN- United Nations Building (PN)

2 July: Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Practical exercises – with Maria D’Onofrio

3 July: Prepare the draft of the Action Plan (lobbying, human rights education, relations with the UN), Youth Agenda at the UN – with Maria D’Onofrio

4 July: Participation in the Human Rights Council, CEDAW Session and Sustainable Development Goals – Agenda 2030 and Objective 4: Quality Education

5 July: Human rights education, OHCHR Methodology, Education and Training Section, Migration (questionnaire).

Sister Arelys Paulino from the Dominican Republic, in the 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council, issued an oral statement as IIMA and VIDES on Item 6: Adoption of the EPU for the Dominican Republic.


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