Rome (Italy). Three online meetings were held on 9, 16, and 23 February 2023 for the Heads of University Pastoral of the Salesian Institutions of Higher Education (ISS-FMA) and of the Residences for young university students, workers, and professionals, managed by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
In line with the orientations for the six-year period 2022-2027 of the FMA Institute, according to the third priority choice of General Chapter XXIV, “we listen to the cry of the poor and of the earth in order to make courageous evangelical choices networking as Educating Communities in the perspective of integral ecology,” the Youth Ministry Sector planned a series of online meetings aimed at key people in university pastoral care, on the theme of ‘Human Rights’.
The meetings by language area: in English on 9 February, in Spanish on 16 February, in Portuguese and French on 23 February, had as Presenter Sr. Sarah Garcia, FMA collaborator in the Youth Ministry Sector and Director of the Human Rights Office of the International Institute of Mary Help of Christians in Geneva (IIMA), with the aim of creating alliances between the ISS-FMA and the IIMA Human Rights Office for the defense of Human Rights and the Common Good.
The IIMA Human Rights Office promotes the Global Youth Agenda at the Human Rights Council. Together with other Member States, we are trying to urge the Human Rights Council to give specific attention to the care of the rights of young people, through the mechanisms of the United Nations.
On 19 September 2022, IIMA was invited to participate in the first informal consultation by the Core Group for the resolution on youth and human rights, composed of the States of the Ivory Coast, El Salvador, Egypt, Philippines, France, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, the Republic of Moldova, and Uzbekistan.
IIMA gave its written contribution to prepare for this meeting, focusing above all on the importance of a systematic Mainstreaming, a process through which the innovations tested in a limited area are adopted at the system level, becoming laws, practices of the rights of young. This resolution was adopted on 6 October during the 51st session of the Human Rights Council.
The resolution establishes a biennial panel on youth and human rights. The first panel will focus on youth engagement with climate change and global environmental decision-making.
To build a new humanism, a renewed commitment to an education that involves society at all levels is needed. Animated by the Salesian Preventive System, networking with other University Institutions, the ISS-FMA are committed to developing a culture that humanizes and educates people to become agents of social transformation. The mission is to accompany university students, promoting their integral development and making them citizens and professionals who are honest and capable of solidarity.
In this direction, it is necessary to guarantee the institutional conditions that can allow young people to be social actors and builders of change in the perspective of Christian humanism, to become points of reference in cultural elaboration and to offer proposals inspired by evangelical values and the Salesian charism, for the Church, for the Institute, and for society.
The goal is to promote active and responsible citizenship among young people, so that they can network and be protagonists in defending, promoting, and achieving the human rights of all, especially the rights of other young people.