Geneva (Switzerland). World Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December 2020, on the anniversary in which the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

This year’s theme “Rebuild Better – Defend Human Rights”, relative to the Covid-19 pandemic, focuses on the need to rebuild better, ensuring that human rights are the priority focus of recovery efforts. The global emergency has, in fact, highlighted the increase in poverty, inequality, and discrimination.

The appeal of this Day commits everyone to put an end to poverty, discrimination, and inequality of any kind; to promote and protect economic, social, and cultural rights; to encourage the participation and solidarity of all, from individuals to governments, from civil society and grassroots communities to the private sector to ensure that the voices of the most vulnerable are heard; to promote sustainable development for the people and the planet.

The Human Rights Office of the International Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (IIMA) of Geneva gathered the initiatives and projects carried out by all the Provinces of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The information gathered by the Office highlighted the relevance of the work done in different contexts to address local challenges and the contribution to improving the lives of millions of children, young people, women, families, and vulnerable people.

Initiatives and projects are effective paths undertaken by the FMA Educating Communities in line with the SDGs to ensure, for example, inclusive, equitable, and quality education, and to promote lifelong learning for all, providing education for all levels and for different age groups, scholarships, teaching materials, and educational support for destitute families, supporting teacher training and human rights education, promoting school activities, and building educational facilities.

Another significant field of intervention concerns the promotion and emancipation of girls and women, with the offer of free education and professional training to promote gender equality at work.

Other initiatives focus on the environmental aspect of protecting the planet and reducing hunger through food and agricultural development projects, reforestation, construction of wells, filters, tanks and sanitation facilities in rural areas, with awareness of the environment and sustainable consumption.

The commitment in favor of life, respect, and care for every human being are, in the educational mission of the FMA Educating Communities, expressions of what Pope Francis, in the Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti, defines as social love: “a force capable of arousing new ways to address the problems of today’s world and to deeply renew structures, social organizations, and  legal systems from within” (FT n.183).


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