criminal justice

International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism

Victims of terrorism continue to struggle to have their voices heard, have their needs supported and their rights upheld. Victims often feel forgotten and neglected once the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack fades, which can have profound consequences for them. Few Members States have the resources or the capacity to fulfill the medium and long-term needs required for victims to fully recover, rehabilitate and integrate back into society. Victims can only recover and cope with their trauma through long-term multi-dimensional support, including physical, psychological, social and financial, in order to heal and live with dignity.

The primary responsibility to support victims of terrorism and uphold their rights rests with Member States. The United Nations has an important role in supporting Member States to implement Pillar I and IV of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy through standing in solidarity and providing support to victims, capacity building assistance, establishing networks of, and offering support to, civil society organizations, particularly victims of terrorism associations, and encouraging Member States to promote, protect and respect the rights of victims. The United Nations has been working to provide resources, mobilize the international community and better address the needs of victims of terrorism.

The General Assembly, in its resolution 72/165 (2017), established 21 August as the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism in order to honor and support the victims and survivors of terrorism and to promote and protect the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms

Resolution 72/165 builds on existing efforts by the General Assembly, the Commission of Human Rights and the Human Rights Council to promote and protect the rights of victims of terrorism.

By proclaiming an International Day dedicated to victims, the General Assembly reaffirmed that the promotion and the protection of human rights and the rule of law at the national; and international levels are essential for preventing and combating terrorism.

The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted unanimously in its resolution 60/288, on 8 September 2006, notes that the dehumanization of victims counts among the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, and the most effective way to counter terrorism is through measures that respect human dignity and uphold the rule of law.

To hear victim testimonies, read relevant documents, and learn more about how/why the UN commemorates this observance, click here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking in Persons Protocol).

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

The World Day against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/68/192.

Did you know:

  • In 2018 about 50,000 human trafficking victims were detected and reported by 148 countries.
  • 50 per cent of detected victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 38 per cent were exploited for forced labour.
  • Female victims continue to be the primary targets. Women make up 46% and girls 19% of all victims of trafficking.
  • Globally, one in every three victims detected is a child.
  • The share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled, while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years.

To learn more about the Blue Heart campaign and how the UN commemorates this observance, visit un.org/en/observances/end-human-trafficking-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

South-South Sharing of Experiences in Macro-Financial Policies for Structural Transformation

UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT

Meeting the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is inextricably linked with the process of structural transformation. Macroeconomic and financial policies are a key area in which many developing countries face limitations in their capacity to effectively design, manage, coordinate, implement, and evaluate the policy levers of structural transformation. South-South sharing of experiences, including by drawing lessons from success stories such as China’s development strategy, can help to address this shortcoming and assist national capacity-building.

China’s successful development experience over the past 40 years has been based on a pragmatic, gradual and experimental approach to development. Many other developing countries adopted policy strategies that emphasize reducing state influence over key macroeconomic policy levers such as exchange rates and interest rates, combined with broad-based liberalization and privatization at the sectoral level. This latter approach did not result in structural transformation. As such, China’s experience may act as a reference point from which other developing countries can assess alternative economic policy options that are consistent with their own objectives for structural transformation and adapted to their own specific circumstances.

This webinar looks at macroeconomic and financial policies from a comparative cross-country perspective. It aims at fostering a better understanding of the key macroeconomic and financial policy challenges that developing countries face and the extent to which China’s development strategy, trajectory and dynamics can inform other countries’ macroeconomic and financial policy strategies.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ryV6dH_4SsKEuaGb7o44tw

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

November 2009 – in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom, UN General Assembly declares 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day.” Resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in: conflict resolution; race relations; promotion and protection of human rights; reconciliation; gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups; the fight against poverty; the promotion of social justice. The resolution acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

Last year, coinciding with the date of the Nelson Mandela International Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. In his speech, “Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A New Social Contract for a New Era,” the Secretary-General takes aim at the various layers of inequality that are being exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about Nelson Mandela and view UN materials on his life and message, check out nelsonmandela.org/content/page/annual-lecture or un.org/en/events/mandeladay.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

World Drug Report with focus on Asia & Europe

Webinar on the World Drug Report with focus on Asia and Europe

The Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) together with the UNODC Civil Society Unit will be holding two webinars to present and discuss the World Drug Report 2021, which was launched on 25th June. The yearly publication is the most comprehensive source of facts and knowledge on drugs and the world drug market, sourced straight from evidence-based studies and data compiled by UNODC experts. The participants of the webinars will learn about the newest trends, both global and regional. The first webinar will be held on 13th July 2021 (10:00-11:30, CEST, Vienna) and will comprise welcome remarks from VNGOC and UNODC, a formal presentation of the World Drug Report 2021 with a respective focus on the different regions by UNODC experts, two civil society panelists, and an open question and answer session. 

Register here:https://bit.ly/3pyC5t1

Interpretation in Russian and French will be available. The full agenda can be viewed on the VNGOC website.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Drugs-NY, please visit nyngoc.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Family-NY, please visit ngofamilyny.org.

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy will be held on 5 and 6 July 2021.

Register here: unctad.org/meeting/intergovernmental-group-experts-consumer-protection-law-and-policy-fifth-session

The session will open at 10 am on Monday, 5 July, in room XIX of the Palais des Nations. The extent of physical and/or virtual participation will depend on the prevailing conditions at the time.

Background and purpose of the meeting

In line with the agreed conclusions adopted by the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (TD/RBP/CONF.9/9), held on 19–23 October 2020, the deliberations at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts will focus on the following topics:

  • a) Report on the implementation of the United Nations guidelines for consumer protection by member States and relevant stakeholders;
  • b) Latest developments in legal and institutional frameworks: UNCTAD world consumer protection map;
  • c) Report of the working groups on consumer product safety: modalities for the prevention of cross-border distribution of unsafe consumer products and on consumer protection in electronic commerce;
  • d) Report of the working group on modalities of UNCTAD voluntary peer reviews of competition and consumer protection law and policy;
  • e) Consumer protection needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers in connection with public utilities;
  • f) Consumer law, policy and regulatory actions in response to and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • g) Voluntary peer review on consumer protection law and policy: Chile;
  • h) Review of capacity-building on and technical assistance in consumer protection law and policy;
  • i) Provisional agenda for the sixth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy;
  • j) Adoption of the report of the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy

This meeting is open to all member States of UNCTAD. Other organizations, including specialized agencies, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations in the general category may participate as observers.

Online registration, at Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, fifth session, is mandatory for all those wishing to attend the meeting and is required for inclusion in the list of participants. Early registration (before 25 June 2021) is advisable so that timely approval may be received for the issuance of a ground pass to the Palais des Nations.

Registration requires uploading an official letter of nomination to represent an organization at this meeting. For government representatives, a note verbale or an email from the permanent mission concerned in Geneva will suffice. Further enquiries regarding registration should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; email: meetings@unctad.org.

Substantive and other inquiries should be addressed to the UNCTAD secretariat, Competition and Consumer Policies Branch; fax: +41 22 917 0044; email: jacqueline.bouvier@unctad.org.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June marks the moment in 1987 when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, one of the key instruments in fighting torture, came into effect. Today, the Convention has been ratified by 162 countries.

Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, torture persist in all regions of the world. Concerns about protecting national security and borders are increasingly used to allow torture and other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment. Its pervasive consequences often go beyond the isolated act on an individual; and can be transmitted through generations and lead to cycles of violence.

The United Nations has condemned torture from the outset as one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings.

Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances. This prohibition forms part of customary international law, which means that it is binding on every member of the international community, regardless of whether a State has ratified international treaties in which torture is expressly prohibited. The systematic or widespread practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity.

On 12 December 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a view to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

26 June is an opportunity to call on all stakeholders including UN Member States, civil society and individuals everywhere to unite in support of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Alliance on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org/about.

Abolition 2000, global civil society network for the elimination of nuclear weapons

PNND members, partners and supporters are invited to participate in the annual meeting of Abolition 2000, the global civil society network for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Abolition 2000 was established in 1995 during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference. Over 2000 organizations from around the world have endorsed the Abolition 2000 founding statement which outlines a mix of incremental and comprehensive measures to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Abolition 2000 builds cooperation between civil society and legislators through its partnership with PNND. The Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to share ideas and initiatives, discuss strategy and build cooperation for more effective campaigns and policy actions.

See below for details about the program. Click here to register for the meeting. We invite you to read the PNND Report for the Abolition 2000 meeting. Additionally, in preparation for the annual meeting, Abolition 2000 has interviewed 6 people, from a range of backgrounds in peace and disarmament. They address the theme of the 2021 annual meeting: How do we move from a dysfunctional world to a world free of nuclear weapons? Click here see the interviews: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNLSpPdpFraCBUmKLTTxP9qTX1vviq3jN

The meeting will be held in two sessions of 90 minutes each:

Session 1: Campaign updates and reports. Strategy discussion on challenges and opportunities to advance nuclear abolition. Introduction of proposals.

Session 2:Discussion of proposals. Abolition 2000 Secretariat report. Fundraising. Affirmation of the Abolition 2000 Coordinating Committee and Global Council. Calendar of upcoming events.

In order to enable participation by organisations and activists around the world, Session 1 will be held twice:
Session 1 (a) is timed to suit participation by those from Asia/Pacific.
Session 1 (b) is timed to suit participation by those from the Americas and Europe.

Click here for more information including the Session times for your location. Click here to register for the meeting.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

2021 observance: “Building back better: Supporting survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in the context of pandemic recovery”

Join us from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT on Thursday, 17 June 2021 via UN WebTV live webcast

Commemorating the 7th official observance, this year’s virtual event is co-hosted by the Office of the SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Office of the SRSG on Children and Armed Conflict and the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations.

The purpose of the event is to stand in solidarity with the survivors and those working to support them on the frontlines, often at great personal risk, particularly in the current climate of intersecting crises. The event will provide a platform for strategic reflection on ways to integrate the specific rights, needs and perspectives of survivors of CRSV into national and regional COVID-19 response and recovery plans, to ensure they are not forgotten in a climate of intersecting crises and constrained resources.

The impact of COVID-19 on survivors of conflict-related sexual violence

The chronic underreporting of conflict-related sexual violence, due to stigma, insecurity, fear of reprisals, and lack of services, has been compounded by COVID-19 containment measures. Lockdowns, curfews, quarantines, fears of contracting or transmitting the virus, mobility restrictions, and limited access to services and safe spaces, as shelters closed and clinics were repurposed for the pandemic response, added a layer of complexity to existing structural, institutional and sociocultural barriers to reporting.

Proactive measures to foster an enabling environment for survivors to safely come forward and seek redress have become more urgent than ever. The pandemic has laid bare the intersecting inequalities that plague our societies, as compounded by conflict, displacement, and institutional fragility. The only solution for these overlapping ills is an injection of political resolve and resources equal to the scale of the challenge.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch.  For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Access to Justice

Participate in part of the UN’s observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Tuesday, 15 June at 15:00-  16:15 Geneva time/ 9:00 – 10:15 NY time!
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) founded the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) in 2006. WEAAD was designated as a United Nation’s International Day in 2011 in GA resolution A/ RES/66/127. This year’s theme is Access to Justice.
COVID-19 highlighted distressing reports of abuse and neglect of older persons in long-term care institutions and in the community where the majority of older persons live. Older persons who have experienced situations of violence, abuse and neglect face multiple barriers in accessing judicial remedies such as issues of accessibility, affordability, excessive delays and backlogs in judicial processes, impact of digitalization, gender bias, discrimination, and entrenched ageism in policy, norms and practices.
Access to justice is a fundamental right in itself and an essential prerequisite for the protection and promotion of all human rights. An expert panel will discuss ways to overcome the barriers and showcase examples of access to justice by older persons who suffered violence, abuse and neglect, including during the current COVID 19 pandemic. Register here todayhttps://bit.ly/3x3YiSj
Program:
Opening words:
  • Susan Somers, President of INPEA
  • HE Mr. Federico Villegas, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN in Geneva, co-chair of the Group of Friends of the human rights of older persons, Geneva
  • HE Mr. Enrique Austria MANALO, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN, New York (TBC)
Panelists:
  • Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
  • Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Special Envoy of the UN SG on Disability and Accessibility
  • Etienne Krug, Director of the department of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization
  • Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (TBC)
  • Natasa Todorovic, Health and Care Program Manager, Red Cross of Serbia and INPEA Europe
  • Bill Mitchell, Principal Solicitor, Townsville Community Law Inc, Australia
Moderator: Silvia Perel-Levin, INPEA representative to the UN and Chair of the NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva
The event will be accessible with sign language and captioning. It will have French, Spanish, German and Russian interpretation. It will also be webcast on webtv.un.org.
This event is funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020). The content represents the views of the participants only and is their sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

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