GBV

Addressing Apostasy and Blasphemy Laws in Muslim Societies

Dear UN NGO Committee on FoRB and interested colleagues,

This month, our friends at Muslims for Progressives Values will be hosting an in-person event on Apostasy and Blasphemy in Washington, DC. Here’s the event summary:

The practice of criminalizing the religious beliefs of others through apostasy and blasphemy legislation violates the fundamental teachings of Islam as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines the right to freedom of religion, belief, and thought to all individuals. 

Clearly, this issue is transnational as we’ve witnessed in the stabbing of Salman Rushdie. While he is one of the more prominent victims, there are many more unnamed victims. The two-hour forum will begin with an introduction to social, historical and religious contexts of apostasy and blasphemy laws in Muslim Societies. It will be followed by an interactive workshop with tools to delink these harsh laws from Islam, inculcating a culture of human rights, and overcoming hateful social media campaigns directed at human rights advocates.

 

Here’s the event page with the concept note, outline of the program and speakers. To register, please click here.

Event Location: Rayburn 2060, Capitol Hill, Washington DC

Please visit our Freedom of Religion and Belief page for a comprehensive overview of our work in this field.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@yahoo.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns/NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org

51st regular session of the Human Rights Council

Dear civil society,

The Human Rights Council will hold its fifty-first regular session from 12 September to 7 October at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Nada Al-Nashif, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, currently serving as acting High Commissioner, will present the High Commissioner’s oral update at 9 a.m. on Monday, 12 September in room XX.

Event info for in-person and/or virtual participation by NGOs:
Panel discussions to include:
  • Biennial panel discussion on the right to development
    Theme: 35 years on: policy pathways to operationalizing the right to development
  • Annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms
    Theme: Overcoming gender-based barriers to freedom of opinion and expression
  • Panel discussion on the future of the right to work in connection with climate change actions, responses and impacts in the context of sustainable and inclusive economies
  • Annual half-day panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples
    Theme: Impact of social and economic recovery plans in the COVID-19 context on indigenous peoples, with a special focus on food security
  • Panel discussion on the negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human right

The Human Rights Council:

The composition of the Human Rights Council at its fifty-first session is as follows: Argentina (2024); Armenia (2022); Benin (2024); Bolivia (Plurinational State of) (2023); Brazil (2022); Cameroon (2024); China (2023); Côte d’Ivoire (2023); Cuba (2023); Czechia (2023); Eritrea (2024); Finland (2024); France (2023); Gabon (2023); Gambia (2024); Germany (2022); Honduras (2024); India (2024); Indonesia (2022); Japan (2022); Kazakhstan (2024); Libya (2022); Lithuania (2024); Luxembourg (2024); Malawi (2023); Malaysia (2024); Marshall Islands (2022); Mauritania (2022); Mexico (2023); Montenegro (2024); Namibia (2022); Nepal (2023); Netherlands (2022); Pakistan (2023); Paraguay (2024); Poland (2022); Qatar (2024); Republic of Korea (2022); Senegal (2023); Somalia (2024); Sudan (2022); Ukraine (2023); United Arab Emirates (2024); United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2023); United States of America (2024); Uzbekistan (2023); and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) (2022).

The President of the Council is Federico Villegas (Argentina).  The Vice-Presidents are Andranik Hovhannisyan (Armenia); Muhammadou M.O. Kah (Gambia); Katharina Stasch (Germany); and Vice-President and Rapporteur Ulugbek Lapasov (Uzbekistan).

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@yahoo.com. 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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights/NY, please visit childrightsny.org. 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/Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women/Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.

2022 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated globally on 9 August. It marks the date of the inaugural session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1982. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) is organizing a virtual commemoration of the International Day from 9 am to 11am (EST) on Tuesday, 9 August 2022, focusing on this year’s theme: “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge. ” Indigenous Peoples, Member States, UN entities, civil society, and the public are all invited.

Background:

Indigenous women are the backbone of indigenous peoples’ communities and play a crucial role in the preservation and transmission of traditional ancestral knowledge. They have an integral collective and community role as carers of natural resources and keepers of scientific knowledge. Many indigenous women are also taking the lead in the defence of lands and territories and advocating for indigenous peoples’ collective rights worldwide.

The significance of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge is widely acknowledged: “Long before the development of modern science, which is quite young, indigenous peoples have developed their ways of knowing how to survive and also of ideas about meanings, purposes and values.” As noted by the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, the term “scientific knowledge” is also used to underscore that traditional knowledge is contemporary and dynamic, and of equal value to other kinds of knowledge.

International consultations jointly facilitated by UNESCO and the Internal Council of Science (ICSU) states that “Traditional knowledge is a cumulative body of knowledge, know-how, practices and representations maintained and developed by peoples with extended histories of interaction with the natural environment. These sophisticated sets of understandings, interpretations and meanings are part and parcel of a cultural complex that encompasses language, naming and classification systems, resource use practices, ritual, spirituality and worldviews.”

However, despite the crucial role that indigenous women play in their communities as breadwinners, caretakers, knowledge keepers, leaders and human rights defenders, they often suffer from intersecting levels of discrimination on the basis of gender, class, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Their right to self-determination, self-governance and control of resources and ancestral lands have been violated over centuries.

Small but significant progress has been made by indigenous women in decision-making processes in some communities. They are leaders at local and national levels, and stand at the frontlines of defending their lands, their cultures, and their communities. The reality, however, remains that indigenous women are widely under-represented, disproportionately negatively affected by decisions made on their behalf, and are too frequently the victims of multiple expressions of discrimination and violence.

The Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) highlighted some of the major issues encountered by indigenous women, particularly noting the high levels of poverty; low levels of education and illiteracy; limitations in access to health, basic sanitation, credit and employment; limited participation in political life; and the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence.

Format:

The virtual commemoration will include an interactive dialogue segment with invited speakers, moderated by Ms. Rosemary Lane, Acting Chief of the Indigenous Peoples Development Branch – Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Speakers will share their expertise and experience from their indigenous communities in preserving, reviving, retaining, and transmitting the traditional ancestral knowledge in various fields of communal activities, including but not limited to effective and sustainable climate solutions, use of natural resources, protection of biodiversity, ensuring food security, promoting native languages and culture, and managing indigenous science and medicine. Questions to be discussed include:

  • What is the unique position of indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge?
  • What are some of the brightest examples of indigenous women-led processes in solving contemporary global issues through the effective application of traditional scientific knowledge?
  • How are indigenous languages crucial to the development, preservation, and transmission of indigenous cultural and knowledge systems? How are women leading the way in maintaining indigenous languages?
  • What was the effect of applying indigenous scientific knowledge and medicine in alleviating the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemiologic crisis?

Panel Speakers:

Archana Soreng (Kharia) – Member of UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

Aili Keskitalo (Sámi)  – Former President of the Sámi Parliament of Norway

Zakiyatou Oualet Halatine (Touareg) – Former Minister of Tourism & Handicrafts, Mali

Hannah McGlade (Noongar) – Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Commentary on Panel Discussion by His Excellency Ambassador Diego Pary Rodriguez(Quechua), Permanent Representative of Bolivia to the United Nations

 

More information about International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2022 available here: un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/international-day-of-the-worlds-indigenous-peoples-2022.html

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. 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 Language and Languages, please email the co-chairs at fmhult@umbc.edu or tonkin@hartford.edu. 

The Fear of “The Great Replacement” and Impact on Society

Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, 2 PM to 3 PM ET

Join Live via Zoom or Facebook. Please click here to register.

Please join Religions for Peace for a discussion on how the fear of “The Great Replacement” has provided motivation for many heinous attacks on racial and religious minorities and what should be the role of religious communities in dispelling this myth perpetuated by white supremacist groups.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN

Creating an Enabling, Gender-Responsive Work Environment for the Future: The Role of ILO Convention 190 in Addressing Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

About: To achieve a job-rich recovery and just transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy, the UN Secretary-General is calling for a Global Accelerator for Jobs and Social Protection Global Accelerator for Jobs and Social Protection that would create at least 400 million jobs and extend social protection to 4 billion women, men, and children currently without coverage. (Link to the Global Accelerator web page). A robust recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic requires an emphasis on climate-friendly, technology-focused green jobs (SDGs 9, 14.15), including in the informal sector and migrant communities.

A green, inclusive, and gender-equitable work environment that is decent, safe, and free from violence and harassment (v&h) will enhance the resilience of communities, in the face of economic and environmental challenges. ILO C-190 commits governments and employers to implement measures to protect all workers from v&h. Therefore, legislative and policy frameworks that incorporate ILO C 190, as well as strategies to promote lifelong learning opportunities (SDG 4), including awareness-raising on the prevalence of v&h in the world of work and measures to combat it, must be integral to this process. Hence the vital need for multi-stakeholder dialogue on this important dimension of “building back better” after the Covid-19 pandemic and advancing implementation of the SDGs.

Register here!

Objectives: This side event will focus on ways to create an enabling, gender-responsive, safe work environment for the future, by incorporating into its framework the International Labour Organisation Convention 190 (ILO C 190, 2019) addressing violence and harassment (v&h), in the world of work (Link: Status of Ratification).

In the spirit of SDG 17, it will bring together multi-stakeholder partners: governments, the private sector, trade unions, and NGOs with the aim of exploring strategies to promote universal ratification and effective implementation of ILO C 190, as part of a broader push that goes beyond job creation to the provision of safe, violence-free environments with decent jobs for all (SDG 5, SDG 8). This side event aims to build on the conclusions of the Multi-stakeholder Interactive Dialogue and strategy session of 8 September 2021 on promoting ILO C 190, organized by The NGO Coalition to End Violence and Harassment in the World of Work.

Speakers:

  • H.E. Ms. Mathu Joyini, Ambassador Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations
  • H.E. Mr. Carlos Amorín, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations (TBC)
  • Ms. Chidi King, Chief, Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Branch (GEDI), ILO
  • Ms. Maria Paz Anzorreguy, Director for ILO Coordination, International Organization of Employers
  • Ms. Rukmini V P, President, Garment Labour Union, Bengaluru, India
  • A representative from the trade union sector speaking about their efforts to support countries with the ratification process and recommendations for areas and regions where collective advocacy efforts are needed (TBC)
  • A representative from the private sector speaking about the policy measures they have taken to ensure a work environment free of violence and harassment and the importance of ratification of ILO C-190 to ensure such an environment.
  • Youth voice (TBC)

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship at the United Nations, please visit  ngocsw.org. Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.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 to Stop Trafficking in Persons, please visit ngocstip.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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

WMG’s Side Event: The Centrality of Human Rights to SDG 5 & Agenda 2030

This HLPF 2022 side event, organized by the Women’s Major Group, UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls, and the LGBTI Stakeholder Group, will look into the importance of centrality of human rights to the implementation and achievement of SDG 5 & Agenda 2030.

There are many topics that could be examined under the human rights & gender equality intersections, however, we would like to focus on four specific and pertinent dimensions, that are relevant for our current contexts throughout the world:

Policy coherence across UN spaces & beyond
Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), with specific focus on abortion
Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD)
Anti-gender & anti-rights threats

WMG has been working on emphasizing the vitality of a holistic approach to SDGs that is centered in human rights, and takes on a systemic perspective to analyzing and offering solutions for the structural obstacles and systemic challenges in front of sustainable development.

Speakers:

  • Melissa Upreti – Chair of UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls
  • Victor Madrigal – Borloz, UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • Sivananthi Thanenthiran, the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women
  • Felicite Djoukouo, Association des Acteurs de Développement (ADEV)

Register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdl0S6SI4rtbi5HBua4b1E8afz-a8Qyrf9mhdSnmC_9K3sgog/viewform?mc_cid=13e5b4d572&mc_eid=e1bba69d46

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship at the United Nations, 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.

Dispelling Misconceptions & Myths: Faith Actors Advancing Gender Equality & the Empowerment of Women and Girls

Dear friends,

You are warmly invited to an HLPF side event organized by the UN Multi Faith Advisory Council, Dispelling Misconceptions & Myths: Faith Actors Advancing Gender Equality & the Empowerment of Women and Girls.

The event will be held virtually, Thursday 7th July 7:30 – 9:00 EDT.

Please register here!  We hope you will be able to join us.

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. 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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

WMG’s 2022 HLPF Colour Campaign

As is the feminist tradition of the Women’s Major Group, we’re calling on feminists and allies to wear and bring attention to certain colors on each day of HLPF because #FeministsWantSystemChange! Each of these colors represent feminist demands regarding systemic change in order to really achieve the SDGs! Join us in making feminist analyses heard!

How do I participate on social media / virtually?

  • Snap a selfie or take pictures with your organization or feminist friends wearing the color of the day or holding up a sign with the demand/color of the day, post the picture on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook!
  • Download & post the daily color campaign graphics on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook with the key messages shared for the day. Encourage others to join too!
  • Use the Zoom backgrounds in your virtual meetings and when speaking in a related virtual event!
  • Check out the WMG HLPF 2022 Comms Kit!

How do I participate in person?

  • Wear some clothes or accessories in these colors on each corresponding day while you’re at HLPF!
  • Wear one our color scarves, which will be distributed daily in our WMG morning caucuses

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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-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. 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 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@yahoo.com.

Democracy for Human Rights Through CEDAW

Date: Thursday, 9 December 2021Time: 11:00am EST Find your timezone here.On Thursday, 9 December, NGO CSW/NY will be hosting an official side event of The Summit for Democracy convened by the U.S. Department of State, Democracy for Human Rights Through CEDAW. The interactive panel will bring together human rights experts, political leaders, and grass-roots women’s groups to showcase a Cities for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) campaign.

Register here!

Speakers:
  • Soon-Young Yoon, UN Representative for the International Alliance of Women
  • Houry Geudelekian, Chair, NGO CSW/NY
  • Dubravka Simonovic, Former Member of the CEDAW Committee & Former Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women
  • Rangita de Silva de Alwas, Assistant Dean of International Affairs, University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Alda Facio, Former Member of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls
  • Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University
  • Moderated by Terry Dale Ince, CEDAW Committee of Trinidad/Tobago

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. Likewise, 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 the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org

Open Forum on NGO CSW66

Join us on Nov. 3 to learn about the ins and outs of our upcoming NGO CSW66 Forum as well as the basics of the UN CSW.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkcO2grzorG9IDPgdoq7DQe7QqZxAwksAF

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO). Likewise, 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 the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

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