public health

Covid-19 Vaccination: How churches can ensure that stateless people are not left behind

Covid-19 vaccination: How churches can ensure that stateless people are not left behind

Link to join the webinar on Monday 15 March @ 13:00-14:30 CET: oikoumene.org/live

As any virus, Covid-19 is an invisible threat which has changed our lives and affected our economies a great deal. The current Covid-19 pandemic has been a good reminder that the right to health is a universal right, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 25). It is a right that every individual is entitled to, irrespective of his or her legal status.

The pandemic is also a reminder that we need to work together as a global family to escape this global health crisis. This means that vaccination should be accessible to all, ideally as soon as possible before the virus mutates and becomes resistant to existing vaccines.

In these times of health crisis, governments have been confronted with difficult decisions to make, including avoiding economic disaster while at the same time finding a decent response to the pandemic. It is almost natural that their primary concerns are their nationals. Yet, there are many individuals living on the margins in their territory, such as undocumented migrants, refugees, and stateless people.

Stateless people, i.e. people with no legal identification, have been in most cases overlooked and forgotten. Invisible, yet living in our midst.

How can governments ensure that an invisible threat like Covid-19 does not disproportionately affect people and communities who have been always been overlooked and treated as invisible in other times? The pre-existing vulnerability of stateless people, i.e. their invisibility, put them at greater risk of being left behind when national public health campaigns (such as vaccinations) are planned.

How can churches and ecumenical bodies ensure that the vaccinations are accessible to all, including stateless people and other people undocumented people living on the margins during this time of pandemic?

The current pandemic is an important reminder that we are all equally vulnerable in the face of the current pandemic: Covid-19 does not discriminate, but our responses to it does.

Speakers include (alphabetical order):

  • Mr. Amal de Chickera, Co-Director, Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion
  • Dr. Ronald Lalthanmawia, Programme Coordinator for Prophetic Diakonia, Christian Conference of Asia (CCA)
  • Ms. Mira Neaimeh, Regional Executive, World Student Christian Federation – Middle East
  • Ms. Marcella Rouweler, Legal Officer, UNHCR Statelessness Section
  • Mr. Gorden Simango, Director, All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)

The webinar will be moderated by Rev. Prof. Dr Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, member of CCIA.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com.

Human Rights Council 46th Session

46th Session of the Human Rights Council: February 22 to March 23, 2021

The Human Rights Council holds no fewer than three regular sessions a year, for a total of at least ten weeks. They take place in March (four weeks), June (three weeks) and September (three weeks). If one third of the Member States requests so, the Human Rights Council can decide at any time to hold a special session to address human rights violations and emergencies.

Please note that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, there will be no access to the Public Gallery during HRC46. We invite you to follow the Council proceedings live at the following link: http://webtv.un.org/live/

Read more about the Human Rights Council and access the slated Programme of Work for its 46th session here: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session46/Pages/46RegularSession.aspx

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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 NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit http://ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

[UN observance] World Pulses Day

Each year on February 10, the United Nations commemorates World Pulses Day. “Pulses, also known as legumes, are the edible seeds of leguminous plants cultivated for food. Dried beans, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses.

The nitrogen-fixing properties of pulses improve soil fertility, which increases and extends the productivity of the farmland. By using pulses for intercropping and cover crops, farmers can also promote farm biodiversity and soil biodiversity, while keeping harmful pests and diseases at bay.

Furthermore, pulses can contribute to climate change mitigation by reducing dependence on the synthetic fertilizers used to introduce nitrogen artificially into the soil. Greenhouse gases are released during the manufacturing and application of these fertilizers, and their overuse can be detrimental to the environment. Recognizing their value, on 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/68/231) proclaiming 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP). The celebration of the year, led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), increased the public awareness of the nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production.” – un.org

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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 NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com.

Families Coping with COVID: Challenges and Opportunities in Child Welfare

Families Coping with COVID: Challenges & Opportunities in Child Welfare
Please RSVP by 6pm EST Wednesday, Nov. 18th, via this form.
Families around the world are struggling with the added pressures of the COVID-19 health crisis due to the effects of job losses, changes in schooling, and affected family members, especially those which are vulnerable. For families involved in child welfare proceedings, there is an additional risk of prolonging family separation between children and parents who are capable but may need additional support. We are pleased to host Prof. Jane Spinak of Columbia University School of Law , who examines this in “Child Welfare and COVID-19: An Unexpected Opportunity for Systemic Change,” in Law in the Time of COVID-19. Prof Spinak will discuss the impact of covid on child welfare systems and ways in which it may spur reforms which will benefit children and families.
Note: If you were not able to attend our October members meeting, or would like to revisit the excellent remarks of our speakers, the recording is available on our YouTube  channel.
NGO Committee on the Family New York
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family, visit www.ngofamilyny.org. For information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of the Child, please email the co-chair at marjones@nyc.rr.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

COVID-19 & Older People: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Older Persons in the Wake of a Public Health Crisis

IFA Virtual Town Hall | COVID-19 and Older People: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Older Persons in the Wake of a Public Health Crisis

Background: Over the past months, the challenges of social isolation, changing regulations, and adapting to a “new normal” have taken a considerable toll on the mental health of individuals around the globe – especially older people and those with underlying health conditions. In this IFA Virtual Town Hall, Mr. Dan Levitt, acclaimed international speaker, elder care leader, writer, gerontologist and Executive Director of Tabor Village in Canada, will discuss the urgent need to improve the lives of older people amidst the ongoing public health crisis.

This town hall takes place at 07:00 am (Eastern Daylight Time) on Friday 23 October 2020 (additional time zones below):

Geneva, Switzerland: 13:00
Lagos, Nigeria: 12:00 noon
New Delhi, India: 16:30
Perth, Australia: 19:00

Please note that this town hall will be recorded and streamed live on Facebook. Should you be unable to participate in this meeting, a recording will be available on the IFA Facebook page here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-New York, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org.
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