victim advocacy

Torture in Our Name: A Moral Call to End Solitary Confinement

Please join us for a film screening and discussion about how survivors of solitary confinement and religious communities are working together to abolish torture once and for all. Join live via Zoom or Facebook!

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hIAox0YhQOCLvRJgLqxMHA

Religions for Peace (RFP) USA is the largest and most broadly-based representative multi-religious forum in the United States, with participants from more than 50 religious communities, representing each of the major faith traditions. The organization identifies shared commitments among religious communities in the U.S., enhances mutual understanding among these communities, and facilitates collaboration to address issues of common concern.

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit crngo.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns, please visit csvgc-ny.org. For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, please visit crimealliance.org

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

In recent years, the number of violations perpetrated against children have, in many conflict zones, increased. More needs to be done to protect the 250 million children living in countries and areas affected by conflict. More must be done to protect children from targeting by violent extremists, to promote international humanitarian and human rights law, and to ensure accountability for violations of the rights of children.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides us with the universal masterplan to secure a better future for children. The new agenda includes for the first time a specific target (16.2) to end all forms of violence against children, and ending the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children is mainstreamed across several other violence-related targets.

To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, please visit un.org/en/observances/child-victim-day.

Background:

Following on the ground-breaking Graça Machel report, which drew global attention to the devastating impact of armed conflict on children, in 1997 The General Assembly adopted 51/77 Resolution on the Rights of the Child. It was a landmark development in efforts to improve the protection of children in conflict situations. This signaled the start of a new consensus among Member States, on the need for dedicated attention, advocacy and coordinated effort, by the international community, to address the vulnerabilities and violations faced by children in conflict-related situations.

Resolution 51/77 built on existing General Assembly efforts to protect the rights of children, including through the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol, and the annual Rights of the Child resolutions. And it established the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org. 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 Disarmament, Peace and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Two years after the death of George Floyd: Antiracism, #BLM and the United Nations

As people continue to challenge the systemic racism that has devalued the lives of Black and Brown people globally, many are asking the question: why do some of these tragic events spark a stronger call for change than others?

Floyds murder also revived the concept of antiracism. The webinar will explore, in practice, what it means to be antiracist. Participants will also be invited to reflect on the role played by Christian nationalism in reinforcing white supremacy and racial subjugation, thereby fueling racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination.

As a follow up of its 1 June 2021 webinar marking the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches on International Affairs will host this webinar on the sides of the 30th session of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which will be taking place in New York city, USA, from 23 to 27 May 2022.

Speakers:

Moderator: Rev. Chebon Kernell, ordained elder in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference

  • Gaynel D. Curry, member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent
  • Rt. Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Rev. Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis
  • Prof. Gay McDougall, member of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

Register here to join this webinar live on Wednesday, 25 May, 3:30 pm CEST / 9:30am EST.

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@yahoo.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

World Press Freedom Day: Journalism Under Digital Siege

New York Observance of the 2022 World Press Freedom Day: Journalism Under Digital Siege

In 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 3 May as World Press Freedom Day following a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of the violations of press freedom and remind governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is a day to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics as well as to support media professionals, who are the targets of the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. Equally important, World Press Freedom Day recognizes and remembers journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.

In collaboration with UNESCO, the United Nations Department of Global Communications will host a virtual event for the New York observance of World Press Freedom Day 2022 on 4 May, 10:30 am – 12 pm EDT. This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme, “Journalism Under Digital Siege,” examines the challenges to media viability in different regions and media sectors, identifying viable solutions without compromising the integrity and editorial independence and exploring the importance of professional practices. In addition, the session will mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and discuss the new challenges that the digital world brings to the safety of journalists.

Event site: un.org/en/civil-society/world-press-freedom-day-observance-2022

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CoNGO Notes: 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 Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

Dear Colleague,

I am pleased to invite you to attend to the observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust on Thursday, 27 January 2022 at 12 noon in Room XX the Palais des Nations, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 60/7 of 2005. English and French interpretation will be provided. This year, due to COVID-19, the ceremony will be exceptionally organized in a hybrid format, with a limited presence in the room.

Registration is now open for this commemoration under this link https://indico.un.org/event/37258/.

Once the seating capacity is reached, the registration for in-person participation will be closed and confirmation emails will be sent. Participation in person will be possible upon presentation of the confirmation e-mail only. The event will be webcast live on the UN Web TV platform http://webtv.un.org/ as well as on Facebook (@UNGeneva) to allow interested participants to attend the event virtually. The provisional programme of the commemoration is attached. I look forward to your participation in this ceremony.

Yours sincerely,

Tatiana Valovaya

NGO Liaison Unit, Political Affairs and Partnerships Section
Office of the Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva
Palais des Nations

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Security, Peace, and Disarmament, please visit ngocdps.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 Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the legacy and resilience of the victims | EUROPE

The webinar is part of a series of regional webinars organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the WCC Spiritual Life.

It is part of the many virtual events organized this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the CCIA.

Realizing that several of these massacres have lost relevance over the years, or are simply forgotten, the purpose of these regional webinars is to reflect on how these fallen heroes and heroines are remembered and honoured today.

Moderator: Rev. Karin van den Broeke, WCC Executive Committee member

The following speakers will share country perspectives:

  • Dr. Geraldine Smyth, Northern Ireland
  • Rev. Assoc. Prof. Habil. Cristian Sonea, Roumania
  • Eugenia Koukoura, Greece
  • Rev. Prof. Dr Konrad Raiser, former WCC General Secretary, will also be on the panel, and will bring insights the role of healing of memories.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-a7AJvGURAeQmQ5DiQx05Q

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CoNGO Notes: 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 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. 

Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the Legacy & Resilience of the Victims

Dear ecumenical friends,

The WCC/CCIA (Commission of the Churches on International Affairs) series of regional webinars focussing on REMEMBERING PAST MASSACRES: HONORING THE LEGACY AND RESILIENCE OF THE VICTIMS will take us this time to the Pacific. We hope you’ll join us! Please share in your networks.

Date: Monday 18 October 2021

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM CEST (i.e. 8AM Lagos, Nigeria / 2PM Bangkok, Thailand / 7 PM Suva, Fiji / 8PM Nakualofa, Tonga)

Speakers:

  • Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches
  • Danity Laukon, University of the South Pacific Marshall Islands
  • Taaitulagi Tuioti, Methodist Church in Samoa
  • Rev. Billy Wetewea, Protestant Church of Kanaky New Caledonia

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_auNIo99OSg2-BSipSLGTMA

Learn more via Twitter or Facebook.

Objectives of the webinar:

This series of regional webinars is organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the WCC Spiritual Life. It is part of the many virtual events organised this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the CCIA. Realizing that several of these massacres have lost relevance over the years, or are simply forgotten, the purpose of these regional webinars is to reflect on how these fallen heroes and heroines are remembered and honoured today. Each webinar will be a moment of lament and will explore among others, the following questions:

  • How do we recognised these tragedies, and celebrate the survival, resistance, resilience, and heroes of these communities?
  • How do we honour their martyrdom?
  • What is done to prevent them from falling into amnesia or denial?
  • How do we memorialise these tragedies?
  • How do we transcend these past massacres and move towards healing?
  • How do we ensure that future generations learn from the past, ensuring that history will not be repeated?
  • What of reparations to descendants of these victims?
  • Are monuments sufficient even though they can be perceived as a reminder of trauma, and as memorials of symbolic reparations?

We offer these regional webinars in the hope that we will be empowered to elicit a promise and a pledge to ensure the non-recurrence of such human atrocities even as we celebrate the legacy of those who have survived these massacres.

Dates of regional webinars:

  • 27 August 2021: Africa
  • 27 September 2021: Spanish-speaking Americas
  • 11 October 2021: Asia
  • 18 October 2021: Pacific
  • 18 November 2021: Middle-East
  • 6 December 2021: Europe

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CoNGO Notes: 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 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.

Preventing and Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) as a Tool of War

Dear Colleagues,

Search for Common Ground invites you to join us for a UNGA side-event focused on conflict-related sexual violence as a mechanism of war. This event is hosted in collaboration with the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security.  Against the backdrop of events transpiring in Afghanistan, this panel discussion seeks to showcase the imperative need to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence around the world, to promote the safety, security, and prosperity of all people.

The panel will cover historic and present-day examples of CRSV; policy and programming approaches to preventing and addressing CRSV; and lessons learned from civil society representatives in conflict-affected countries on the impact of CRSV interventions.

Please use the following link to register: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUlc-ChpzwtEt171qKG-jP4sgpcZViJVUf2

We look forward to your participation and encourage you to share this invitation with your partners. For questions about the event, please contact Anna Crouch at acrouch@sfcg.org.

Thank you,

Search for Common Ground

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

Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the legacy and resilience of the victims

The webinar, part of the ongoing “Remembering Past Massacres” series, will focus on Latin America, with speakers reflecting on the atrocities committed against Indigenous populations in the name of Christianization, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the ruthless military dictatorships in South America during the 1960s-80s, and the 1937 massacre of Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

The webinar will be in Spanish and English.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8Rd14QbmQkKa50EyZyGmyQ

Speakers include:

  • Moderator – Rev. Gloria Ulloa Alvarado, WCC President for Latin America
  • Co-facilitator – Rev. Dr. Mikie Roberts, WCC staff

Panellists:

  • Dr. Betty Ruth Lozano Lerma, Colombia
  • Nobel Peace Laureate Mr. Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Argentina
  • Prof. Dr. Jessica Byron-Reid, WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs member, Trinidad and Tobago

More info via social media:

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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 Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

RE-JUST Towards a victim-centered criminal justice system: talking about trauma

The final conference of the RE-JUST project is a forum for discussion criminal justice systems and improving victims’ access to justice. Join our online event on 17th September to be inspired by knowledge and ideas from experienced professionals in the fields of law, criminology, and psychology.

We will first discuss structural issues for developing more victim-centered criminal justice systems, such as legislation, multidisciplinary cooperation, and how to provide victims with information on their rights. Then, we move on to understand how trauma can manifest in the criminal justice system and how criminal justice actors can in practice provide justice in a trauma-informed manner.

The event will be participated by a variety of speakers: Prosecutor General of Finland, Raija Toiviainen, President of Association Pro Refugiu, Silvia Antoaneta Berbec, Adjunct professor, and co-leader of a research group in legal psychology at Åbo Akademi University, Dr. Julia Korkman, Professor of procedural law at University of Turku, Johanna Niemi, and many more. View the full program here.

Register here

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice , please visit crimealliance.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 bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. 

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