violence

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.

National Dialogue on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work in Nepal

As part of Global Action Week to promote the ratification of the Convention No. 190 on violence and harassment, and on the occasion of two-year anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention 190 (C190) on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, a National Dialogue on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work in Nepal will be organized on 25 June 2021.

At the event, key findings from a study on violence and harassment in the world of work in the health sector in Nepal will be presented, followed by experience sharing from the key stakeholders in the health sector which has been overburdened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will also feature key speakers working to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work to share their efforts around raising awareness on C190 and for its ratification in Nepal.

The event will elicit a call for a renewed commitment and ambitious actions to accelerating progress to prevent, address and end violence and harassment in the world of work for all.

Watch live here: youtube.com/watch?v=ACWzBbnT1qg&ab_channel=InternationalLabourOrganization

Learn more here: ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm

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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 Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit  ngosocdev.org.

From commitment to reality: Building forward a world of work free from violence and harassment

The ILO is pleased to invite you to join the launching event of the ‘ILO Action Week on Convention No. 190. This high-level dialogue will mark the momentous entering into force of Convention No. 190 and elicit a call for a renewed commitment and ambitious actions to accelerating progress to prevent, address and end violence and harassment in the world of work for all.

Register here: ilo-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2SXaXNDGSleGIKsMCB7bZQ

Speakers:

  • Mr. Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
  • Ms. Gisèle Ranampy, Minister of Labour, Employment, Public Services and Social Legislation, Madagascar
  • Mr. Claudio Moroni, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Argentina
  • Mr. Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General, International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
  • Ms. Marie Clarke Walker, Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
  • Ms. Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, European Commission
  • Ms. Susan Kihika, Senator in the Kenyan Parliament and Member of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Live Captioning, International Sign, EN, FR, ES Interpretation available.

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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 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-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org

Combating Corruption: The Relevance & Capacities of Faith-Based Organizations

Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly Against Corruption (UNGASS)

Side meeting: “Combating Corruption: The Relevance and Capacities of Faith-Based Organizations”

Representatives from diverse faith traditions, along with UN officials with direct experience in combating and proposing solutions to corruption—trafficking, public corruption, organized crime—will discuss the role of FBOs in corruption prevention and intervention efforts to improve ethics, justice, rule of law, good governance, and sustainable development.

Moderator: Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Chairman, Universal Peace Federation; Co-Chair, Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations, USA

Panelists:

  • Amb. Thomas Stelzer, Dean, International Anti-Corruption Center, Vienna
  • Mrs. Livia Krings, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer in the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Austria
  • Dr. Liberato “Levi” Bautista, President of The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (CoNGO) in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations and Main Representative to the UN for the United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society
  • Imam Sheikh Mohammad Ismail, The Muslim Chaplain, The University of Sheffield, The Octagon Centre, Sheffield, UK
  • Bishop Munib Younan, Former President, Lutheran World Federation; Honorary President, Religions for Peace, State of Palestine

Question and Answer:

For Q&A, please email questions to coalitionfbo@gmail.com Thank you!

This webinar is sponsored by:

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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 Drugs & Crime-NY, please visit nyngoc.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, please visit unforb.org.

Remembering and Honoring Past Massacres: The Legacy and Resilience of the Victims

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

This webinar conversation will start by marking the 100th year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Riot, and will broaden its scope on other similar tragic events the English-speaking Americas (USA, Canada and the Caribbean).

This webinar will be a conversation (not a lecture) and remembrance, punctuated with moments of art (poetry, drums). A moment to lament, but also to recognize these fallen heroes. Other webinars focussing on the same issue of past massacres will be organized throughout the year and will focus on other regions.

We invite you to register here for this event:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qsguoT97Th2e76YIYcmNvw

Moderator: Bishop Mary-Ann Swenson, WCC Central Committee

Co-facilitator: Rev. Dr. Mikie A. Roberts, WCC programme executive for Spiritual Life

Panellists:

  • Rev. Dr. Robert Turner, pastor of Historic Vernon chapel A.M.E. church, Tulsa, Oklahoma and academic dean for Jackson Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Michael McEachrane, co-founder and consultative member of the European Network of People of African Descent
  • Mrs. Jennifer P. Martin, Education in Mission Secretary, Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM)
  • Dr. Daniel D. Lee, academic dean of the Centre for Asian American Theology and Ministry, assistant professor of theology and Asian American ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Mr. Russel Burns, member of the National Indigenous Ministries and Justice Council (NIC), of the Indigenous caucus of Western Mining Action Network (WMAN), and of the Comprehensive Review Task Group (CRTG) of the United Church of Canada.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information 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.

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations

Each year, on 24 March, the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed.

This annual observance pays tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on 24 March 1980. Monsignor Romero was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador.

The right to the truth is often invoked in the context of gross violations of human rights and grave breaches of humanitarian law. The relatives of victims of summary executions, enforced disappearance, missing persons, abducted children, torture, require to know what happened to them. The right to the truth implies knowing the full and complete truth as to the events that transpired, their specific circumstances, and who participated in them, including knowing the circumstances in which the violations took place, as well as the reasons for them.

To learn more about how and why we honor the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, visit un.org/en/observances/right-to-truth-day.

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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@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.

Civilian Safety in Armed Conflict: Strategies and approaches for direct prevention of violence

Civilian Safety in Armed Conflict: Strategies and approaches for direct prevention of violence

In this first of two webinars exploring existing efforts to improve the safety of civilians during armed conflict, we at PHAP will be discussing “primary” prevention programs, which focus on advocacy, armed actor behavior change, and direct engagement with armed actors, either by the humanitarian organization or by facilitating this engagement by communities. We will hear from civil society organizations and UN agencies about their approaches to primary prevention – what the main considerations are and in which situations they are effective. We will also discuss what other organizations can learn from their approach and the implications this has for the humanitarian community as a whole.

The event will be held virtually, and participants will need to connect via Zoom. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in Spanish, English, and French. Register here!

Background:

In armed conflict, the humanitarian community continues to witness highly disturbing situations where the safety of civilians is ignored or not addressed, or where civilians are purposely targeted by parties to a conflict. While protection services continue to provide much-needed support to vulnerable and marginalized groups and individuals and respond to protection concerns with remedial service provision, limited progress has been made on contributing to civilians’ safety in armed conflict. As Hugo Slim expressed it in the recent Oxford Lecture Series on Protection: “When you look at protection’s track record through wars, protection is at its weakest here, in this challenge in protecting people from physical harm and unlawful devastating attacks on their persons and homes.”

In the last few years, there has been a push by both humanitarian agencies and donors to examine how we can prevent and protect civilians from physical harm during conflict. Key questions remain: what does prevention mean and look like within our protection of civilians programming? Where does civilian safety “fit” within the humanitarian architecture?

There are, however, several existing approaches to mitigate and reduce risk in armed conflict for the civilian population, including how to prevent violence from happening in the first place and how to strengthen civilian self-protection strategies through community-based initiatives. This two-part webinar series aims to provide an overview of the range of strategies currently undertaken by national and international civil society organizations, UN agencies, and donors, providing examples of good practice, and discuss how such efforts can be advanced and systematized in the wider humanitarian community.

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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 Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women will commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The International Day and virtual event will kickstart the global mobilization of the 16 Days of Activism campaign – running from 25 November until 10 December – under the theme: “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

Even before COVID-19, violence against women was one of the most widespread violations of human rights, with almost 18 percent of women and girls experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last year. During COVID-19, calls to violence against women helplines increased up to five fold in the first few weeks of the pandemic. For every 3 months the lockdown continues, an additional 15 million women are expected to be affected by violence.

Calling for a “cease-fire at home”, the UN Secretary-General urged governments earlier this year to make the prevention and redress of violence against women and girls a key part of national response plans for COVID-19. While UN Member States responded, and 135 countries have adopted measures to prevent or respond to violence against women during this global crisis, only 48 countries – less than a quarter of the 206 analysed in a recent study – treated violence against women and girls-related services as an integral part of their national and local COVID-19 response plans, with very few adequately funding these measures. The culture of impunity still prevails widely, and the pandemic is threatening to undo any progress as women are not being able to access the live-saving care and support they need.

The commemoration will be an opportunity for Member States, civil society, influencers and the UN System to spark a renewed sense of urgency and bolster global action to end violence against women and girls by calling on all to: fund essential services on gender-based violence and women’s organizations who are at the forefront; to respond to the needs of survivors, including during the global pandemic; to prevent gender-based violence from happening in the first place by challenging cultural and social norms, mobilization campaigns and a zero-tolerance policy; and to collect data to improve services, programmes and policies. In the lead up to the commemoration, UN Women has appealed to Member States to make concrete, tangible commitments during the 16 Days of Activism.

Join the kickoff event on Wednesday, 25 November 2020, from 10:00 am – 11:30 am EST

Participants:

Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres
Member States representatives
Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem
UN Women Goodwill Ambassadors Nicole Kidman and Cindy Bishop
Co-Hosts Zahra Al Hilaly and Stuart Moir
With the musical performance of Ensemble Corona, Bosnia and Herzegovina

How to watch:

Please note that the event will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation provided in all official UN languages. Participants need to pre-register and attend the event through the Zoom platform to be able to access the language interpretation.

Live Webcast of the event will be available on UN Women’s website and UN Web TV. Follow the online conversation using the hashtags #orangetheworld and #16days and follow @SayNO_UNiTE and @UN_Women on Twitter.

Stories and more: We handed over the mic to survivors and those on the forefront of response efforts. Read and share stories of change, videos, interactives, and social media messages, and check out the 16 Days editorial content at https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women.

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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.

[Cyber Conference] There’s Still Hope and Here’s Why

On Nov. 5, join PEAC Institute and the United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society for a cyber conference designed to foster post-election reflections, healing, and mobilization.

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OArdeLrcSaO4A4JHpXdDQA

Background: From Tulsa to Hiroshima, from Auschwitz to the Trail of Tears, the scenes of death and destruction are the same. The root causes of these atrocities are the same too: cultures of violence fueling systems of oppression.

What can the people do to reclaim their rightful democratic power when corrupt governments fail to honor the contracts that ensure we live in a civil society with a sustainable future?

This action-driven conversation, co-sponsored by PEAC Institute and the General Board of Church and Society, will explore the challenge of dismantling cultures of violence. Through both historical and contemporary lenses, we will highlight some of the terrifying consequences we’re facing due to not fixing our culture of violence while also offering examples of nature-based solutions that people are successfully executing today. Speakers from multiple continents will include foreign policy experts, peace activists, and volunteer humanitarians reporting from the field.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Decolonization Alliance, please email President Bautista at lbautista@umcjustice.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com.