Civil Society Shares Recommendations for a Legally Binding Treaty

Geneva hosted its 4th Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, at the UN, from November 16th to 18th, 2015. The meeting brings together civil society, governments, NGOs, and the business sector to discuss global standards for addressing business activities’ negative impacts on human rights.

Along with NGO partners ESCR-Net, FIDH, Friends of the Earth Europe, IBFAN, and Al-Haq, Franciscans International hosted a discussion at the UN in Geneva...

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Benin: UN Human Rights Committee requests government to step up efforts towards universal birth registration and punishment of infanticide

On November 5, 2015 the UN Human Rights Committee released its recommendations addressed to Benin after monitoring the civil and political rights situation in the country. As part of the review, a coalition of 24 civil society organisations including Franciscans International (FI) submitted information to assist the Human Rights Committee in carrying out a complete and effective assessment. FI’s contribution focused on two issues:  the situation...

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Tanzania: East-African partners meet to discuss common issues in their struggle for economic, social, and cultural rights

In an effort to build stronger coordination among its African partners, FI has been conducting a series of regional training workshops across the continent to mobilise partners in the field to engage with UN human rights mechanisms, and to provide a space for partners to share the issues they face in their work. This has allowed for networking and new collaborations.  The workshops coincide with various country reviews by these mechanisms, such...

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Human rights abuses on Manus Island

“I do not want your understanding, I want you to do something,” - detainee on Manus Island

This is the sentence that changed everything for Carol, a former counsellor and caseworker that had been recently mandated to work with asylum seekers in  Australia’s offshore detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG).  Carol had applied to the job for humble reasons: she wanted to experience working abroad.  The experience on Manus turned...

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Critical assessment for Sustainable Development

From September 25th to 27th, 2015, Heads of States and Governments gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to adopt the new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that promises to “transform our world” and “leave no one behind.”  This agreed text comes to us in the face of overwhelming evidence of persistent poverty, deepening inequality, ecological degradation, unprecedented...

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West Papua: Targeted Killing of Indigenous Papuan Youth Needs To Stop

With the endorsement of 14 local, national, and international NGOs, Franciscans International submitted an urgent appeal to the UN regarding the arbitrary killing of an 18 year-old student and the critical injuring of a 17 year old student, allegedly committed by members of the Indonesian Police Force.

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Launch of New Handbook & Video

The September 21 launch gave an opportunity for some key players in the fight against extreme poverty to express their appreciation for the handbook and their intentions to support, promote, and use it in their work.

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Natural Resource Extraction as Root Cause of Human Rights Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Monseigneur Fridolin Ambongo Besungu challenged the international community to consider natural resource extraction in the DRC as the underlying cause of numerous and interrelated human rights violations at a UN debate on September 16th.

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Colombia: Devastating Impact of Mining on Indigenous Populations

In November 2014, a group of Afro-Colombian women walked the 600 kilometres from their villages in the department of Cauca, to Bogota, the Colombian capital, to protest the devastating impacts of mining and violence in their region: sexual violence, assassination of community leaders, contamination of water, loss of livelihood (artisanal gold mining), and forced displacement.  Their signs, songs, and clear demands to the government were in the...

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Commitment to Water & Sanitation in Post-2015 Development Agenda

On Sunday, 2 August 2015, United Nations Member States unanimously agreed on the final text that will be adopted by Heads of State at the UN Summit to adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda in late September.

FI, together with the NGO Mining Working Group and the Blue Planet Project celebrate the pledge made by Member States to “A world where we reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation […]” in...

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Photo Credit: © Gustave Deghilage