Extreme Poverty is a Human Rights Violation: Poverty Reduction Efforts Should Focus on Rights

Greatly concerned by the increasing number of people who find themselves excluded and marginalised from the current global economic system, Pope Francis has urged the Church to give particular attention to vulnerable and poor populations who are often “without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”   In his recent inauguration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on December 8th 2015, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics worldwide to...

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Fracking: Dirty Fossil-Fuel Energy that Undermines Human Rights

Fracking is the process of breaking up shale underneath the Earth's surface to extract natural gas and oil.  It has been hailed as the new direction to take in energy production, and promoted as a safe alternative to traditional fossil fuel sources, especially coal.  

Often overlooked in the fracking debate, however, are the systematic breaches of international human rights law that accompany fracking, especially those related to the destruction...

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Calling for Human Rights Language in COP21 Paris Agreement

The adverse impacts of climate change are a matter of justice and inequality. Communities who are dependent on the environment for their livelihood – pastoralists, indigenous people, people living on small islands and low coastal zones – and people living in poverty are the ones most affected by both climate change and the responses taken to address its impacts. The increase of droughts, floods, cyclones and typhoons threaten their right to life,...

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COP21: Franciscan Engagement

What is COP21? Why are Franciscans engaging? Listen to the webinar!

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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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Photo Credit: © Gustave Deghilage