More than 25 Misean Cara members have Consultative Status to the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This is the highest status granted by the UN to NGOs and allows them to participate in the UN, and to make submissions. Edmund Rice International (ERI) is an NGO linked with Misean Cara member organisation Edmund Rice Development, and was granted ECOSOC status in 2012. ERI is committed to working for children and young people who are marginalised because of poverty, lack of access to education, legal status, environmental degradation, or involvement in armed conflict. In this blog post, we highlight ERI’s work at the Human Rights Council this year.
ERI delivered 6 Oral Statements each at the 40th and 41st Human Rights Council (HRC) sessions in March and June 2019 and 4 Oral Statements at the 42nd HRC session in September 2019. These statements were delivered after significant in-country evidence gathering in collaboration with Country Advocacy Offices. These statements were related to grassroots issues and designed to remind and hold States accountable to the implementation progress of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures recommendations. It also afforded an opportunity for marginalized groups at the national and local level to have their voice amplified at the international UN Human Rights Council.
40th session of the Human Rights Council: 25th February – 22nd March 2019
During the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, ERI delivered six Oral Statements highlighting human rights situations around the globe on behalf of the following advocacy partners:
- PRATYeK – Education and Health Budgetary allowances for Children in India.
- Defensoria Edmundo Rice, S. America – Appointment of an Ombudsperson for Children and Adolescents in Argentina.
- Western Province Cluster, Zambia – Stop Early Marriage among girls.
- Presentation Brothers, Grenada – Stop Enforced Disappearances.
- Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd – Transnational Corporations.
- Presentation Brothers, Nigeria – UPR Outcomes of Nigeria.
The Oral Statement on ‘Enforced Disappearances’ in Grenada was a significant outcome of the Geneva training in November 2018 as it was in collaboration with Presentation Brother Robert Fanovich who attended the training.
In addition, ERI attended a number of side events focusing on the rights of the child, as well as the annual full day meeting on the rights of the child around the theme ‘Empowering children with disabilities for the enjoyment of their human rights, including through inclusive education.’
41st session of the Human Rights Council: 24th June – 12th July 2019
ERI delivered a series of Oral Statements during the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. These included:
- A statement regarding access to education in India as part of the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education.
- A statement on ‘Food Security and Homelessness’ as part of the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty following his visit to the United Kingdom.
- A joint statement with Vivat International on domestic violence in Kenya as part of the item 3 general debate.
- A statement on access to education for children with disabilities in Zambia as part of the item 3 general debate.
- A statement on Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers on behalf of the Edmund Rice Centre in Sydney.
- A statement on the adoption of the UPR report of Uruguay which focused on the high drop-out rate from the education system.
In addition, ERI co-sponsored statements delivered by their partners including the International Catholic Centre in Geneva (CCIG) on proposed budget cuts impacting the work of the Human Rights Council, and a side-event on the ‘Climate Crisis, Poverty and Human Rights.’
42nd session of the Human Rights Council: 9th – 27th September, 2019.
ERI delivered several statements at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
A Statement was delivered relating to indigenous issues in Peru which highlighted the impacts of the degradation of the traditional territories of Peru’s indigenous peoples through deforestation and illegal mining.
Two statements were delivered on indigenous issues in Australia. One statement related to the incarceration of indigenous children and a second statement called for a greater effort to preserve indigenous languages.
A statement was also made during the formal adoption of the report of the UPR of Dominica which took place in May.
Photo caption: Br. Bernard Gazire fpm, from Edmund Rice International delivered an Oral Statement at the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council that took place from the 24th June – 12th July 2019. Photo: Edmund Rice International.