Progress in 2018
Our members work in many countries where substantial rule of law challenges are identified in the 2018 Rule of Law Index. (World Justice Project, 2018. WJP Rule of Law Index 2017-2018, World Justice Project, Washington, D.C.) They also work in others for which World Justice Project researchers were unable to gather data, but are known to have distinct challenges, such as Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and South Sudan.
In 2018, Misean Cara supported 20 member organisations in 43 human rights projects in 36 countries to a value of over €2.8 million. The target population came to almost 418,000 people.
We believe that increasing awareness of human rights, increasing access to basic rights and mobilisation for equality and social justice can bring about powerful change at local, national and international levels.
We fund many grassroots human rights projects, but also initiatives that link grassroots to international SDG and human rights processes. These projects also capture lessons and good practice on mobilisation for rights by diverse groups, such as women, children, farmers, service users, people affected by violence, indigenous and tribal groups, and human rights defenders.
The Franciscan Missionary Union works with Franciscans International (FI) which has an office in Geneva and engages with human rights work at a global level. FI’s expertise on business and human rights issues, informed and enabled by its project work, has been recognised in its being asked to provide expert opinion to UN discussions on a new treaty on business and human rights.
A further example of wider and deeper change being promoted through our work comes from a Spiritan project in Brazil, where young people participate in training courses on social leadership, afterwards engaging as activists, trainers and leaders in youth groups and communities, and going on to reproduce the leadership courses for a widening circle of young agents of change in social transformation. Over 95% of participants are linked to youth groups or teams, communities and diocesan organisations. Training graduates have gone on to be active with the National Executive Committee of the Catholic Bishop’s Council, or to be elected to Municipal Council structures, where they advocate on issues affecting poor and vulnerable groups.
Photo caption: 17-year-old Aishwarya from New Delhi, India, at a session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Switzerland. At home in New Delhi, Aishwarya became involved in advocacy for human rights through the work of Misean Cara member Edmund Rice Development. Aishwarya proved an enthusiastic participant, leading to her selection for the visit to Geneva, where she co-moderated one of the session debates on defending children’s rights in online spaces. Photo: Edmund Rice Development.