Attenzioni Specifiche

IIMA (Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice)
Office of Human Rights at Geneva
The Office of Human Rights represents the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and VIDES at the United Nations of Geneva. It was created in June of 2007 to address the directives of General Chapters XX, XXI, and XXII, especially for the choice of being present with simplicity and courage where decisions about the young and life are made, to connect the Gospel with history, researching channels that promote recognition of the rights of the person in world public opinion (General Chapter XX); to defend the rights of everyone, especially those of the young and the weakest, valuing dialog and the possibility for diverse cultures, ethnic groups, and religious confessions to live together (General Chapter XXI); and the rediscovery of the missionary daring of the ‘Da Mihi Animas’ and the invitation to witness to God’s foreseeing love in ever new frontiers (General Chapter XXII).

In June 2008, the United Nations recognized the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (IIMA) as an association with Consultative Status for questions relative to educational themes, with the possibility of having a voice both at Geneva and New York in United Nations Meetings. The same recognition was given to VIDES in 2003.

The institute chooses Geneva as its seat of operations because all the organisms of the United Nations that work for human rights are present in the city, in particular the Council of Human Rights and the Treaty Bodies. The presence at Veyrier-Geneva of an FMA house, La Salésienne, with a community operating a school, facilitates insertion in the Office through a convention with the Lombard Province, to which the house of Veyrier refers, and the association of La Salésienne that manages the work of La Salésienne.

The Office was inserted in the Salesian Family Department until 2014, when it then passed to the Youth Pastoral Department. It began its journey in the United Nations representing IIMA, the Institute, and VIDES at the same time.

The identity translates the mission of the Institute: educative vision promoting in the young, especially those in disadvantaged situations, all their potential with the effort to defend the right to education, the basis for access to all the other rights. In collaboration with VIDES International, in the space of a few years, it has accomplished actions that make known the work of the FMA Institute and of VIDES.

The Office carries on its activity of the promotion and defense of the right to education according to the charism of the Institute through activities of:
  * Advocacy and Lobbying
* Formation
* Communication and Information
* Participation and Networking
Advocacy and Lobbying
The Office of Human Rights reminds the Governments of the commitments taken to safeguard and defend the right to education of all minors through:
  * Written and oral interventions during the sessions of the Universal Periodic Revision (UPR)
* Written and oral declarations during the sessions of the Human Rights Council
* Side events to make known what the Institute does in the field of education in favor of children, young people, and women
* Compilation of rapports that are presented to the Committees of Experts on the agreements of the Treaty Bodies
The backbone of the journey of the Office accomplished at diverse levels and with diverse categories of recipients:
  * Theoretical-practical courses at Geneva for FMA, young volunteers, cooperators, coordinators of youth pastoral, and teaching personnel which provide the possibility of knowing the functioning of defense mechanisms for human rights, also using workshop activities, and by participating at meetings of the Council of Human Rights or other Treaty Bodies.
  * Courses at the local level on the invitation of the Provinces
  * Formation and accompaniment of the young who at the international level ask to have internships of three to six months. In some cases, this implies a convention with the Universities and Institutions from which they come.
Communication and Information
Multiple activities are carried out also through the collaboration of the interns.

Compilation of reports together with VIDES is made possible by the close rapport with the Provinces, essential for the life of the Office. The drafting of a report to the United Nations (for example for UPR, for the Treaty Bodies) calls for precise information on the situation of an area. Written questionnaires and communications seek the necessary information on the part of the sisters and volunteers of the place to be able to insert it in a written report or an oral declaration.

Information is sent to the Provinces that are gathered during an examination of their own country to make known recommendations given by the Governments and the commitments taken.

A Blog is prepared in English and Italian. The Office also has a Facebook profile that is on Linkedin and collaborates with the Institute website through articles on timely themes such as objectives of sustainable development, education to peace…
Participation and Networking
The Office participates in all the sessions of the Human Rights Council, in the Forum of the NGOs of Christian inspiration, in the Platform of the Right to Education, of the Right to Development, and of the right to Solidarity, and in all the meetings that deal with themes relative to young people and minors.

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