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    On the occassion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the European Laity Forum made up of 18 countries met in Lisbon/Portugal on the topic of Human Rights, Christian values and Catholic Social Teaching. Through inspiring presentations on foodbanks, refugees, media and peace we were confirmed that a way of life and activities, following the Gospels and Christian Social Teaching, also contributes to the realisation of Human Rights. That is what Christians can bring, and should bring to the public sphere.

International organisations commit to building broader support for human rights

With the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago, governments around the globe committed to making peace, democracy and justice a reality for all. We, national, regional and international institutions have worked towards that objective, striving to improve the life of hundreds of millions of people around the world. However, that work remains incomplete as poverty, armed conflicts, oppression, inequality and discrimination are still a reality for so many people.

Following up from the INGO Conference’s work in January and June of this year, it seemed timely to make connections with the UN efforts on the same topic. The Conference’s delegate, Christoph Spreng, took part in the 6th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights held in Geneval on 27 and 28 November.

The Forum is the global platform for yearly stock-taking and lesson-sharing on efforts to move the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework from paper to practice. It should be recalled that the Council of Europe's Commitee of Ministers' Recommendation on Business and Human Rights repeatedly refers to the UNGPs, as does the Recommendation of the Conference of INGOs that was voted last June.

During its 1249th meeting of last March 2nd, the CM adopted:

  • Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)3 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on human rights and business (link)
  • Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the protection and promotion of Human rights in culturally diverse societies (link)

They are particularly useful texts of which NGOs members of Pax Romana can take advantage in their own activities by insuring the follow-up of the effective implementation of these instruments by Member states.

If you have knowledge of breaches of these Recommendations and Guidelines do not hesitate to communicate them to me.

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe : PACE

Adopting a report on the protection and role of human rights defenders, the Legal Affairs Committee has expressed deep concern about increased reprisals against them in certain Council of Europe member states, including Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation and Turkey. It also voiced particular concern about the situation in annexed Crimea and other territories outside states’ control.

More than 60 Church leaders, journalist, advocates and human rights activists took part in three days advocacy training held in Kathmandu.

The training dealt with biblical perspective on human rights and social justice, general United Nations human rights system and basic advocacy strategies.

Training was organized by Religious Liberty Forum and hosted by ITEEN with the Support from World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEA LRC) on 25-27 August 2015. A delegation of five team members from National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL); General Secretary- Godfrey Yogarajah, Director for Missions- Mahesh De Mel, Media & Communications- Jovita Arulanantham, Research and Prayer coordinator- Mike Gabriel and Legal and Advocacy Coordinator- Yamini Ravindran facilitated the entire training sessions.

This second part presents 6 important points of the encyclica "Pacem in Terris" :

-  a recognition of Human Rights 15 years after the unversal declaration.

- The root ot the human rights is in God or in the human dignity, not in the decisions of governing bodies.

Organized during the world day of prayer for human rights defenders and peace builders, this conference gathered members or groups from Kenya, India, Malaysia, Poland, USA. This first part includes a presentation of the program, a prayer time from Africa a spiritual song form Malaysia, and an exposure on the situation and the action with Ukrain, presented by a polish member.