The Claretian Team at the UN, Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-onlus, with a YouTube LIVE Chat event entitled, “To know – To promote – To defend Human Rights” joined the different activities programmed to mark Human Rights Day. The team organized two Encounters, one in English and the other in Spanish, on December 10, 2020 and it was livestreamed by the ‘Claretians UN’ YouTube Channel. Various themes and issues related to this day were discussed during the two-hour event.
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December every year. On 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This declaration is an historic document that proclaims the inalienable rights of every person as a human being, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.
In this LIVE chat event, the moderator discussed with the panelists various themes and issues connected with Human Rights, including questions and clarifications posed by the viewers.
The panelists who accompanied the viewers in the event in Spanish were Ramón Muñoz Castro, Director of the International Human Rights Network in Geneva, Switzerland, and Gimena Sanchez of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
Budi Tjahjono, Programme Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific and Deputy Director of International Advocacy, Franciscans International, Geneva, Switzerland and Gitahi Githuku, Program Coordinator, Kenya. American Jewish World Service, Nairobi, Kenya was in the English Panel.
Emilia Sena, Coordinator of the Solidarity and Mission Team of the Claretians of America MICLA and Callistus Joseph, CMF, Provincial Superior of the Claretian Province of Germany participated in the conversation as Moderators in Spanish and English respectively.
The LIVE chat began with the opening words in Spanish by Ismael Montero Toyos, CMF, Provincial Superior of Central America and President of MICLA and in English by Vincent Anes, CMF, General Secretary of the Claretian JPIC General Secretariat.
This shared conversation covered the ways in which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes a wide range of rights and fundamental freedoms to which all of us are entitled. Panelists explained how this system of values gives power to all of us since they were signed by the States who committed themselves to promote, guarantee and defend them.
On several occasions during the discussion, it was emphasized that the principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948, in the period after the war, and today in the post-COVID19 period.
The theme chosen by the UN for 2020 was: A Better Recovery: Defending Human Rights.
Without a doubt, the theme of this year’s Human Rights Day was related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and focused on the need to build back better, ensuring that human rights are at the core of recovery efforts.
Panelists in both English and Spanish demonstrated how human rights are the foundation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), because without human dignity we would not have the hope and love to move towards sustainable development. Progress on all of the Sustainable Development Goals drives human rights, just as progress on human rights drives these goals.
This live chat allowed Claretian Missionaries, other religious and lay associates (women and men), who often encounter many human rights violations and abuses at the local, regional, national level, to know the elements for action and protection of human rights. It was also a space to express indignation in the face of these situations, and a commitment to participate in their defense and show solidarity with the victims.
The objectives of the event were:
- To increase the level of awareness, knowledge and understanding of human rights, and the UN human rights system, among participants.
- To engage in human rights action, knowing the necessary elements.
- To commit to protect and promote human rights wherever we live and serve.
- To build solidarity and create networks among those who participate in human rights action.
The event addressed the following areas: the notion of human rights, the need for education processes, the conventions and instruments existing in the United Nations Human Rights System-HRC, the situation of human rights activists/defenders and their protection, and the role of civil society in the protection of human rights.
This event can be viewed in ‘claretian UN’ YouTube Channel.