Social Forum on Human Rights Education Held in Geneva
On October 1–2, 2019, Elisa Gazzotti representing SGI (Soka Gakkai International) and the NGO Working Group on Human Rights and Learning (NGO WG on HREL) participated in the Social Forum at the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland. The Social Forum is an annual meeting convened by the Human Rights Council which provides an open space for dialogue between all stakeholders including civil society actors, international organizations and governmental representatives. This year the forum focused on “the promotion and protection of the rights of children and youth through education.”
On October 2, the NGO WG on HREL organized a side event titled “Youth as Ambassador of Human Rights Education: Implementing the Next Plan of Action of the World Programme.” About 70 people participated in the event including representatives of the Permanent Missions of Slovenia and Austria, UN agencies such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as local and international NGOs.
The event included a panel discussion with Paulina Tandiono, associate officer of OHCHR; Guilliermo Gutierrez, human rights educator from the Istituto lnternazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA) and the Voluntary International Development Education Service (VIDES); Victoria Ibiwoyem, director of the OneAfricanChild Foundation; Aunell Ross the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Youth Peace Ambassador and the current chairman of UNESCO Young Professionals of the Philippines; and was moderated by Elisa Gazzotti.
In the panel discussion, the panelists shared their views and experiences on how the Plan of Action can be implemented in their countries. The event also included a breakout session where participants were divided into groups to discuss the Plan of Action and its effective implementation in their respective countries.