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FMSI comes to Barcelona

25/06/2010: Spain

At the invitation of Br Miquel Cubeles (Province of Notre Dame de L’Hermitage), Br Jim Jolley and Br Manuel Mendoza conducted a 1-day training program on 28th May for the Marist social workers in Catalonia. Br. Jim is the FMSI Advocacy Coordinator in Geneva and Br. Manuel is a member of the Geneva community who also has some experience in delivering courses on the Rights of the Child.

The seminar was held at Llinars del Vallès, about 40km outside Barcelona. In all there were twenty participants and the objectives of the day was to develop some understanding of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and how it relates to the work of the participants.

The day began by looking at the current state of the world’s children and how so many of them are denied their rights as human beings. The presenters provided some general knowledge about the United Nations and how it works to promote human rights around the world and how we can interact with its processes. The sessions revolved around a case study of a young boy who was denied his rights to an education because his family had borrowed money from their landlord and the boy had to work in the fields to pay off the loan, a modern-day form of slavery called “bonded labour”. This is a common story in many parts of the world today. The participants looked at how they, as advocacy people, could use the United Nations mechanisms to combat such abuses of children’s rights. A brief look at parts of Chapter 7 of “In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat” reminded them of our unique way of working with children in need.

All in all it was a successful day and the participants were left with a number of questions designed to call them to action in promoting the rights of children they encounter in their own places of work.

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