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Defense and Promotion of Children’s Rights



IV Conference of the Marist Studies Institut

19/04/2013: Spain

The IV Conference of the Marist Studies Institute (IEM) focused on the defense and promotion of children’s rights, and took place at the Luis Vives School of Education in the Pontifical University of Salamanca (UPSA), on March 13 to 15, 2013.

The Conference – organized by the IEM, in collaboration with the Marist Foundation for International Solidarity (FMSI), the EDELVIVES Group, and the Institute for European Studies and Human Rights of the UPSA – was aimed at two objectives: raising awareness and offering training regarding the rights of children, and encouraging the participants’ commitment to and solidarity with the defense and promotion of the rights of the child. This was possible thanks to the direct contribution of the FMSI through the leadership of brothers James Jolley and Manel Mendoza, both from Child Rights Advocacy in Geneva, whom we thank for their generosity, dedication and experience.

The conference also counted with the intervention of the politician, diplomat and ambassador of Spain – with a prominent background in human rights within the United Nations – Mr. Javier Rupérez Rubio, who spoke about Human Rights and the United Nations after the inauguration of the conference by the authorities.

With the occasion of the Conference, the UPSA and the FMSI signed a collaboration agreement regarding the fields of education, training, awareness raising, solidarity, volunteerism, internship and research in the field of children’s rights. The signatories were the UPSA Rector, Mr. Angel Galindo, and the Director of Child Rights Advocacy, Brother James Jolley.

The Rector explained that the UPSA will conduct this activity through the IEM and the Education Faculty, because it is where “the future professionals who will serve the children are trained, and there can be no better partners for this task than the Marist Brothers, whose work has been characterized by the education of children”. For his part, Brother James Jolley said that the “agreement with the Pontifical University will provide the students of the Education Faculty with the opportunity to spend time at the FMSI office in Geneva, as a complement of their training on the Rights of the Child”.

Thanks to the necessary resources and materials, the participants in the Conference were able to learn about a number of topics, such as the FMSI; the United Nations and its organization; the mechanisms to monitor and protect human rights; the Universal Periodic Review; the Committee and the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the wishes, needs and rights of children, especially those who are in a migratory situation.

With this training activity, we added our efforts to those of the BICE, SED and so many like-minded NGOs, including the FMSI itself, who wants to “build a better world for children and young people, where their rights may be respected and protected, so that they can grow in healthy and safe spaces, free from violence and fear, hoping for a future that is rich in opportunities”, according to its own declaration of intent.

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