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Marist presence before the Committee of the Rights of the Child

13/01/2006: Switzerland

As part of the period of formation and preparation for this new mission in the promotion and defence of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, Brother Dominick Pujia, Director of BIS and Brother César Henríquez, his delegate, visited Geneva to continue the reflection and the dialogue about the agreement of collaboration between the Marist Brothers and Franciscans International.
This agreement was signed in March 2005 between John Quigley, OFM, of Franciscans International and Brother Seán Sammon, Superior General, to collaborate before various organisations of the United Nations in the common search for the respect and the promotion of the rights of people in most need. On the part of the Marist Brothers, our interests incline towards the promotion and defence of the Rights of Children.
During the visit, we had the opportunity to meet with people in Geneva from different institutions that have years of experience working in favour of Human Rights: UNICEF, The Quakers’ Office at the United Nations, World Vision, a Group of NGOs for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance. We also had the opportunity to meet with people from the offices of the United Nations’ Human Rights High Commission. Mr Jorge Bustamante, from Mexico and an ex-student of the Marist Brothers in that country, is currently the Special Reporter for the Human Rights of Migrants, showing particular interest in the situation of young people of the “maras” (gangs) in Central America. This point was further discussed with Marcelo Daher, who is working on a project of the Secretary General of the United Nations entitled “A Study of Violence against Children”.
The visit helped to contribute more elements to the reflection on this new task of the Institute that responds to the calls of the XX General Chapter (XX CG 46.8). Together with the Brothers of the General Council, Brothers Dominick and César from BIS have proposed the lines of action that will orientate our presence and work in Geneva, and the proposals for the animation and support of the work that is being realised in the Administrative Units.

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