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World Human Rights Day

December 10th is the International Human Rights Day, as it was decided in 1948 in order to honor the  adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  (UDHR). It was the first global enunciation of human rights, which states:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”. (Art.1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

The UDHR’s rights are depicted as “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”, with the aim of seeing basic need satisfied all over the world.

Nevertheless, human rights still are violated diffusely: everyday we can see families escaping from the war that has been perpetuated for years; migrants coming on European shores without finding real help from our communities; entire populations starving, and villages wiped out by typhoons, floods and tsunamis as a consequence of climate change.

That is why today we have the occasion to reflect on how to act in the human rights promotion, because everybody can make the difference. It is with this purpose that Kito Onlus works hard today, and will work harder tomorrow.

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A new donation to San Francisco-Camotes Islands

The 2nd 2015 mission got started! Kito Onlus President, Paola Vecchiato, landed in the Philippines only a few days ago and, after important meetings she took with ICLEI and the beneficiaries of our projects, she was pleased by a nice Welcome Party by the municipality of San Francisco – Camotes Islands.

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In fact, one of the main objectives of the mission was to bring a donation to Barangay Esperanza-SFCI, which received the necessary to provide a “Health, Hygiene and Prevention” training to 100 beneficiaries, and 100 new hygiene kits which will be awarded at the end of the training. This time, the kits will contain:

  • Bath soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Tooth paste
  • Medical box
  • Face towel
  • Penlight
  • SOS whistle

The donation has been received with great pleasure, and the event has been kindly celebrated.

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Paris en marche

COP21 started on the 30th of November, in Paris. The country, which is still under a state-of-emergency-regime due to the terroristic attacks of the 13th of the same month, does not allow people to manifest and aggregate in public spaces. Although the limitation of liberties is ongoing, very interesting initiatives have been implemented in order for people to demonstrate the importance of this meeting. In fact, while several manifestations took place all over the world, thousands of shoes were laid out to symbolize the march in Paris, which was called off for security concerns.

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Shoes-march in Paris

At the same time, the street artist JR, gave a face to protesters by projecting his video, named The Standing March, on the Assemble Nationale on Sunday and Monday. The public artwork, realized with the collaboration of Darren Aronofsky, aimed to remind leaders that the world is watching as they gather to negotiate a deal aimed at keeping global warming below 2C.

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The Standing March

Instead, a real march came from Yeb Sano, the COP19-Filipino delegation’s leader, who amazed the world with his speech during that conference (read here). As we said in our previous article (look here), he built an international environmental group for reaching Paris from Rome by feet, with the purpose of attracting even more attention to the topic.

To conclude, while global leaders are presenting their political responses to climate change and environmental pressures, people are trying to spread their voice and to raise awareness by using creative ways.

The road to Paris

Starting November 29th until December 11th, Paris will be once again at the center of the stage of global affairs; this time, however, it will fortunately be for good. The 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place. COP21 for friends.

Why is this COP so important, and why is it getting so much attention from media compared to the previous editions?

COP21

COP21 is in the spotlight because everyone is expecting the adoption of a new binding global agreement, which shall include all countries of the international community, from the industrialized and majorly responsible for CO2 concentration in the atmosphere ones (such as the United States and the European Union), down to the developing and emerging countries (such as Brazil, China and India), which have considerably increased their greenhouse gas emissions in the last few years. The ultimate purpose is to find an agreement that will allow to maintain the level of global warming within the 2°C threshold, as recommended by the scientific community.

To have more information on why the Paris COP is so central in the political and social debate, check out this short video.

For what concerns the Philippines, they are one of the countries that are most hardly hit by consequences of climate change. Natural hazards keep increasing over the years in both intensity and frequency, and the Philippines are experiencing ever growing disastrous events. The last of these has been Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the country exactly while the COP19 was taking place in Warsaw, two years ago.

Back then, the former Filipino delegate Yeb Sano brought the world to tears with his reflection on climate change and its consequences, inviting everyone to take action in order to bring about change, and avoid a dramatic climate crisis in the short-term.
The same Yeb Sano is today a great environmental activist, starting a movement named the People’s Pilgrimage, which will reach Paris by feet from Rome. You can follow his progress here.

If you are interested in what will happen in Paris in the upcoming weeks, you can keep updated by following the many formal and informal platforms that are following the event.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a day that Kito always wants to remember. After sharing with you the story of the Mirabal sisters (read the story here), this time we would like to report some data, in order to better draw this repugnant worldwide phenomenon.

In the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the 1st article gives the definition of violence against women.

“(…) the term “violence against women” means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

According to figures collected by UNWOMEN (click here), 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence. What is worse, it seems to be evident that some women’s characteristics and certain contextual factors make them more vulnerable. For instance, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability, as well as being experiencing humanitarian crisis, and so conflict and post-conflict situations, it is likely to increase vulnerability of women to violence.

The issue appears to be particularly hot in the Philippines. In fact, as reported by the Philippine National Police (PNP), an increase of Violence Against Women cases occurred, rising to 49.9 percent from 2012 to 2013. However, this aggravate a situation that National Statistics Office had already depicted as tragic in 2008, stating that one in every five Filipino women aged 15 to 49 had experienced violence.

Kito Onlus is everyday committed to working with the most vulnerable groups, especially women. Today we all want to dedicate a thought to all those women who are victims of violence, and we invite you to share, promote and advocate to eradicate all forms of gender-based violence.

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