Human Rights

Human rights

The principle of human dignity serves as a touchstone for Servas International's endeavors in promoting peace and social justice. It recognizes that lasting peace can only be achieved when the rights and dignity of every individual are upheld and protected. By nurturing a culture of respect, empathy, and solidarity, Servas International seeks to lay the groundwork for a more just and compassionate world where the inherent worth of every person is not only acknowledged but fiercely defended.

2023, October | Geneva

UN Human Rights Council (HRC54)

At the 54th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, three Servas International representatives (Helga, Daniela, and Magnus) presented a one-hour side event entitled Women, Poverty and Human Rights. Helga described her first-hand observations, as a Servas traveller, of women and poverty. Daniela shared information and data about how global poverty affects women disproportionately to men, and Magnus outlined additional challenges faced by persons in poverty who become refugees. There were 16 people in the audience, most of whom were representatives of the Member States of the UN.

Beatrice Castera [link here; start 58.41 minutes] urged for a ceasefire to all armed conflicts and a focus on diplomatic and nonviolent solutions.

Magnus Adams [link here; start 2:31:30 minutes] firmly stated that in the UN family there is no place for racism, racial discrimination, or xenophobia, and that through meeting each other, mutual understanding, peace, and tolerance are promoted.

Speaking at the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent, Daniela Dönges [link here; start 2:31:30 minutes] highlighted the increasing differences between the Global North and the Global South and called for the removal of travel impediments especially for Global South and African Member States, noting that travel visas are not a privilege, they are a right.

2023, August | Geneva

UN Human Rights Council (HRC54)

Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

A three-page written statement on "Women, poverty and conflict" highlights the direct targeting of civilians in conflict and, in particular, the disproportional suffering of women and girls in situations where battles no longer have a defined arena. With fighting now taking place in villages and suburbs, 90% of war casualties are civilians of which 80% are women and girls. Women are leaders in their communities as they provide life services: food and water, shelter, education, and family care. At the same time, poverty and inequality increase the danger of conflict. Women are key to shaping the future. As an NGO committed to peace and equality, Servas International calls for “legal frameworks for equal participation of women in public affairs, and women empowerment programs and their role in economy, in particular in producing food.”

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United Nations

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