FUNDEPS was called by the University of Medellín to take part in an Amicus Curiae presented to the Constitutional Court of Colombia. The case is about adoption by homosexual couples and supports an appeal made by the Legal Clinic of General Theory of Law in Colombia.

Convinced that decisions made by the Constitutional Court of Colombia transcend borders, FUNDEPS carried out this citizen intervention because the case was considered to be hugely relevant to the fundamental right of children and adolescents to have a family, and to ensuring the principle of equality and non-discrimination is respected.

The position taken was primarily based on the guiding principle of the best interests of the child, laid out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Widely acknowledged is the right of the child to grow up in a family, from which it receives stability, protection, assistance, happiness, love and understanding. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure this right is fulfilled, and when necessary provide adoption.

As family patterns established in the middle of the last century have changed and evolved alongside society, a proper understanding of the current reality before us is required. We are witnesses to a time in which the whole of society has become a complex and diverse entity, and this brings with it different family make-ups which deserve equal treatment, consideration and respect without any sort of distinction.

FUNDEPS made reference to numerous studies that show there are no differences between the upraising of children by homosexual or heterosexual couples. The only characteristic that differentiates them is that children show a greater tolerance towards sexual choices and a greater flexibility regarding gender roles in household chores. Also, examples were taken from Argentinian case law which shows that, prior to the 2010 legislative reform on marriage, there are precedents of adoptions without prejudice against the gender or sexual orientation of the adoptive parent.

In short, it was important to note that when the preamble of the CRC says the child should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding, for the full and harmonious development of its personality, it refers to any family, not solely one made up of a heterosexual marriage. The physical, mental, intellectual and emotional development of a child is not conditioned by composition of its family, but by the qualities and ability of those who fulfil the role of parents.

More information:

– FUNDEPS – Intervención cuidadana – Corte Constitucional de Colombia

Contact:

info@fundeps.org

Translation by Rachel Neal 

The changes put in place by the bank suggest a deliberate weakening of the Mechanism, especially in terms of accessibility and independence, aspects that are crucial for creating an effective and efficient instrument.

The Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism (ICIM) is an independent mechanism within the institutional framework of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which aims to respond to worries and complaints of individuals or communities affected by “some direct damage which is both unfavourable and substantial, as a consequence of the Bank’s posible breach of some of it’s operating policies in an operation financed by the institution”.[1] At the same time it is trying to improve social and environmental results of the bank’s operations through its actions. Hence, the importance of this instrument for the protection of the environment and human rights in countries where the bank operates: and the worrying outcome of the changes that they are trying to introduce, that imply a clear weakening of the Mechanism and a clear step backwards in the process of strengthening itself, which started in 2010.

In 2010 the ICIM rightly replaced the failed and inefficient Independent Investigation Mechanism (IIM), which represented a good bet for the Bank to strengthen and make the mechanism more efficient. However, in the year 2013, they started new revision, which resulted, through the first phase of public consultation, in the elaboration of a draft policy revised by the ICIM, which was published by the Bank recently. The document was submitted to a second phase of public consultation that was recently finalised, last September 15th, where the bank received the opinions and commentaries of civil society at the same time.

It is under this mark that a group of more than 20 civil society organisations from different countries [2] are sending a document of Commentaries to the Revised Draft Policy, expressing their concerns about the changes that the bank are putting in place. The document, in which FUNDEPS has had active involvement, underlines the huge setback that the Bank’s proposal suggests, above all in terms of Accessibility and Independence of the Mechanism, and has set out a series of criticisms and recommendations, which include:

  • The revised policy not only represents a weakening and setback in relation to the mechanism which is still in place, but also in relation to the rest of the issuing mechanisms of existing accounts of institutions that are similar to the BID. Despite the majority of the mechanisms of said institutions have to facilitate and promote the access to its mechanisms: The BID  is trying to do the opposite by establishing a mechanism that is barely accessible, barely independent, and even less reliable or effective;
  • The Revised Draft Policy establishes dispositions that keep independence of the mechanism in check in addition to creating a lot of unnecessary obstacles that prevent access to it and makes the presentation of a request on behalf of those affected more complicated;
  • Over the course of the Bank’s revision process, a series of irregularities and scams have been noticed, especially those concerning Public Consultation and the inclusion of comments on civil society, which puts the legitimacy of the process in doubt; consequently the bank has to establish a participative and inclusive implementation process for the new mechanism which allows us to soften said irregularities.

In turn, the document raises a wide and detailed series of commentaries and suggestions regarding the revised draft policy in terms of implementation; Accessibility, Independence; Effectiveness; Structure, mandate and process; Terminology and definitions. (See full document)

FUNDEPS has been actively participating in the revision process of the ICIM (see communiqué “Organisations of civil society call for the IDB to carry out a effective and participative public consultation process for the second revision phase of the ICIM”) trying to avoid the weakening of the Mechanism, which would clearly result in the slightest possibilities of an amendment for those affected by the projects financed by the banks. Accordingly, and in the mark of its participation in the month of October in the next Annual Meeting of the World Bank and the IMF in Washington DC, the global governability team from FUNDEPS will carry out meetings regarding the Executive Board of the Bank and the personnel from ICIM with the aim of expressing the strong concerns of civil society regarding the revision of the Mechanism and avoiding the weakening of the Mechanism.

More information:

The ICIM Website

Proposal of Revised Policy

Summary of the Main Proposed Changes

Policy of the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism 2010 (actualmente en vigencia).

Attachments:  Comments to the ICIM Revised Draft Policy -IDB_-English.pdf

Contact:

Gonzalo Roza – Coordinator of the global governability programme
gon.roza@fundeps.org

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] See section of the ICIM on the IDB Website: http://www.iadb.org/es/mici/inicio,7736.html  [2] Accountability counsel of the USA-Environmental association and society of Colombia- Interamerican association for Environmental Defence (AIDA) in Mexico- Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) in the USA – Commission for Justice and Peace in Colombia – United communities macroproject El Dorado Airport Colombia – AC Cooperative of Foundations in Mexico – Environmental right and natural resources (DAR) IN Peru – Ecoa in Brazil – EarthRights international in the USA- Foundation for the Environment and Natural resources (FARN) in Argentina – Public prosecutor for the environment (FIMA) in Chile – Citizen’s participation forum for justice and human rights (FOCO) in Argentina – Fundar, Analysis and investigation centre, AC in Mexico- Foundation for the development of sustainable policies (FUNDEPS) in Argentina- Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin, School of Law in the USA- Human Rights Council in Ethiopia- Jamaa Resource initiatives in Kenya- Natural Justice in South Africa- Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER) in the USA – Social justice connection in Canada- centre for research on Multinational Organisations (SOMO) in Holland- Yansa foundation in the USA

Translation by: Luke Sidaway

Within the framework of the film and debate series ‘Quaestiones Disputatae. Environmentalism and ecological movements,’ organized by Multiespacio Galileo, FUNDEPS presents “Green Desert” an Argentinian film about agro-toxins in the world. The event will take place on Wednesday 3rd October at 20:00, director Ulises de La Orden will also be in attendance.

Whilst chemicals have been used in farming for more than a century, we have reached aare at the point where the frenzied drive to increase efficiency and crop yields has turned use into abuse, provoking the worst: food and poison reaching our tables.

The aim of this co-production between the Universidad Tres de Febrero and Polo Sur Cine is to open a debate and to reflect upon the use of agrochemicals, our country’s agro-industrial production models and related issues, such as: exclusion, ground levelling, health effects and the environment. We invite you to enjoy the film and to participate in the debate. The idea is to place a topic that concerns us all as a society up for discussion and also seek ways of raising awareness and treatment. We have one certainty and one problem. It is everyone’s responsibility to find a solution and to look for a way to live in a world where feeding ourselves is not harmful for our health and the environment. There are ways to create wealth, produce food and export globally without poisoning ourselves.

The event will take place on Wednesday 3rd October at 20:00 in Espacio Galileo (Av. Gauss 5700 esquina Mariotte). Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at Multiespacio Galileo or at El Espejo Libros (Paseo Santa Catalina. Deán Funes 164 – Local 4)

About ‘Green Desert’

First shown in November 2013, ‘Green Desert’ tackles intensive monoculture, the global food issue and its relationship with speculation in financial markets, without losing sight of the human cost of those who suffer the consequences. From the beginning of the past decade, in the Ituzaingó Anexo de La ciudad de Córdoba district, which borders agricultural land, cases of cancer (particularly leukemia), brain tumours and deformation began to spread amongst both children and adults, as well as various cogenital disorders. Deaths continued, regardless of age. Cases increased. The neighbours, concerned and downhearted, began to make their voices heard. A group of women (who later became known as Madres de Ituzaingó) opened an investigation by their own means. They began to question the authorities. Despite going unheard, they never gave up. With time they began to achieve their first results. They knew that one thing was responsible for the many cases of illness in the district: the use of agrochemicals in the neighbouring fields. After fighting non-stop for many years, they managed to get the attention of the authorities and the press and prosecute the three peoplethose responsible for the careless use of toxic chemicals,. tTwo of which were convicted in a historic trial, in 2012, that set a legal precedent. From then on, one thing has been certain: agro-toxins kill. The events of this exemplary trial marks the starting point of a film that frames a highly complicated economic, biotechnological and political network; covering deforestation, desertification, the advance of the soybean in agriculture, the monoculture controversy and, above all, the use of agrochemicals.

 

More information:

TRAILER:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G0RrD0PVM0

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:

http://desiertoverdelapelicula.com/

Translated by: Jason Booker and Luke Sidaway

At FUNDEPS we are reaffirming our commitment to working for the human rights of women, by supporting “A year of fighting against media violence towards women and gender discrimination within audio-visual media”, the Ombudsman’s proposal for action, which promotes the construction of civic capacity over communication with a gender perspective in audio-visual medias.

At FUNDEPS we are reaffirming our commitment to working for the human rights of women, by supporting “A year of fighting against media violence towards women and gender discrimination within audio-visual media”, the Ombudsman’s proposal for action, which promotes the construction of civic capacity over communication with a gender perspective in audio-visual medias.

Within the framework of this commitment undertaken, on the 26th of August we participated in a board meeting with the Centre Region’s Working Group, a conference in which the civil society organizations succeeded in drafting proposals for the development of good practices within audio-visual content and products, from a gender perspective and with regard for the diverse LGBTI community. During the course of the event two round tables of discussion developed, the first related to the need to implement practices which take into account the problem of violence and discrimination towards women, focusing particularly on the inspection of content, from news stories which report on cases of male violence against women, to the transmission of propaganda which emphasizes patriarchal stereotypes. The second point of discussion focused on the need to analyse all coverage relating to sexual diversity and gender identity, generating recommendations for its treatment to be handled respectfully and stressing as essential visibility, the elimination of stigmatization and the respect for self-determination as a human right.

Our proposals consisted of, as a guiding principal, the need to improve the effectiveness of sanctioning processes set out within law 26.522 of the Audio-visual Communication Services Law, for all media which broadcasts content that provokes or incites discriminatory treatment based on race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political opinions or of any other nature, social or national origin, economic position, birth, physical appearance, presence of disabilities or which diminishes human dignity or induces behaviour that is harmful to the environment or to the health of individuals and the integrity of children or adolescents, as is established in articles 70 and 71 of the stated law. Additionally, we believe that education, sensitization and training for content providers are essential as part of the fundamental budget for the construction of this new approach to audio-visual products in our country.

http://www.defensadelpublico.gob.ar/es/organizaciones-feministas-y-lgbti-proponen-otra-comunicacion-0

Translated by: Hannah Asquith

With the aim of promoting discussion on public environmental policies and the rulemaking frameworks passed for achieving them, FUNDEPS hereby publishes a technical legal report on the new general environmental law.

In this document titled: “A legal technical analysis of the Environmental Policy Law in the Córdoba Province- Law No 10208. Raising the standard of environmental protection. Strengths and weaknesses” we discuss advances, setbacks and pending matters in the new regulatory framework. Whilst this document constitutes a legal revision, it also attempts to be within the grasp of any person or institution with an interest in the knowledge, the practice or the protection of the environment, the issue of collective health, universal access to basic quality rights and of sustainable and fair development.

In this document we have decided to highlight the key advances in local environmental law and the organizations that have created a new system of rights that should be exercised by citizens and organizations interested in protecting the environment and the social environment. At the same time, the obligations of the responsible public authorities have been both increased and strengthened and these obligations must be met.

Especially when comparing the approved version with the initial proposal, we believe that there has been a significant improvement in the provincial council’s role in the creation of complementation laws in consonance with the basic standards of national legislation. It is important to emphasize that many of these advances can either be reinforced or debilitated by the regulatory process of lawmaking.

At the same time, the law establishes a series of implementation deadlines, which must be followed in order to avoid the law becoming a dead letter. Environmental legislation has been gaining more importance in recent times. The broadening and collectivization of rights in formal terms have also been strengthened, but it is certain that the social reality remains distant from legal predictions and that conflicts and social injustices emerging from environmental issues are both problematic and numerous in local territory. As such it is essential to lobby for the actual implementation of the law and to contribute to achieving greater environmental justice. At FUNDEPS, we will continue to monitor both the regulatory process and the implementation of this rule.

More information:

Law 10208 – Environmental Policy – Córdoba Province – SPANISH

Law 1028 – Annexes – SPANISH

A legal technical analysis of the Environmental Policy Law in the Córdoba Province – Law No 10208. Raising the standard of environmental protection. Strengths and weaknesses – SPANISH

Contact:

Agustín Filippi
agustinfilippi@fundeps.org

In recent years, China has substantially increased its investments and funding for the development of the majority of the countries in Latin America. Civil society organizations are worried about environmental standards and human rights.

The recent tour of Latin America by the president of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping in Brazil, Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela, and the corresponding agreements both bilateral and multilateral signed by the president, did nothing but reinforce a tendency that has been growing little by little over the course of recent years: the growing presence of China in the region, resulting in a substantial increase in the amount of investments and funding for the development of the majority of the countries in Latin America.  Specific examples of this are the official visits, which, during 2013, were made by the president to Mexico, other Central American countries and the Caribbean, and the visits by the former Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile in 2012, which resulted in the creation of the China-Latin America Cooperation Fund.

If the main agreements signed during this presidential tour are analyzed, it is easy to see that the infrastructure sector is the leading destination of the Chinese investments, especially transportation and energy. For example, the agreements signed in Argentina involve the investment of more than $4,800,000 for the restoration of railroads (e.g. Belgrano Cargas), the funding of hydroelectric dams, and various agreements on the subject of nuclear energy, infrastructure, agriculture and the naval industry, among others (listed under signed agreements). In the case of Venezuela, the agreements involve funding social and infrastructure projects and an agreement with PDVSA for mineral research. In Brazil, the Chinese president attended the sixth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit at which the Reserve Fund and Development Bank of the BRICS (named New Development Bank) was established. The bank aims to mobilize resources for infrastructure projects and sustainable development in emerging and developing economies, and is considered an “alternative” to the World Bank and the IMF.

If the total numbers are observed, since 2005 onwards China has given loans to the region topping 100 billion dollars, in a relationship that many have defined as “mutually beneficial,” considering that China obtains the resources and raw materials that its growing economy demands (basically food and energy resources), while the Latin American countries access an important and needed source of external funding.

However, what has not been taken into account in this analysis and is being largely overlooked by the different Latin American stakeholders both public and private are the socio-envrionmental and human rights risks that can come with projects and initiatives funded in this way, which generally come with requirements and socio-environmental standards more flexible than traditional funding sources, like the World Bank or the IDB, for example. Projects funded this way continue to be strongly questioned by civil society for their inability to effectively address the protection of the environment and the human rights of the populations involved.

In turn, it is very difficult to access accurate and reliable information about the Chinese investments (amounts, conditions, characteristics of the funding, stakeholders, etc.) both in the region in general and in Argentina in particular, since there is not currently a large number of stakeholders (whether they be from the civil society, like academia, the private sector or even the public sphere) who are dedicated to detailed tracking and monitoring of this type of financing, and, more importantly, of its impacts and implications on each one of the countries.

In this type of scenario, where on one hand the amount of the investments and loans increase exponentially and on the other hand, the information is limited and ambiguous, some of the stakeholders in the civil society have begun to try to conduct research and monitoring, and have even built tools that allow a greater understanding of the characteristics and particularities of the Chinese investments in the region.

Recently, for example, the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CDES) in Ecuador presented the “Legal manual for Chinese environmental and social regulations for foreign loans and investments,” a theoretical and practical tool destined to serve as a guide for local communities and share the parameters in relation to rights and sustainability against Chinese investments and loans. The document, written by Paulina Garzón, represents a huge advance for the communities and the rest of the sectors of civil society involved and contributes substantially to a better comprehension of a topic of increasing relevance for our region.

Keeping in mind this increasing need, FUNDEPS has recently begun a project monitoring and tracking this topic in the framework of research and advocacy being carried out by the different regional stakeholders of the funding for development.

More information:

CDES – Legal manual for Chinese environmental and social regulations for foreign loans and investments

Contact: 

info@fundeps.org

Translated by Lindsay Graham  

During Cordoba’s TIC(Communication and Information Technology) Week and the Second Regional Forum for Program.AR, FUNDEPS proposed that programmers work on an application for reporting non-compliance with Tobacco Control laws in order to encourage better protection of the right to good health.

Last Saturday, September 6th, the executive director of FUNDEPS, Juan Martín Carballo, and Juan Miguel Litvachkes, a member of the human rights area of FUNDEPS, attended the Hackathon organized during TIC Week and the 2nd Regional Forum for Program.AR.

The objective of the Hackathon was to bring together programmers and computer science students with NGOs to develop smartphone apps or websites to help solve a problem suggested by the participating organizations. In that context, the FUNDEPS Human Rights Team presented the project “Health Without Smoke”, an app that will help facilitate the reporting of violations of laws regarding smoke free areas.

FUNDEPS would especially like to thank the programming and computer science students who took part in the project and worked long hours very seriously and responsibly. They are: Giuliana Vierzaga, Emmanuel Santos, Juan Lorenzati, José Romami, Nicolás Angüino, Martín Reyes, Francisco Carranza y Lucía Pappaterra. For more information follow project updates on our twitter feed.

More information:

Website Semana Tic

Website Progam.ar

Facebook Semana Tic

Contacts:

Juan Martín Carballo
juanmcarballo@fundeps.org

Juan Miguel Litvachkes
juanlitvachkes@fundeps.org

Translated by: James Cochran

The Law and Violence Seminar: Perspective on Gender and Legal Practice was carried out with great summons. This event, organized by FUNDEPS in collaboration with the University Siglo 21, indicated a space for discussion on this issue and for highlighting the need to address it from a human rights’ perspective.

From the practice of the law, it is essential to think and rethink our practices, attempting to achieve a critical position in order to construct and, on the other hand, deconstruct from a human rights’ perspective. The issue of gender violence is one of the most serious violations of human rights of our time, and our legal practitioners receive very little formation and training in relation with this. The panorama is obscured even further if we talk about sensitivity from a gender perspective and the reality of women and of lesbian, gay, trans-, bi- and intersexual communities (LGTBI).

For this reason, FUNDEPS, along with the Business University Siglo 21, have organized the  “Law and Violence: Perspective on Gender and Legal Practice” Training and Sensitivity Seminar, aimed at future and young legal practitioners, not only within the legal profession, but also attempting to contemplate a necessary interdisciplinary nature, which the issue requires. The event formed part of the agreement between our organization and the UN Secretary’s UNiTE campaign, which promotes the fight against violence towards women, joining forces with the Area of University Social Responsibility and the Career in Law at the Business University Siglo 21.

Action for Women, Member of the Latin American Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights, amongst other achievements in her career in feminist activism. She gave a run through of the main concepts of gender perspective, emphasizing the importance of the application of human rights treaties, particularly those which specifically relate to women’s rights, and directing specific remarks, such as the need to incorporate gender perspective in the education and formation of professionals and members of the Judiciary, the indispensable application of norms from this perspective, and the treatment and discussion of normative figures, which protect major rights.

Next, a presentation was given by Dr Natalia Milisenda, Doctorate in Law and Social Sciences, who forms part of the NUC’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights Program and the NUC’s Ethics and Political Philosophy Program, Investigator at the NUC’s Center for Legal and Social Research, lawyer for the Catholics for a Free Choice organization, and member of the Argentine Alliance of Lawyers for Human Rights of Women. Her presentation invited us to reflect on the concepts of heteronormativity and its direct relation to gender perspective. From her legal experience in the case of the murder of Natalia “Pepa” Gaitán, she was able to show us how violence towards women and LGTBI people is related to the complex socio-cultural constructions, which generate relations of hierarchical power, establishing a norm of behavior, allowing exclusion and subjugation, thus legitimizing the practice of violence.

Lastly, Dr Gabriel Alejandro Martín, Secretary of National Office for Children, Youth and Family, of the Ministry of Social Development of the Government of the Province of Cordoba, Ex-Manager of the Verification Unit of the Office of Family Violence, and Ex-Manager of Free Legal Aid (Office of the Directorate of Judicial Policy and the Reform, from the Department of Justice of the Province of Cordoba), also enriched us with his daily experience in the legal practice in relation with this issue. Speaking on a personal basis, Dr Martín emphasized the urgency of the treatment of domestic violence, particularly gender violence, and the need to use all the tools for recognizing and accessing the rights, which all legal practitioners have within reach. He put us in direct contact with the practice and invited us to follow with a constant formation, emphasizing the need for interdisciplinary work, for sensitivity and commitment.

The experience of the debate and remarks made between the public and the experts was extremely rewarding, and demonstrated the commitment and interest on behalf of the audience. The panel of speakers and the debate was moderated by Gabriela Socias, Certified Master in Gender, Society and Public Politics from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, Co-founder of the Remanyao Civil Association, Member of the National Network on Youth and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, Member of the Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Youth Sailing to Cairo +20, and Member of Youth Voice.org.

We express our gratitude for the presence of those who supported and accompanied the realization process of this event, in particular the Provincial Council of Women, and for the partner organizations Right Between the Lines and Global Shapers Hub Cordoba. It is important to also thank the friends of the White Ribbon Campaign Argentina-Uruguay, who have accompanied FUNDEPS from the beginning with the building of our agenda on gender and women’s rights. Finally, the Conference was made special thanks to the audience of more than 250 people, who attended, interested themselves, asked questions and generated a debate environment, essential in order to continue building our rights as a society.

Contact:

info@fundeps.org

Translated by: Alexandra Botti

The Day of Awareness and Training will take place in the auditorium of the central headquarters of the University Siglo 21, in Ituzaingó 484. Our aim is to contribute to the development of theoretical and practical perspective on the serious problem of domestic violence and family for future lawyers.

From FUNDEPS, along with the University Siglo 21 and as part of the Unite Campaign from the United Nations Secretariat, we have organized a Day of Awareness and Training called “Law and Violence: Gender Perspective and Legal Practice”, for future and young legal practitioners. Our aim is to contribute to the development of theoretical and practical perspective on the serious issue of domestic violence and family perspective, promoting dialogue and critical overview of the rules and processes governing the matter.

FUNDEPS, in collaboration with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University and the Faculty of Law at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, presents this internship program.

Institutions Involved:

– O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center
– Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
– FUNDEPS – Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables – Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policies

Application Requirements:

– To be enrolled as a full-time law student in the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba.
– To have passed constitutional law and to have either passed or be studying public international law.
– To have an overall average grade of 7 or more, including failed subjects.
– To have an excellent level of both written and spoken English.

Selection Process:
– Applicants must submit their application by the 10th September 2014.
– The UNC Selection Committee will choose a list of between 5 and 7 shortlisted people. They will be invited to an interview in English on the 15th September 2014 at the UNC’s Faculty of Law (exact location to determined).
– On the 19th September, the UNC Selection Committee will send a list of between 3 and 5 people to the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, where its team will decide which applicant will be chosen for the internship.
– During October, November and December, the selected applicant must take part in the training programs relating to the human right to health, in the field of FUNDEPS Human Rights.

Application Documents:

– A cover letter in English, justifying the application for the O’Neill Institute internship
– A detailed CV in English, no longer than 3 pages
– A scanned copy of high school transcripts (no electronic versions)
These materials must be sent digitally in one single PDF file (Acrobat Reader) to info@fundeps.org, with the subject heading “Convocatoria O’Neill – [Name of Candidate]”.

Inquiries:

Please contact Juan Carballo at juanmcarballo@fundeps.org

Informative Talk:

Monday 1st September 2014 at 6pm in Room 3 at the UNC’s Faculty of Law.
For more information about the O’Neill Institute, please visit http://www.law.georgetown.edu/oneillinstitute

Translated by: Clare Sharman

The Second Global Action-Research Workshop for Young Human Rights Advocates, which is taking place in Colombia, has been coordinated by the organization Dejusticia and includes amongst its participants FUNDEPS staff member Yamile Najle.

The Second Global Action-Research Workshop for Young Human Rights Advocates, organized by Dejusticia, is a meeting which brings together fifteen young professionals from the Global South, drawn from research, activism and the legal profession. Yamile E. Najle, Human Rights Coordinator at FUNDEPS, has been chosen to participate in the workshop, which is taking place this week in Colombia.

Dejusticia’s Second Global Action-Research Workshop will focus on the problems currently faced by Environmental Justice and the challenges that this presents for human rights advocates. It aims to train these professionals to design, implement and present action-oriented research, and to communicate their results in an effective manner.

The Workshop will be structured around academic presentations, group discussions and reflective learning, including visits to local places where work is being done to defend environmental justice and human rights. It will cover research methods as well as communicating and writing up action-research in this field. The international experts attending include Boaventura de Sousa Santos and Caesar Rodriguez Garavito, amongst others. Participants represent organizations including Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), the Indian Centre for Social Justice, Brazil’s YOU CONNECT and the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

FUNDEPS believe that active participation in this meeting will be an enriching experience which will strengthen our capacity to research and take action on our goal to promote the respectful and sustainable development of human rights.

More information:

Presentation on the 2nd Global Workshop on the Dejusticia website

Video about the first Global Action-Research Workshop for Young Human Rights Advocates

Second Global Action-Research Workshop for Young Human Rights Advocates: programme and attendees

Contact:

Yamile Najle

yamilenajle@fundeps.org

Translated by: Hayley Wood

Latin American civil society must act urgently faced with the risk of the weakening of environmental and social safeguards by the World Bank. Greater clarifications regarding the weakening of these standards and the responses from organizations in civil society.

A leaked draft of the new framework of policy safeguards for the World Bank makes  evident what civil society has feared since the start of this revision process in the year 2012: a clear risk of the weakening of the environmental and social standards meant to protect people and the environment from negative impacts caused by projects financed by the World Bank.

Although the draft presents some secondary advances, it is clear that the new regime of proposed institutional safeguards represents a step backwards regarding socio-environmental standards. It will practically destroy a whole generation of achievements and advances for civil society and the communities affected by these advances. At the same time it represents a dangerous precedent for other Financial Institutions acting in the region, such as the  IDB(Inter-American Development Bank) and the ADC(Andean Development Corporation/Latin American Development Bank), which often see the World Bank as a “role model”.

Nonetheless, it is not too late to act, since the Executive Directors of the Bank will meet next July 30th to decide if the framework advances to the next phase (second round of review) or should be returned to the Bank Management for modifications. Therefore it is of incredible urgency that Latin-American civil society contact the regional Executive Directors who will be meeting next July 30th to express their worries related to the framework of new safeguards and to demand that it be sent back to the Management for revisions.

Following are the contact details for the Executive Directors representing countries in the region:

  • Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay: César Guido Forcieri (Argentine) – E-mail: cforcieri@worldbank.org
  • Director for Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela and  Spain: Juan José Bravo Moisés (Mexican) – E-Mail: jbravomoises@worldbank.org
  • Director for Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Dominican Republic and others: Roberto Tan (Filipino) – E-Mail: rtan1@worldbank.org.  Deputy: Rogerio Studart (Brazilian) – E-Mail:  rstudart@worldbank.org

Some organizations from civil society have already communicated with the Executive Directors and functionaries of the World Bank to express their concern about these possible changes. In a  comunication sent last July 24th,  such opposition to the framework was expressed. For example, they made points about “the flexibility of basic requirements for the World Bank regarding management and evaluation of environmental risks and impacts prior to project approval. The new proposal puts off the evaluation of risks and impacts until implementation unless it is a condition of project approval”.

FUNDEPS has been tracking the revision process for the Bank’s safeguards, and has held a series of meetings on the issue in recent months (see here). Despite having unsuccessfully tried to contact Executive Director César Guido Forcieri (Argentine) on numerous occasions, we will try again to contact him to express our concern over the new safeguard policies and the need to revise them.

More information:

Letter from OSC to the Executive Director and World Bank functionaries- 24/07/2014

– Statement from Bank Information Center (BIC) – “El Paquetazo: The World bank threatens to weaken its safeguards and create an opening for greater flexibility of worldwide social and environmental standards.”

Statement from  Bank Information Center (BIC) – “The World Bank Moves to Weaken its Protection for the Poor”

Contact:

Gonzalo Roza-Global Governability Program Coordinator

gon.roza@fundeps.org

Translated by James Cochran