Each month the Loreto Justice Network (LJN) posts an article for consideration by the wider network.
Here Loreto Ministries’ Director of Mission and LJN member, Michelle McCarty, reflects on the IBVM Position Paper – The Human Right to Education.
The IBVM/CJ NGO office at the United Nations works on behalf of the Mary Ward family around the world, to advocate at the highest levels of international relations “for a more humane, just and sustainable world”.
The team works through the ECOSOC Council which has a focus on issues around global sustainable development, underpinned by the SDGs and in engagement with a range of international NGOs.
The core areas of focus for the IBVM/CJ Office reflect the justice priorities of IBVM and CJ communities worldwide and include:
The Eradication of Poverty
Gender Equality -focus on Girls.
Access to quality education and health,
Trafficking of human persons
Financing for Development
They are able to attend high-level UN meetings, panels, forums and workshops and make submissions at these on behalf of the Mary Ward family around the world. In 2019 members of the UN office team and education delegates from Ireland and Spain attended the UN Human Rights Social Forum in Geneva. As an outcome of their participation the attendees produced the document entitled ‘The Human Right to Education’ which has been shared through the UN NGO office to the global IBVM/CJ network. It is a position paper, reflecting the insights and learnings gained through their participation in the forum on issues relating to the human rights and education.
Students at the Pre Primary School, Gari-uai Timor-Leste
As Mary Ward people we know already of the inextricable links between education and development; the forum reiterated the central human right to education for all, calling on both governments (via UN member states) and Civil Society more broadly (NGOs, communities and other stakeholders) to ensure the protection and accessibility of this right around the world. The paper states that “education for a more inclusive sustainable, just and peaceful society is needed- an education fit for the future.” (p1)
This is a readable and relevant document summarising some of the key issues relating to human rights and education in the world today that were addressed in the Social Forum. The paper concludes with a series of calls to governments for action in areas reflecting the key priorities of the IBVM/CJ communities worldwide. These calls are a reminder of the responsibility of all of us as Mary Ward people around the globe to engage as active citizens in holding our political and civic leaders to account.
This paper could be used in some of the following ways…..
School staff in faculty or key learning team areas to audit their curriculum documentation for topics raised in the paper
Leadership teams in schools and other educational ministries for reflection
Secondary and tertiary students as a source for further research
Active citizens to engage with local MPs, education ministers and in the media
For more information and to keep up to date with the work of the IBVM/CJ Office go to their online pages here: ibvmunngo.org