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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: human rights

December 10, 2014

Human Rights Day - December 10

Celebrate Human Rights Day Logo

About Human Rights Day

Liturgical and action resources

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December 4, 2014

Red Hands continue to make a difference

by Richard Aylor

Red HandsSince April, 3 member states and 1 non-member state have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Ethiopia ratified on May 14, Guinea-Bissau ratified on September 24, and the Dominican Republic ratified on October 14.  The State of Palestine, a non-member state, ratified on April 7.   It has been a great 2014 as we move forward in raising awareness internationally to protect children from being exploited as soldiers.

This raises the number of United Nations member states that have ratified the Optional Protocol ...

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February 24, 2014

Red Hands continue to make a difference: two more member states ratify

On January 15, 2014, St. Lucia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Estonia ratified on February 12, 2014 It is a great start to 2014, as we move forward in raising awareness internationally to protect children from being exploited as soldiers.

This raises to 28 the number of United Nations member states that have ratified the Optional Protocol since Presbyterians became involved in the Red Hands Campaign. There are still 39 United Nations member states left to ratify.

Every effort counts. Keep your Red Hands ...

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November 20, 2013

The Growing Voice of the Red Hands

by Esther Lee

Red handsIt is our joy to announce that this year, Cameroon (4 Feb 2013) and Zimbabwe (22 May 2013) ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. The momentum continues to build. Thanks to all who participated.

The Red Hands made by Presbyterians all over the country are delivered to the permanent missions at the United Nations asking them to encourage their governments to sign and ratify the protocol. Though this treaty does not guarantee absence of children in the military forces ...

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January 15, 2013

Children are children, not soldiers - 11 years on

‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ – Matthew 19:14

February 12, 2013 marks the eleventh anniversary of the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

Find worship resources, ideas for participating in the Red Hand Campaign, and suggestions for further study for this occasion. Red hands being madeThey may be used at any time.

UNICEF estimates that more than 300,000 children – boys and girls under the ...

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December 2, 2012

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Human Trafficking Roundtable has ways for Presbyterians to get involved in ending modern day slavery.

Below is the statement from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Eighty-five years have passed since the entry into force of the Slavery Convention, yet this dehumanizing practice has acquired new manifestations in the 21st century.

Every day, in all regions of the world, women are trafficked, sold and locked in brothels for sexual exploitation. Little girls are forcibly married, sexually abused and used as domestic workers.  Children work in ...

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June 26, 2012

June 26 Tweet-in to #StopTorture

Join @No_More_Torture, @PresbyUN, and others today  - International Day in Support of Victims of Torture - by tweeting your members of Congress & the White House against torture, Guantanamo and Indefinite Detention under the NDAA. Also, feel free to tweet on any subject related to the injustice of torture and in support of victims of torture.

Make sure to use one or more of these hash-tags:



Torture is a MORAL issue because {say why} #June26

Torture destroys the human dignity and respect entitled to every individual. #StopTorture #June26

Torture violates the inherent, God-given dignity and ...

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April 6, 2012

Call for UN help for Madagascar election

Madagascar's new electoral commission on Monday asked UN experts to come  help organize polls for an election by the end of the year that may help lead the nation out of a three-year-old crisis.

Learn more about the situation in Madagascar.

Presbyterians have a long history of partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM). Read about the ministries of our partners in Madagascar.

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April 1, 2012

Public Forum on the State of Human Rights in the Philippines

by Jessica Hawkinson

On 19 May 2012, our colleagues in the United Methodist church sponsored a public forum on human rights in the Philippines.

Singing group in the PhilipinesIn the past year and a half, 67 extrajudicial killings, nine disappearances and 78 political arrests have marked the landscape of the new government in the Philippines. These violations of human rights in the Philippines are only a sampling of the violations that have plagued the country’s history. As part of its annual Universal Periodic Review, the United Nations Human Rights Council is currently evaluating the human rights situation in the Philippines. Ecumenical leaders from ...

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April 1, 2012

Update on Trials in Madagascar, 24 March 2012

Map of MadagascarFJKM pastor Valisoa Rafanonerantsoa went to trial in Madagascar on 24 March 2012, accused of involvement in military opposition to the government of Andry Rajoelina.  At the end of the day the trial was adjourned without a verdict, without clear indication as to when a verdict will be rendered.  According to press accounts, there were 36 people on trial for the military uprising/civilian worship service on 20 May 2010, 25 military and 11 civilians, only 25 of whom showed up in court.  Those who came to the trial from jail were taken back to jail, their petitions for release ...

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March 27, 2012

The WCC and human rights issues in the Philippines

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on World Mission and Evangelism met in Manila, the Philippines, from March 22-27. The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) hosted the event which focused on the theme “Together towards life: mission and evangelism in changing landscapes”. According to the WCC news story, participants analyzed a draft of the statement on mission and evangelism that will be presented at the 2103 WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Korea.

Prior to the Commission meeting, the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and other WCC staff met and discussed human rights violations in the Philippines ...

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March 13, 2012

South Sudan’s army signs pact with UN to release all children in its ranks

The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army of South Sudan (SPLA) today signed an agreement with the United Nations renewing its commitment to release all children within its ranks.

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March 12, 2012

Kony 2012 and children in armed conflict

by Jessica Hawkinson

Millions of viewers have tuned in to the KONY2012 video and campaign, recently released by the organization Invisible Children. The campaign encourages public support for the arrest of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who is wanted for trial by the International Criminal Court. Kony is charged for, among other things, the widespread recruitment and use of child soldiers. The campaign also seeks to build support for the disarmament of the LRA and rehabilitation of these child soldiers.

For all of the support the campaign has gained, many key stakeholders have raised ...

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March 5, 2012

Intersections: CTAUN and CSW: education and sustainability

Written by Grace Bickers

After advocacy training at both the Presbyterian and Ecumenical Women’s orientations for the Commission on the Status of Women and a week’s worth of insight from the remarkable women making up these delegations, I was excited to learn how the information I learned during a previous opportunity to attend the annual CTAUN (Committee for Teaching About the United Nations) conference on the theme of “Education IS a Human Right” could be put to work. Much of the information shared at the conference is directly relevant to the Ecumenical Women’s advocacy talking points: access ...

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February 14, 2012

Prayers with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo

From our partners in World Mission:

There is violence against civilians in the Congo. National elections have been widely criticized as lacking credibility due to massive irregularities, maladministration and fraud. Congolese Christians will march in Kinshasa on Thursday, February 16, seeking peace and calling for a democratic government founded in transparency and justice. We are invited to join our sisters and brothers in spirit and to pray with them for peace, justice and a government committed to the well-being of the people.

The history of the Congo is marked by exploitation of natural resources and the people. In the nineteenth ...

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February 8, 2012

It is time for the U.S. to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Urge President Obama to send the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to the United States Senate for ratification.

The CRC sets the standard for children’s welfare around the world. The United States played a major role in drafting the CRC. However, the United States and Soma­lia are the only countries that have not rat­i­fied the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child The United States signed the con­ven­tion in 1995, indi­cat­ing its sup­port and its inten­tion to pur­sue rat­i­fi­ca ...

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February 3, 2012

Support Democracy and Human Rights in the Congo!

From our partners in the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness

Please contact your members of congress and urge them to work vigorously to ensure that the United States supports democracy and human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo!

The State Clerk of the General Assembly stated the following in a statement of concern this week:

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is deeply concerned about the recent elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo and, in particular, the physical and emotional trauma that has been inflicted on the Congolese people as a result of political violence. Our church has had ...

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January 14, 2012

Urgent prayer request for Madagascar

Information received on January 13 indicates that certain pastors of our partner church in Madagascar, the FJKM, may have been targeted for "elimination or neutralization" by forces aligned to the de facto government.
Please pray:

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January 6, 2012

Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11

January 11 is designated as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The PC(USA) Human Trafficking Round Table provides the following information for this day:

January 2012 – Over 12.3 million people are estimated to work in conditions of forced labor world-wide according to the International Labour Organisation.  On January 11th, consider marking human trafficking day with prayer and action.

Use these liturgical resources suitable for Sunday worship.

Learn more what products of slavery are produced with child and slave labor through this interactive website from Anti-Slavery International. 

Estimate your “slavery footprint”.

Learn about the work of the UN Global Initiative ...

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January 2, 2012

Toward a More Humane Future - Article 4

Toward a More Humane Future is a devotional study on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for use by individuals or groups.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 4
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.


For freedom Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a   yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1


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December 26, 2011

Toward a More Humane Future - Article 3

Toward a More Humane Future is a devotional study on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for use by individuals or groups.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3

Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and security of person.


Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everlasting stream.

Amos 5:24

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone.  The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And ...

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December 19, 2011

Towards a More Humane Future - Article 2

Toward a More Humane Future is a devotional study on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for use by individuals or groups.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social original, property, birth, or other status.  Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing ...

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December 12, 2011

Toward a More Humane Future - Article 1

Toward a More Humane Future is a devotional study on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for use by individuals or groups.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1

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.


In everything do to others as you would have them do to you, for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12


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December 10, 2011

Toward a More Humane Future

On Human Rights Day, 2011, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations is pleased to announce the launch of Toward a More Humane Future, an online devotional study on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for use by individuals or groups.

The 210th General Assembly (1998) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to “celebrate the affirmation of the dignity and value of human life affirmed in the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ and the International Bill of Human Rights, rejoicing in the hope that has been given to multitudes around the world; grateful for the vision that still ...

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December 10, 2011

Human Rights Day

As we celebrate Human Rights Day today, I reflect on the words of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said a few days earlier on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, “To eradicate contemporary forms of slavery, we need new strategies and measures that can unite all actors. While Governments bear the primary responsibility, the private sector has an integral role to play.”  Couldn’t this same argument be made in regards to human rights?

Governments certainly play a large role creating, implementing and changing strategies to protect human rights.  With that said, we as global citizens, the ...

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December 8, 2011

How to make Red Hands

Red hand being made with paintThe Red Hand Campaign asks nation states to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and make clear their commitment to ending the use of child soldiers.  The goal is for every country in the world to ratify the optional protocol by 2012, the tenth anniversary of when it took effect.

To take part in the Red Hand Campaign:

  1. Create red hand prints on paper (using finger paint, drawing an outline, using red paper, or in some other way) and then add their names, hometowns, and ...

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December 7, 2011

Indigenous Voices at the United Nations

How does the United Nations work with the Indigenous Peoples of the World? Most of that work takes place within a human rights framework.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights notes that:

Indigenous peoples across the world experience the consequences of historical colonization and invasion of their territories, and face discrimination because of their distinct cultures, identities and ways of life. In recent decades, the international community has given special attention to the human rights situations of indigenous peoples, as shown by the adoption of international standards and guidelines, as well as by the establishment of institutions ...

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December 2, 2011

Words save lives

Will you write a letter to save a life?

I will.

Tonight I signed up to participate in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon between December 3 and December 11. This time period includes Human Rights Day.

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world will take part in the Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon; Amnesty International calls it the world’s largest human rights event:

Through letters, cards and more, we take action to demand that the human rights of individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled. We show solidarity with those suffering human rights abuses, and ...

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November 25, 2011

16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

O LORD, you hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more. (Psalm 10:17-18)

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day is followed by 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. The International Day and the 16 Days of Activism are commemorated every year around the world to raise awareness and trigger action on this pervasive human rights violation.

This year, UN Women Executive Director ...

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November 14, 2011

Standing in solidarity with the people of Madagascar

Map of Madagsacar

Presbyterians have a long history of partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM). The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations recently sponsored an event with the Rev. Hubert Rakotoarivony, International Peacemaker from Madagscar and Dan Turk, PC(USA) mission co-worker in Madagascar. They focused on the witness of the FJKM.

The violence and intimidation that the church and the people of Madagascar have suffered over the past two years at the hands of Madagascar’s illegal regime have deeply concerned Presbyterians. Increases in hunger, human trafficking, and environmental exploitation during that period are also matters of concern ...

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November 12, 2011

What has the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said about human rights?

Human rights have been the focus of many statements by General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations.

The Bible does not use the phrase “human rights.” However, Jesus stated, “I have come in order that you might have life in all its fullness.” He proclaimed that his calling included release of the captives, sight for the blind, and liberty for the oppressed. With these words, Jesus expressed his concern for what is ours because we are created as God’s children—and that is the realm of human rights. The biblical concepts of justice ...

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November 12, 2011

What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Eleanor Roosevelt Quote on Human RightsThe Declaration was one of the first major achievements of the United Nations. Its adoption marked the first time in history that a document considered to have universal value was adopted by an international organization. It was also the first time that human rights and fundamental freedoms were set forth in such detail. There was broad-based international support for the Declaration when it was adopted. Sometimes described as a Magna Carta for all humanity, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights represents a common statement of goals and aspirations — a vision of the world as the international community would want it ...

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September 22, 2011

Red Hands make a difference

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” (Matthew 19:14)

Red Hands being madeWe moved another step closer a world where children are children and not soldiers today. Presbyterian Red Hands helped make it happen!

Saint Lucia signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Children and Armed Conflict.

Saint Lucia received Red Hands from Presbyterians asking them to sign and ratify the Prototocol. Signing takes the crucial first step; Saint Lucia still needs to ratify the ...

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September 9, 2011

Antonio has been found

Good news!

We have learned that Antonio Ariza has been found and is alive. We will post more information as we receive it.

Thank you so much to everyone for your outreach, advocacy and prayers.

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

Please continue to pray and act for God's children who have been disappeared in Colombia and around the world.

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September 9, 2011

Statement by High Commissioner for Human Rights

Today, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement the United Nations Human Rights Committee.  The statement, as distributed by the Office of the High Commissioner is available here.

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September 7, 2011

Act for Antonio

Image of AntonioI did not sleep well last night. Of course I rarely sleep well, but last night I knew why.

It is hard to sleep, at least for me, when my heart aches even more than usual.

I learned on Monday night that Antonia Ariza went missing on September 1, 2011 in Colombia. The information came from our partners in the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia. Antonio has been working with the church for a number of years in their ministry of accompaniment with people who have been displaced in Colombia.

Despite the ongoing and repeated threats to his life, Antonio has ...

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September 5, 2011

Praying for Antonio

Photo of a manI pray with many others tonight for our friend Antonio in Colombia. I had the privilege to meet Antonio during Easter week of 2010. He is a leader of an organization of people who have been internally displaced within Colombia. The oganization seeks to return people to land they can work for their living. His is risky work. He has received threats before.

Four days ago, Antonio disappeared.

Too many have been disappeared in too many places around the world. On August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, I prayed for sisters and brothers unknown.

Tonight, I pray with ...

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August 30, 2011

International Day of the Disappeared

Jeremy Sarkin, Chairman of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, reflects on disappeared people around the world on the International Day of the Disappeared.

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August 1, 2011

Protecting human rights of older persons

The following is taken from Newsletter of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations is following the developments of these talks.  Look for more information soon.


The world’s population aged 60 or older is expected to double by 2050, to a record of 21 per cent – representing two billion people. Member States are expressing concerns about the status of older persons revolving around their social and economic situation, their participation in development and their relationship to human rights.

There is a call for increasing the visibility on the ...

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July 28, 2011

A reminder

I led morning prayers at the Church Center for the United Nations on Thursday morning. I shared a story about a member of the Communion of Saints - Samuel Johnson. I was reading the Bible, not Boswell. I met Samuel in Orangeburg, SC some fifteen years ago. It was good to remember him.

During the service, those present were invited to pray. The prayers touched on a variety of concerns - the Horn of Africa, the deadlock on the debt ceiling in the United States, family with illness, friends who had died, Norway, Sudan and South Sudan, Malawi, human rights and religious ...

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July 22, 2011

Red Hands at work

What difference do Presbyterian Red Hands make?

A display of Red Hands with the message that children are children, not soldiersThis year three states: Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Chad recently signed an action plan to end the use of children by the country’s security forces.

Clearly the international consensus that "Children are children, not soldiers" is building.

Presbyterians are playing a part. The Red Hands made by Presbyterians are delivered to permanent missions at the United Nations asking them to encourage their ...

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July 21, 2011

Red Hands say no child soldiers

Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.
Matthew 19:14

Peng Leong stuffing envelopes with Red HandsRed Hands, made by Presbyterians across the church, were sent to the permanent missions of 26 member states of the United Nations today. The Red Hands, in a variety of styles, all bear the same message: "Children are children, not soldiers."

With the Red Hands went a request that the state sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in ...

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July 11, 2011

Supporting Human Rights in Colombia

Presbyterian efforts to support our sisters and brothers in Colombia in their efforts to protect human rights continue.

The Presbyterian Church of Colombia has stated its opposition to the Colombia Free Trade Agreement and has called the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to join in advocacy against its passage.

Presbyterians have called President Obama. The Office of Public Witness helped organize and plan an interfaith prayer breakfast.

On July 11, four members of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship were arrested during a peaceful, nonviolent witness.

Now you can call your member of Congress to vote no on the Colombia Free Trade ...

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June 27, 2011

Support Women's Rights - Ratify CEDAW

John’s Gospel records the story of Jesus and a woman engaged in a long conversation at a well. Jesus recognized and honored her humanity as he did the humanity of all the women he encountered. Jesus consistently affirmed the dignity and worth of each person. Here is one way you can follow his example:

Participate in the campaign to call the United States Senate to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Presbyterian Women encourages Presbyterians to take part in this campaign, organized by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights ...

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June 25, 2011

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

June is Torture Awareness Month.

June 26 is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has spoken many times against torture.

From the National Religious Campaign against Torture comes a variety of worship resources including this prayer:

God of all ages and times, we give you thanks for your presence among us.

We thank you for creating us in Your image, binding us together as one human family. Open our eyes so that we may see your face in all those around us. Strengthen us so that we ...

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June 23, 2011

Secretary General elected to new term


Ban Ki-MoonUN Photo/Mark Garten

On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to give Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and second five year term.  The Secretary General is chosen in a two-step process. 


Article 97 of the UN Charter states that, “The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”  Therefore, a Secretary General needs both the recommendation from the 15 member Security Council as well as a majority vote in the 192 member General Assembly.

This year, current Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was the only candidate under consideration, almost ensuring him ...

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June 6, 2011

UN and religious freedom

The United Nations Human Rights Council and the General Assembly have encouraged the continuing efforts in all parts of the world of the Special Rapporteur [for religious freedom and belief] to examine incidents and governmental actions that are incompatible with the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and to recommend remedial measures as appropriate (Human Rights Council resolution 6/37 and General Assembly resolution 61/161).

To expedite his work, the Special Rapporteur for religious freedom and belief has developed a model questionnaire that can be ...

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May 16, 2011

It Costs Too Much! The Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Presbyterians Speak Up

Join us for a Webinar on May 27 Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar Seat Now The Obama Administration is pushing to pass the three Free Trade Agreements – Korea, Colombia and Panama – by summer. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)...

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May 14, 2011

Amnesty International 2011 report on Madagascar

Amnesty International has released its 2011 report on Madagascar: Human rights violations were committed with almost total impunity by the security forces, including unlawful arrests and detentions, excessive use of force against demonstrators and attacks on journalists and opposition leaders....

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March 28, 2011

Colombia Days of Prayer and Action Resources

This originally appeared on Called to Colombia by Richard Williams and Mamie Broadhurst. The resources are out! Please take time to participate in the National Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia this year on April 8th -11th. This is...

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March 2, 2011

From the Midwest to the UN: One Woman's Story

By Cindy Eschliman It is not often that I am put in a position of being in the minority. I am a young, white woman, who grew up in Hutchinson, KS – the center of the Midwest and I now...

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February 25, 2011

Ratify CEDAW

On behalf of Presbyterian participants in the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Louise Davidson of Presbyterian Women invites the ecumenical community to join in an advocacy effort to secure Senate ratification of the Convention to...

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February 21, 2011

We gathered

From churches and countries around the world, we gathered at the Church Center for the United Nations. Followers of Jesus Christ, seekers of justice, supporters of human rights for women, men, and all people, we gathered. To dance, to worship,...

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February 19, 2011

Prayers for a Saturday morning . . .

and other times . . . Pray for the people of . . . Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya and other countries who call for change . . . Uganda who are vote . . . Palestine and Israel who stand...

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February 10, 2011

EAPPI Newsletter

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel has posted its February 2011 Newsletter. Presbyterian Clark Scalera recently completed a term of service with the EAPPI. The EAPPI brings internationals to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. Ecumenical...

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February 2, 2011

Secretary-General on World Interfaith Harmony Week

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON THE OBSERVANCE OF WORLD INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK New York, 1-7 February 2011 The first World Interfaith Harmony Week is an opportunity to focus global attention on the efforts of religious leaders, interfaith movements and individuals around...

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January 24, 2011

Colombia Accompaniment Program seeking volunteers

Can you give a month to accompany our Colombian sisters and brothers in the midst of violence? Consider participating in the Colombia Accompaniment Program. Leaders in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia are taking great risks in their human rights work...

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January 5, 2011

Accompaniment in Palestine and Israel

Become a Facebook friend of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and learn about this important ministry. From the EAPPI Web page comes the following description: The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) brings internationals...

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December 10, 2010

Speak up Stop Discrimination - Human Rights Day 2010

December 10 is Human Rights Day. From the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study comes this prayer from Eleanor Roosevelt, chair of the committee that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our Father, who has set...

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December 5, 2010

US concerned about human rights in Madagascar

US concerned about human rights in Madagascar. The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar has expressed concern about "the constant harassment of political dissidents and journalists" in the country. The statement refers to reports of arbitrary arrests...

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November 27, 2010

WCC Living Letters Team to visit Philippines

An international team of church representatives will pay a solidarity visit to churches, ecumenical organizations and civil society movements in the Philippines from 1 to 5 December. It will be the last in a series of "Living Letters" visits to...

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November 23, 2010

A week of speaking out about violence against women

A week of speaking out about violence against women | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, on 25 November, serves as a reminder of the pandemic proportions of this...

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November 7, 2010

Sources of information on the Madagascar crisis

Dan Turk, who with his wife Elizabeth serves as a mission co-worker in Madagascar for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), identifies the following sources for information on the crisis in Madagascar. Note that many of the news sources are available in...

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October 29, 2010

Attend the 55th Commission on the Status of Women

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations invites Presbyterians to consider attending the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on February 22 through March 4, 2011. There will be orientations on February 20 and 21....

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October 21, 2010

Restore democracy, respect human rights, and protect the environment in Madagascar

Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations Restoration of democracy, respect for human rights, and protection of the environment in Madagascar. That was the heart of the message provided by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mission Co-worker Dan Turk and Doug Tilton, regional...

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September 5, 2010

Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent Conflict

From the United States Institute of Peace comes an announcement about a new course, Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent Conflict: October 19, 2010 - December 9, 2010 An in-depth and multi-disciplinary perspective on civilian-based movements and campaigns to...

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August 19, 2010

Report: Military Assistance and Human Rights: Colombia, U.S. Accountability, and Global Implications | The Fellowship of Reconciliation

Report: Military Assistance and Human Rights: Colombia, U.S. Accountability, and Global Implications | The Fellowship of Reconciliation.

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July 23, 2010

The baby boy arrived

Last evening, we posted an invitation to prayer for Ms. Judilyn Oliveros of the Philippines. Tonight, we invite you to give thanks. Her baby boy arrived today - delivered by c-section in a hospital. He is healthy and is 6.8...

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June 19, 2010

Churches to pursue rights cases under new Philippines’ president

There is a new president in the Philippines. There is new leadership for the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. What will come next? According to a story from Ecumenical News International (posted by the Presbyterian News Service), the...

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June 1, 2010

Action Alert – Madagascar’s Government Targets the Church

From Presbyterian World Mission's Office on Africa Pastor Ranaivo Rivo Arson of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM) was shot and fatally wounded by Malagasy soldiers on Thursday, 20 May, when pastors were trying to hold a worship...

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May 25, 2010

Worship materials for World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

May 29 through June 4, 2010 is designated the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel by the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches. Here are liturgical materials for the week: The Heads of Churches in...

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May 25, 2010

World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

From the World Council of Churches In countries across six continents, religious communities, people of faith, human rights and peace organizations are preparing to mark the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel from May 29 to June 4, 2010....

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May 25, 2010

A prayer for those who seek human rights in Colombia

God of justice, God of compassion, God of peace, we pray for those who work for human rights in Colombia. We give thanks for their commitment to the well-being of all the people. We give thanks for their faithful witness....

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May 24, 2010

PC(USA) partners in Colombia and the presidential election

Reprinted with permission from Called to Colombia: Our partners in Colombia, the the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia, are faithful and passionate the defense of life - which in this context means the upholding of human rights. With Colombia's history of...

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May 16, 2010

A prayer after the election in the Philippines

Gracious God, we pray for the people of the Philippines: For those newly elected to office, grant wisdom to govern wisely, end repressive policies, and enact changes that benefit all the people; For candidates who lost in the elections, grant...

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May 11, 2010

Support Human Rights in the Philippines

Send a message to Congress that U.S. military aid to the Philippines should be conditioned on concrete signs that the human rights of unarmed citizens and groups within civil society are respected by all levels of government, including the Philippine...

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May 9, 2010

A Gift to Mothers around the World: the CEDAW Treaty

From the Presbyterian Washington Office: Women and girls around the world face violence and discrimination daily. We also know that CEDAW, the Women's Treaty, helps women and girls to go to school, to own and inherit property, to take part...

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May 2, 2010

Thank you from Colombia

Our partners in the churches, communities of displaced persons, educational institutions and other social organizations concerned with justice and human rights, have sent a word of thanks. To the Churches, Ecumenical Organizations, and Human Rights Groups in Solidarity with Colombia...

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April 25, 2010

A prayer for the people of North Korea

God of justice, we pray for the people of North Korea. We pray for those who are imprisoned and for those who have loved ones in prison. We pray for those who are persecuted for their faith or other reasons....

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April 22, 2010

Conflict Minerals Trade Act

From Amnesty International USA Ask your representative to co-sponsor the Conflict Minerals Trade Act. A small window of opportunity just opened this week that could finally break the cycle of weapons freely flowing in to the Democratic Republic of Congo...

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April 5, 2010

Hope admidst suffering

On April 1, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and the Aramark Corporation issued a joint statement to announce that they have reached an "agreement to to address farmworker wages and working conditions in the tomato fields of Florida." The...

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March 17, 2010

Stop Violence Against Women

From the Presbyterian Washington Office: Ask your Senators and Representative to cosponsor the International Violence Against Women Act. The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) has been introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill, which was...

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February 12, 2010

Protect human rights in the Philippines

The following request comes from our sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. Use this sample letter to send your message. Release Dr. Alexis Montes and other detained health workers! “Freedom is what we have—Christ...

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February 3, 2010

Environmental and Peacemaking Travel Study Seminar to Armenia

Would you like to visit Armenia and: Explore how people of faith care for God’s earth? Learn about Armenia’s relationships with its neighbors, including Turkey? Visit reforestation sites and pristine forests in need of protection from mining that threatens them?...

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January 27, 2010

Farmworker Freedom March

From the PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food: Announcing the day of God’s favor, the gospel of Luke tells us Jesus inaugurated his ministry by reading from the scroll of Isaiah, proclaiming release to the captives. As followers of Jesus we...

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December 23, 2009

Help take on conflict minerals

Urge Your Representative to Cosponsor the Conflict Minerals Trade Act The Conflict Minerals Trade Act of 2009, H.R. 4128, introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Washington), would help develop the means to ensure that...

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November 23, 2009

Support human rights in Colombia

Through November 24, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia will be circulating through the House of Representatives. This letter calls for a decrease in U.S. aid for Colombia's military and an increase in support for human...

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November 18, 2009

Day of remembrance to end modern-day slavery

Light a candle and say a prayer to end modern-day slavery in the fields today. In the early hours of November 18, 2007, farmworker Mariano Lucas hung from the ceiling inside the cargo hold of a box truck in Immokalee...

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November 16, 2009

Emrace diversity, End discrimination,

December 10 is designated as Human Rights Day - a day to mark the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Presbyterian United Nations Office and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program offer a variety of materials to...

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November 6, 2009

Study resource on Africa

Resolution on Africa: A Guide for Study and Reflection [PDF] is now available for download. Based on "Resolution on Africa" approved by the 215th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the study is intended for adults of all ages....

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November 1, 2009

UN General Assembly to consider UN probe into Gaza conflict

The United Nations General Assembly will meet on November 4 to consider the report [PDF] of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. The Mission was appointed on April 3, 2009 “to investigate all violations of international human...

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September 30, 2009

Respond to Ondoy

Financial gifts to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance will help our sisters and brothers in the Philippines whose lives have been devastated by Tropical Storm “Ketsana,” also known as “Ondoy,” This storm swept across metro Manila and parts of Central Luzon on...

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August 25, 2009

Tell your Senators to act on CEDAW

Celebrate Women's Equality Day (Wednesday, August 26) by urging your senators to take action on CEDAW (United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). Call both your Senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support...

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August 13, 2009

Unlock the camps in Sri Lanka

Amnesty International provides an opportunity to call on the Sri Lankan government to allow displaced civilians freedom of movement. 300,000 people displaced by the fighting in Sri Lanka are held by the government in camps that they cannot leave. The...

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July 27, 2009

Crisis in Honduras

Here are some sources of information on the situation in Honduras Presbyterians at work in Honduras Latin American church council demands restoration of Honduras democracy Human Rights at Risk in Honduras - Latin America Working Group Why Honduran splits became...

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March 2, 2009

Worship resources to address torture during Lent

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and No2Torture, a grass-roots Presbyterian group, offer a number of worship resources to help Presbyterians address issues around stopping torture during this Lenten season. Presbyterian General Assemblies have made a number of statements related to torture...

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January 29, 2009

Human Rights in the Philippines

The 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a resolution expressing concern for human rights violations in the Philippines. The Assembly voted to direct “the appropriate agencies within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to advocate that the United...

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December 6, 2008

How Can I Work for Human Rights?

December 10 marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Conventions implementing the Declaration have been written, ratified, and entered into force, yet human rights violations remain still widespread. How can the average person...

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October 29, 2008

Freed Pastor

"My day of freedom is very important for me and my family because there is one less spouse torn away from his or her partner in life and love by the government's counterinsurgency operation." So begins a letter to the...

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May 24, 2008

And We Told Them Why

It was probably one of the stranger orders she had ever received. "I'd like a number 7, two burgers with only mustard, pickles and onions, and a grilled chicken, hold the mayo. And by the way, I'd like you to...

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May 18, 2008

A Faithful Summer Vacation

Sowing Mustard Seeds; Working for God’s Justice, Confronting Poverty is the theme of the 2008 Peacemaking Conference planned for July 15-19 at Chapman University in Southern California. Register now. Co-directors Edie Gause and Andrew Short commented, “ It’s inspiring to...

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February 19, 2008

Working to End Torture

Seminary and college students and faculty members, pastors, activists, campus ministers and more were among the fifty Presbyterians (joined by a Quaker) who took part in a consultation “Terror, Torture and Security: Theological Considerations for Tomorrow’s Leaders.” The group met...

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