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Swords into plowshares

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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 category: Human Rights

June 30, 2015

Human rights are for everyone

by Amelie Clemot

Human rights are for everyone, no matter who you are or whom you love.

- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, this year's recipient of the Harvey Milk Medal

Free and Equal logoOn Friday, June 26, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the United States Supreme Court ruling that the US Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. He called this decision a “great step forward for human rights.”

In the past, the UN has conducted several studies that show that denying couples legal recognition of their relationship leads to widespread discrimination. LGBTI young people are often exposed to stigma, discrimination and violence ...

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June 26, 2015

Presbyterian Church (USA) submits comment to UN Human Rights Committee

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) submitted a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the general discussion on the preparation for general comment on Article 6 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Human Rights Committee is holding a Half Day of General Discussion on the right to life in article 6 of the ICCPR on July 14th, after which a new General Comment (36) will be prepared. Article 6, the article for discussion is below:

Article 6

1. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law ...

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June 25, 2015

Legally binding obligations to fight violence against women and girls

by Nathan Jumper

Orange Day BannerOn this Orange Day to witness and work for an end to violence against women and girls, here's a proposal for another step in that effort.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur* on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, has called for the creation of a legally binding framework on violence against women and girls within the UN human rights system.

This legal instrument would provide a clear, normative framework for the protection of women and girls in order to ensure that States are held accountable to humanitarian standards that are legally binding. A monitoring body would be ...

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June 22, 2015

Elder abuse or violence against older persons?

by Willa Van Camp and Amelie Clemot

World Elder Abuse Awareness Week logoOn June 15, a panel discussion was held on Elder Abuse vs. Violence against Older Persons. Sponsored by the Group of Friends for Older Persons, the panel included permanent representatives of member state missions to the UN and representatives of UN programs and non-governmental organizations. The panelists discussed the various issues surrounding this topic. The first concern discussed was the lack of consensus on how to define violence against older persons. The official definition of elder abuse – the single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there ...

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June 20, 2015

End sexual violence in armed conflict

by Sarah Hoyle, Willa Van Camp, Amelie Clemot

The General Assembly of the UN met today and named June 19th as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict. Many representatives spoke to reiterate the fact that this day should stand out from the others as a rallying cry to end the devastating epidemic of sexual violence in war.

The the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura stated that “This annual commemoration will serve as a global call to action for security, justice and service actors on behalf of survivors ...

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