Guatemala City. The InternationDSCN0188al Catholic Center of Geneva (CCIG), together with its member organizations Edmund Rice International (ERI) and Marist International Solidarity Foundation (FMSI) – organized a training for “Children’s rights defenders in Latin America”, which took place from 8 to 12 February 2016, in Guatemala City, at the Marist Training Center.

The training aimed to contribute to the full implementation of children’s rights in Latin America, through training of 25 children’s rights defenders from different NGOs working with vulnerable children in five countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador. Specifically, the training dealt with monitoring and follow up procedures of UPR recommendations focusing on children’s rights in the five countries concerned. Through theoretical presentations and practical exercises DSCN0088the participants were offered the opportunity to enhance their current activities on the topics, while also developing new strategies in collaboration with other partners. New forms of coordination nationally and regionally, in fact, constitute a great asset for successful advocacy actions. In addition to the presentations of the main trainers, Ms. Maria D’Onofrio (CCIG) and Mr. Manel Mendoza (FMSI), a panel discussion was held on Thursday 11 February, with the participation of Ms. Alexia Ghyoot (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Guatemala), Ms. Dora Alicia Muñoz (UNICEF – Guatemala) and Ms. Anabella Sibrián (Plataforma Internacional contra la Impunidad).20160212_095722

This training is part of a larger project carried out by CCIG – thanks to the support of the Republic and Canton of Geneva and Adveniat – in order to strengthen the advocacy capacity of civil society in the five countries concerned. Enabling local children’s rights defenders to undertake more effective advocacy actions would allow vulnerable children to truly benefit from the existing international human rights system set up to protect them.

The project’s next step will be the organization of a side event during the Human Rights Council session in June 2016 in order to bring valuable experience from the field to the attention of international decision makers.

For more accounts of the training  see articles by Edmund Rice International  and Marist International Solidarity Foundation.

For further information on CCIG training in Guatemala, please watch this video.