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How can we combat social exclusion?

The authors behind the “Report on the World Social Situation 2016” answer the public’s questions based on the theme of leaving no one behind: the imperative of inclusion development.


Using the Facebook platform to encourage an online, global dialogue, the authors responded to questions for a full hour on the importance of tackling the issue of social exclusion of vulnerable people.


Here a few standout Q&As:

What are some concreate governmental changes that can be implemented to combat gender based exclusion?

-       Changing norms and the status quo is complicated

-       Empowerment of women should not advocate gender stereotypes eg. increase women’s cash transfer for caregiving. Instead, social transfer schemes should incentivise men to partake in caregiving too.

-       Work with civil society to enjoy the rights to health care eg. building adequate sanitation facilities in schools, or conducting awareness campaigns


Discuss the relation between social exclusion and childhood development, and the role of early intervention.

-       Disadvantages in education, health, employment, income etc is the symptom of the exclusion of these groups

-       Childhood development breaks the cycle of poverty by empowering them to contribute to economic growth.

-       Disadvantage and social exclusion begins between birth and age 3


Social exclusion is the result of “bad governance”

-       Governments play a major in addressing attitudes that perpetuate social exclusion.


Discrimination is the root cause of social exclusion. What can be done?

-       Adopting human rights legislation, with a follow up.

-       Civil society defend grass root society- modify school curriculum to change attitudes to diversity.

-       Human rights commission, criminal justice court and UNDP can play a role in ending exclusion.


Millions of vulnerable children are missing from population data. How can we help end this social exclusion?

-       Addressing the data gap is a key challenge

-       These individuals uncounted and invisible to statistic are most vulnerable

-       Institutions play an important role- census enumeration

-       Improve birth registration


Economic Exclusion

-       Everyone must have access to health care, sustainable education and employment

-       Not all employment and labour helps people escape poverty. An informal economy reinforces poverty.

-       Promote entrepreneurship among youth is essential

-       Macroeconomic policies should not be focused only on inflation control, but should contribute to economic growth.


There is a lack of intersectionality in the decision making process. For example, there is a vibrant movement towards organic produce which overpowers the more pressing issue of food desserts in the US. How can we get those voices from vulnerable populations to take part in the decision making process?

-       DESA is a platform for consensus building among international community

-       Institutions and norms that promote inclusion and empowerment are influenced by civil society, NGOs, trade unions and individuals living in poverty with a voice in the public sphere


How does civil society hold governments accountable?

-       Forming broad coalitions of various stakeholders- pluralistic approach

-       Internet and social media is an important tool- social mobilisation and public participation

The United Nations’ Global Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking

On Friday 23rd of June 2017, two representatives from the IBVM NGO the United Nations attended an informal interactive stakeholder hearing in New York, where speakers and in-room participates engaged in a dialogue centered on the practical steps which need to be taken to combat the issue of human trafficking.


It was both a moving and informative hearing, with a wide range of voices being heard and celebrated to ensure the formulation of the Plan of Action encapsulates the vast nature of this international issue.


Trafficking of persons is a gross human rights violation and a major barrier to sustainable development. This is why the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is paramount to this discussion. Targets 5.2, 8.7 and 16.2 specifically touch on the the gender inequality and social insecurity that needs to be addressed if we are to move towards prevention.


An eye opening address from Withelma “T” Oritz Walker Pettigrew, a victim of sex-trafficking, spoke openly about the importance of having those who have endured such trauma to be a part of the system that helps other survivors into the recovery stage. Moreover, she honed in on the need for a change in focus. From now on, a SURVIVER CENTRED APPROACH is essential. Using resources to educate, empower and take legal action for victims of human trafficking is a far more-long term solution, and should be universalised to help prevent such atrocities from happening in the first place.


A key quote from the conference was from Kay Buck, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), where she said “this generation of survivors will be our last”. CAST advocates for ground-breaking policies and legislation that goes against the unfair misidentification of victims as criminals. CAST takes a holistic approach to support thousands of survivors, providing counselling, legal resources, housing, education, leadership training and mentorship.


It was reiterated countless times that the heinous crime of human trafficking occurs as a result of numerous social factors and pre-existing vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. These include gender inequality, lack of education and poverty.


The solution to these problems are vast and multifaceted, with the targets of the SDGs doing much to outline the practical steps that need to be taken. Other strategies touched on in the hearing include:

-       A world wide curriculum in every school about the risks of the trafficking industry

-       A change in legislation to a survivor centred approach- ending the penalisation of victims

-       Address the demand for cheap labour and commercialised sex- the business supply chain that exists today is fuelling this demand

-       Allocation of SIGNIFICANT resources, not just the minimum funding

-       Multidisciplinary approach to the prosecution of traffickers and the retraining of law enforcement.

-       Frame the outreach to the wider public that their donations to this cause is a “life saving mechanism”.

-       Empowerment of victims through therapy and legal action

-       Plan a review mechanism for the global plan, to assess progress

-       Having crisis management plans in place for potential natural disasters, as these types of events are directly linked to the increase in human trafficking incidences, due to the desperation it causes. In the wake of a natural catastrophe, an overwhelm at the situation leads law enforcement and authority figures to neglect those members who are at risk of trafficking. Prioritising vulnerable people to this industry in the wake of such disasters is a major preventative measure.


The Commission on the Status of Women

commissionThe 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will be held at United Nations Headquarters, New York from  10 – 21 March 2014. It will consider the “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls” as its priority theme. It will provide a critical opportunity for evaluating the current MDG framework from a gender perspective to better understand the achievements and challenges in implementing the MDGs for women and girls, accelerate the progress in achieving the MDGs and inform the ongoing debate on the post-2015 development framework and the 20 year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.  Click here for Introduction to CSW.

Strategies for Empowerment: Lessons from Grass-Roots

Side Event CSocD

In 2013, non-governmental organizations ( NGOs) that participated in a 2009 survey on social integration were surveyed to investigate their progress since 2009.  The respondents, including Mary Ward Center, Chicago spanned six continents.  They serve a wide range of people.  Their responses shed light on effective practices to increase empowerment.   These results, along with the specific experience of a group in Zambia and another in the US, served as content for a side –event held during the Commission on Social Development.

The Department of Public Information (DPI)

India Study

The Department of Public Information (DPI): Did You Know?

  • The DPI was established in 1946 by the General Assembly with hopes to promote global awareness and understanding of the work of the United Nations.
  • Mission of DPI: communicate the work and ideals of the United Nations to the world, interact and partner up with a diverse audience; build a support for peace, development, and human rights.
  • There are three divisions: Strategic Communications, News and Media, and Outreach.
  • Theme for 2014 UN DPI/NGO will be: The Role of Civil Society in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
  • In 1968, the Economic and Social Council called on DPI to associate NGOs.
  • About 1,400 NGOs are now associated with DPI
  • There are now about 350 NGO youth representatives.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn our world the global dimension has been added to everyone´s life. We are part of the emerging world community with the ability to think and act as global citizens. Throughout the IBVM world- wide network we are engaged in formal and non formal education of girls and boys, young women and men as global citizens. It goes beyond simply knowing that we are citizens of the globe to an acknowledgement of our responsibilities both to each other and to the Earth itself. We recognize the need to tackle injustice and inequality, and we aim at working actively to do so. We value the Earth as precious and unique, and work to safeguard the future for those coming after us.


UN DPINGOs: partners4change

DPI NewsThe Department of Public Information is dedicated to communicating the ideals and work of the United Nations to the world; to interacting and partnering with diverse audiences; and to building support for peace, development and human rights for all. The DPI fosters dialogue, facilitates the exchange of information and develops partnerships with civil society. Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) Relations reaches out to civil society around the world to enhance their interaction with and understanding of the work of the Organization. It currently collaborates with 1,500 NGOs associated with the Department of Public Information. The IBVM NGO is associated with the Department of Public Information and as such contributes to its efforts to Inform. Engage. Act.

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2013 UN Day, Secretary-General message

On October 24, 1945, the United Nations (UN) came into force when the five permanent members of the security council ratified the charter that had been drawn up earlier that year. These members were: France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since 1948, the event’s anniversary has been known as United Nations Day. It is an occasion to highlight, celebrate and reflect on the work of the United Nations and its family of specialized agencies.

In 2013, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon reminds us of  this Day.

The world is making big strides towards the MDGs

cq5dam.web.540.390Several important targets of the Millennium Development Goals have or will be met by the 2015 deadline, but progress in many areas is far from sufficient, according to this year’s Millennium Development Goals Report launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

MDGs achieving but…. accelerated progress and bolder action is needed in many areas.

Environmental sustainability is under severe threat, demanding a new level of global cooperation: More rapid progress is needed to meet the 2015 target of a two-thirds reduction in child deaths. Most maternal deaths are preventable, but progress in this area is falling short. Access to antiretroviral therapy and knowledge about HIV prevention must expand. More rapid progress is needed to meet the MDG sanitation target.