Global State of Human Rights - Second High Level Conference
The second edition of the international conference on the "Global State of Human Rights", jointly organised by the European Parliament and the Global Campus of Human Rights in Venice at the Monastery of S. Nicolò at the Lido, ended on Saturday 16 July 2022. This year it was specifically dedicated to the impact of human rights violations on children and young people, and held thanks to the support of the foundation Right Livelihood, partner of the Global Campus of Human Rights on children’s rights.
The event was attended by children and young people from different countries. In dialogue with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Benedetto Della Vedova, Nobel Prize laureate Denis Mukwege, MEPs, academics and other representatives from the European Union, United Nations and civil society, they addressed the fate of children in armed conflicts, children’s detention, trafficking and other forms of violence of which they are victims.
Participants shared concern about the growing threats to human rights and democratic systems and agreed that everything must be done to strengthen their protection and promotion. A specific reference to the dramatic consequences of the Russian aggression against Ukraine for children was made by Makeiev Oleksii, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister. The parliamentarians, international experts and academics analysed the most critical situations through the testimonies of many human rights defenders - Ibrahima Lo from Senegal, Sanaa Seif from Egypt, Mai Khôi from Vietnam, Nane and Lusine from Armenia, Ghada Krayem from Gaza, Farida Amiri from Afghanistan, and Sebastiano Cognolato from Venice, Italy - but also reflected, in the final session of the conference, on the crucial role of children and young people as actors of change.
The concluding message of the conference, expressed by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala, and the Secretary General of the Global Campus, Manfred Nowak, is that defending human rights against those who violate them is no longer enough. Instead, we have to become more proactive and envision a more sustainable world order with much more effective global governance mechanisms to prevent armed conflicts, with effective economic mechanisms to fight global injustice and economic inequality, and with effective ecological mechanisms to save the future of our planet and all its inhabitants. This can only be achieved if we closely involve children and young people in our decision-making structures. With this second Venice Conference on the Global State of Human Rights, the European Parliament and the Global Campus have taken a strategic decision that we need the voices of children from all over the world if we want to build a new, more just, more peaceful and more sustainable world order.
In addition, a concert by the Human Rights Orchestra at the Teatro La Fenice dedicated to child victims of conflict and human rights violations, as well as victims of the pandemic, was also held for the conference participants and local Venetian audience. Co-organised by the Global Campus of Human Rights with Musicians for Human Rights, the concert was conducted by Alessio Allegrini, who also performed as soloist together with musicians Mai Khôi (Vietnam) and Ziad Trabelsi (Tunisia).