Emmaus International

Emmaus International, a movement that brings together 350 groups working in 37 different countries to fight poverty and exclusion, has organised its 1st World Forum of Alternatives led by the most excluded, in partnership with other civil society leaders from all over the world

Article Forum Générique insideThis Forum, which will take place in Geneva between 17 and 20 September, will be an opportunity to discover alternatives being carried out by the most excluded that are helping to build a fairer world.

What are its goals?

Making the voices of the voiceless heard: creating links with other associations in order to co-construct alternatives and work together to fight poverty and the causes of exclusion throughout the world.

Who will participate ?

There will be over 350 participants, comprising members of Emmaus groups and representatives of allied associations from Africa, America, Asia and Europe.

Some of the leading organisations that work alongside Emmaus groups and that will be present are: CETIM, Migreurop, CIMADE, Caritas and the RREUSE network, La Via Campesina, the Landless Workers’ Movement (Brazil), Balais Citoyen (Burkina Faso) and many others.

What is on the programme?

Over four days of workshops and plenary sessions, participants will discuss and construct shared actions, proposing sustainable solutions in the face of daily violations of the fundamental rights of millions of human beings all over the planet (relating to work, health, education, freedom of expression, physical and moral integrity, the environment, etc.).

A cultural evening (with dance, music and circus acts) will mark the opening of the Forum on Monday 17 September. Members of Emmaus groups will perform, using art as a means of liberation.  

Two conferences will also be held over the four days on the following topics:

  • Tuesday 18 September: “The role of social movements in the struggle for freedom and respect for fundamental rights”, with Monica Benicio, a Brazilian activist fighting discrimination and corruption, partner of Marielle Franco who was assassinated in March in Rio; Karamat Ali, a Pakistani activist for peace and the rights of vulnerable workers; and Gustave Massiah, founder of the Permanent People’s Tribunal and an instigator of the World Social Forum.
  • Wednesday 19 September: “Faced with closed borders, free movement of goods and predation on common goods (water, land, etc.), what are the alternatives?” with Susan Georges, a French-American activist and founder of Transnational Institute; and Roberto Savio, an Italian-Argentinean journalist and founder of the Inter Press Service.

Speaking at the UN and a UN side event

As well as running the Forum, there will be an Emmaus International presence within the UN. During the 39th session of the Human Rights Council, president Patrick Atohoun will take the floor to make the voice of Emmaus International heard and to draw attention to its struggles.

We will also organise a side event within the United Nations headquarters on Thursday 20 September, from 4 to 5 pm, to which we will invite the media and UN delegations from all over the world.

To find out more about Emmaus International at the UN: Emmaus International at the United Nations.