A side event at the United Nations to defend fundamental rights

A side event at the United Nations to defend fundamental rights

Following a symbolic march closing the first edition of the World Forum of Alternatives, Emmaus International spoke at the United Nations on Thursday 20 September 2018 to share within this organization of human rights protection, the arternatives carried by the Movement to promote equity and the respect of fundamental rights.

Jean-Philippe Legaut from Emmaus Roumania explained how the model of the Emmaus community, as a place to live and work, is a demonstration of a circular economy that’s truly ethical and based on solidarity.

Emmanuel Siambo, from Emmaus Solidarity Ouaga, presented Emmaus’s mutual healthcare programmes in Burkina Faso and highlighted the importance of campaigning for public policy to take citizens’ initiatives of this kind into account.

Lucia Puig Ferreira from Emmaus Uruguay and Koné Nantegue from Côte d’Ivoire spoke about the hindrances holding the Movement back from further developing its alternative initiatives. Koné Nantegue particularly emphasised the barriers to mobility because of unfair migration policies and Lucia Puig condemned the criminalisation of rights defenders as well as the privatisation of commons, such as education and water.

The event, held at the same time as the Human Rights Council’s session, was drawn to a close by Patrick Atohoun, Chair of Emmaus International, and Juan Melquiades, from Emmaus Piura in Peru. They called for the participants to support our proposals and, more generally, called for the most excluded to be involved in the development of public policies, by fighting policies that criminalise social movements and prevent freedom of movement. They ended by calling on State representatives to stand up once more for the general interest and for people’s access to fundamental rights.