On 28 April, SGI attended the monthly consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs on April’s topic of “Countering Xenophobia, Racism, and Discrimination.” This forum was an opportunity to further discuss how the UNHCR and NGOs can prevent and respond to xenophobia, racism, and discrimination, as well as to review the 2020 UNHCR Guidance on racism and xenophobia, and to hear about NGOs efforts to address these issues.
Elisa Gazzotti of SGI and Chair of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education (NGO WG on HREL), highlighted the importance of human rights education as the key to changing behaviors and attitudes in order to address xenophobia, racism, and discrimination at the individual level. Gazzotti shared the advocacy efforts of the NGO WG on HREL to strengthen the legal frameworks and ensure that States implement human rights education at the national level. In addition, she introduced the open resource website, Transforming Lives: The Power of Human Rights Education and a music education project “Al-Musiqa Tjam’ana” (Music brings people together) as an example of building social inclusion.
Speakers at the consultation included: Caroline Harper Jantuah, Senior Advisor, Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equity (UNHCR); Valérie Svobodová, Senior Human Rights Adviser (UNHCR); and Gloria Kivuva, Communications Manager, East Africa Regional Bureau (Islamic Relief Worldwide).[Photo Credit: Unsplash/Perry Grone]