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iSEDI 3.2 Meeting

Human Rights and the Role of Social Justice in Crisis Response and Recovery

On 21 April 2021, ICDO President Mag. Josipa Palac was a speaker at the virtual panel discussion iSEDI 3.2 – Human Rights and the Role of Social Justice in Crisis Response and Recovery hosted by International Security and Conflict Analysis Network (iSCAN).

The discussion was moderated by Billy Batware, a Programme Officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and founder of International Security and Conflict Analysis Network  (iSCAN). The event was held in cooperation with Austrian Institute for European Security Policy – AIES.

The discussion had started from the broad question from the host about Josipa Palac’s take on how we can keep everyone safe from the pandemic while ensuring respect for human rights. Josipa Palac emphasized that from ICDO’s experience, the importance of global and united efforts in providing equitable access to information to education, healthcare, and finance in crisis management and recovery is crucial. And that means, it should be provided for everyone in every corner of the planet.

In the indivisibility of human rights, that pandemic brings clearly to light there is the need for interdisciplinary, transnational, and cross-sector collaboration, approaches and alliances between governments, intellectuals, health sector, international organizations, NGOs, private sector, and, very importantly, media. All the responsibility cannot go only to the states. – Josipa Palac

It was also underlined that in the crisis, it is very crucial to hear the voices of those who are in great need to be heard, as vulnerable groups. Ms. Palac stated that nonprofit organizations, and also all of us as individuals, have the moral obligation to include marginalized communities in decision-making processes and ensure the establishment of bottom up approaches and welcome them in our leadership

Billy Batware highlighted how crucial it is to engage community members into the project development process while discussing the broader issue of connecting CSOs and governments:

I'm a firm believer that if you do not engage communities directly, that it's more likely that your interventions are not going to be sustainable. You have to make sure that the local communities are involved not only in the implementation, but also in the conceptualization of the intervention itself - they have to own it

Billy Batwarefounder of iSCAN

The event was concluded with an inspiring Q & A session, where participants shared their perspectives on the above mentioned issues. Rachele from Italy shared that in her community in one Italian region, a growing need of addressing the gender inequality gap has occurred during the pandemic. Jake from the UK expressed his concern about the safety of international traders and institutions because the degradation of the institution of international trade is bad for everyone, but particularly for developing nations. Rogers from Uganda who works in the Uganda Youth Development Link gave an overview of how the Link is responding to some of the social justice challenges in the region.

Ms. Palac concluded the discussion sharing one of the solutions that ICDO saw as a possible immediate action:

It is essential to empower vulnerable individuals and communities and provide them with tools and skills that will help them in the long term run.