© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
From 13th-17th May 2012, a group of 25 students of the Master’s Degree Course in Institutions and Politics of Human Rights and Peace of the University of Padova and 5 students of the European Master in Human Rights and Democratisation, took part in a study trip to Geneva to meet UN bodies and agencies dealing with human rights, the permanent delegations of the Italian and other governments, and some non-governmental organisations.
The study trip was organised by the Human Rights Centre of the University of Padova with the support of the Region of Veneto - Direction for International Relations and Human Rights. The students were accompanied by professors and doctoral candidates affiliated with the Human Rights Centre.
Divided in three groups with parallel thematic programs, students met with officials from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, among whom Gianni Magazzeni and Mara Bustelo, and discussed issues related to the Human Rights Council, included the role of the special rapporteurs and the operation of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) as well as the UN treaty body sistem. The groups also met representatives of International NGOs, among which: Geneva for Human Rights; Upr.info; Plan International; Caritas International; Médecins sans frontières; the NGO coalition for the CRC; International Commission of Jurists, as well as the Program of the Norwegian Refugee Council on Internally Displaced Persons. Meetings also took place with officials of international organisations such as UNEP, OMS, ILO, UNHCR and the Conference on Disarmament.
The students also had fruitful debates with Monsegnor Silvano Tomasi, nuncio of the Holy See to the UN and the other International Organisations in Geneva, and with the Ambassador Laura Mirachian, head of the Italian permanent mission in Geneva. The trip was a good opportunity to deepen the understand of many issues developed within different university courses, as well as developing contacts and institutional and personal relationships with officials and experts met in Geneva.