23.03.2012 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

Human rights promoted in Argentina

International Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Former ESMA, clandestine detention and extermination centre from 1976 to 1983.

From 23 to 30 March 2012, the International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights (CIPDH) will inaugurate its activities in Buenos Aires with an International Course on the Promotion of Human Rights. The Centre was established in the capital of Argentina in 2010, with the support of UNESCO, on the premises of the former Naval School of Mechanical Engineering (ESMA) which served as the largest clandestine detention and extermination centre under Argentina’s military dictatorship.

No less than three Ministers from the Argentinian Government and several representatives of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo Association, laureate of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, will participate in this first session.

The course aims to provide an overview of the situation of the promotion of human rights worldwide through an exchange of information and ideas on different countries and regions. Thus, it will improve the capacities of its participants, in particular in the area of diagnosis, analysis, planning, and evaluation of public policies related to human rights.

Provided in English and Spanish, the course will contribute to the strengthening of CIPDH’s institutional work by building a network of actors from the educational system, national and international public officials, researchers, representatives from communication and culture, and social organizations related to human rights.

It has been designed as a seminar-workshop around the following core topics:

  • Memory, truth and justice;
  • Promotion of human rights in democracy: complete conceptualization of human rights with a focus on economic, social and cultural rights as well as on ICTs;
  • Educational policies and practices linked to human rights;
  • Communication, culture and art for the promotion of memory and human rights.

In 2008 when UNESCO commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its Member States decided in October to provide the world with an international centre for the promotion of human rights. The centre was established in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in the buildings formerly occupied by the Naval School of Mechanical Engineering (ESMA), which was the largest clandestine centre for the detention and execution of civilians under Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976-1983). According to human rights organizations, some 5000 ‘disappeared’ detainees were held at ESMA, of whom 90% were murdered. Other crimes were also committed there, including torture and the kidnapping of babies.

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