The Network of Ibero-American Universities for Human Rights Education took centre stage with its 2nd Congress held in Bogotá

A network of Ibero-American networks for human rights is born

The Network of Ibero-American Universities for Human Rights Education has achieved a notable success with the celebration of its II Congress held in the city of Bogotá (Colombia) between 11 and 14 September, achieving those objectives that led it to take on a challenge of such organisational calibre, especially that of creating the first Ibero-American network of networks for Human Rights and its link with Education.

More than 60 Ibero-American university delegations participated in this 2nd Congress, accompanied by high-level institutional representatives and the support of the Colombian authorities, representatives of the United Nations, as well as a large group of Ombudsmen's Offices and Human Rights Observatories.

During the four days of the congress, 22 round tables of debate and work dealt intensively with a wide range of fundamental aspects of human rights. Each round table was preceded by working groups that matured, delimited and prepared the topics to be debated in the months prior to the congress, with the role of the head and coordinator of the Network, Guillermo Domínguez, standing out.

The main thematic axes of this 2nd Congress were: South-South cooperation and integration; socially sustainable universities; the gender and equality perspective; interculturality; the development of leadership and social talent committed to HR and vulnerable groups; business and HR.

Our ODHE has had a specific presence in the Business and Human Rights axis, both at the conference table and in the working group that preceded it, with the direct participation of our ODHE members. One of the resolutions adopted at this congress was to implement actions from the Network aimed at boosting and strengthening the commitment of Ibero-American companies to Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals. In this project, our ODHE committed to collaborate in the front line, with the possibility of organising an Ibero-American meeting on Business and Human Rights.

Our ODHE has been present in this congress and in the preparatory working days in a remarkable way. Francisco López-Muñoz, president of our Catalejo Awards and vice-rector of the Camilo José Cela University, has been one of the most active members of the Network in the preparation of this II Congress, being a member of its Scientific Committee and moderating two of the congress tables.

The president of the ODHE, Mario Rigau, also participated telematically in two tables as a speaker. We can add to this presence the special mention made at the congress of the Catalejo 2022 Prize awarded to the Network by our ODHE.

This 2nd Congress represents a very important qualitative leap, as the main agreement that emerged from the competition is the creation of a network of networks that directly connects the member universities of the current Network, generating synergies and shared projects with the Ombudsmen's Offices and Human Rights Observatories of Ibero-America.

This 2nd Congress has shown the multiplicity of realities and challenges that arise in the Ibero-American social and geographical framework in Human Rights, but, at the same time, it has also shown the strategic role that universities play in the medium and long term when it comes to structuring strategies and network projects, which ensure general progress and avoid greater imbalances. 

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