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Organization: International Movement ATD Fourth World
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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Postal address of organization/institution

107, avenue du Général Leclerc F 95480 Pierrelaye, France

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PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

General Consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council
Consultative status with UNICEF – United Nations Childrens Fund
Official Relations with UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
On the List of ILO – International Labour Organization

Representation at ESCAP Economic and Social Commssion for Asia and the Pacific
Representation at the European Economic and Social Commission

Other UN agencies
OHCRH -Officer of the High Comissioner for Human Rigths
World Bank

Other Intergovenmental Organizations
European Union – Permanent delegation
Council of Europe – Participatory Status

Civil Society
Member of NGOs working groups and networks established the UN Agencies
GCAP – Global Call Against Poverty
Amnesty International
European Social Platform
NGO Platform for European Fundamental Rights Agency
And numerous links of partnership with groups, associations and NGOs at the national and local level.

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

A. Education for a Culture of Peace

1. Education for All
ATD Fourth World is a member of the  UNESCO/Collective Consultation of NGOs on Education For All. Its representatives participated in the Consultation held in  in Dakar, Senegal (2007) and in Dhaka, Bangladesh (2010). . It brings together civil society, governments and international agencies to implement strategies and policies to ensure that education reaches the most marginalized children and their families. In the field of “Education for All” and human rights, ATD Fourth World   teams worked with regional and national UNESCO offices in Bangkok and Guatemala City (see paragraph below)

2. In Guatemala: fight for quality education for children living in extreme poverty
The struggle of families experiencing extreme poverty in Guatemala for the schooling of their children led to a project to facilitate access to education in Guatemala City and Escuintla. It includes tutoring and follow-up for students, helps adjustment to school entry and staying in school and promotes dialogue between teachers and school directors.

In 2007, the Ministry of Education called on civil-society to contribute to discussions on how to improve education. ATD Fourth World contributed with three ideas: the need for genuinely free education, the need to train teachers so they have a better understanding of the conditions faced by their students and the need to set up programs that encourage parents to take an active role. Thanks to this contribution legislation was passed in 2008 ensuring free public schooling at all levels starting in the 2009 school year.

3. Tapori - Supporting children's commitment to building peace
Tapori is a worldwide network of children from all backgrounds whose motto is, "We want all children to have the same opportunities."  Tapori Children foster this friendship through games, cultural activities, sports and by participating in the campaigns and activities proposed in  the Tapori Letter.

In 2007 a Tapori project, “Together against exclusion: friendship wins over poverty,” was retained as an example in a compendium of good practice for human rights education within secondary school.

In December 2009, Tapori children from  Bolivia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, France,  Ireland, Mauritius, Philippines, Poland and Switzerland, met in Switzerland to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As part of the gathering, they had the time to get to know one another and to exchange experiences from their countries. They also had a meeting with the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner on Human Rights, Ms. Kang Kyung,  where they expressed the messages and concerns of Tapori Children from all over the world.

B. Sustainable Economic and Social Development

1. TAE – Travailler et Apprendre Ensemble (Working and Learning Together)
TAE is an association created in 2002 by ATD Fourth World. Today, it is a social enterprise, in Noisy-le-Grand, France, which employs twenty people in three sectors of activity : computer equipment recycling, cleaning services, and building maintenance. Access to work brings not only renumeration, but a way to interact with the outside world. The workplace offers opportunities to create social relations and friendships where each individual, especially the most excluded, can reaffirm their rightful place in society.

In 2007, with the support from the World Bank, ATD Fourth World started another  TAE project in Antananarivo, Madagascar, called "Miasa, Mianatra, Miaraka" (Malagasy for Working and Learning Together). The project put in place:
ICT training for 40 young people (16-25 years old) from disadvantaged backgrounds who in turn participate in sharing the knowledge acquired with other young people.

A traditional crafts cooperative aimed at adults making products for the domestic market and using on line technology for the export of embroideries and weaving.

This project is yielding very positive results. Young people and adults alike testify that they are becoming less ashamed of having grown up in poverty and that they are now able to make plans for the future.

C. Human Rights and Extreme Poverty

1. Draft Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights

The Draft Guiding Principles (DGP) "Extreme poverty and human rights" is the first international document which sets out clearly the implications of existing international laws in relation to the human rights of people living in extrema poverty. The draft was written by a working group of the UN Sub-commission for Human Rights and adopted in August 2006. In 2007 the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) carried out a broad consultation on the draft to obtain the view of stakeholders.

To this end, over the course of 2007, ATD Fourth World brought together people living in extreme poverty to enable their expertise to be included in the drafting process in: Lille (France), Cusco (Peru), Kielce (Poland), Dakar (Senegal) and Bangkok (Thailand).

The conclusions of this process have led to the Human Rights Council mandating the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights to carry out extensive consultations with all relevant stakeholders in 2011; with a view to adopting the Guiding Principles in 2012.

2. 17th  October – World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty

2.1 Review of the 17th of October

In December 2005, a UN General Assembly resolution (60/209) concerning the implementation of the First Decade of the UN for the Eradication of Poverty requested the Secretary General to undertake a review of the impact of  the observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

ATD Fourth World co-chaired with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) a Steering Committee to oversee the review. Twelve countries (Burkina Faso, Canada, France, Haiti, Ireland, Mauritius, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Switzerland, Tanzania and USA) carried out a more comprehensive consultation with the various partners taking part in the process. In May 2006, delegations from the countries above, including people living in extreme poverty, took part in an international seminar in Montreal to identify the lessons learned and put forward recommendations to strengthen the impact of the International Day.

The outcomes from this process are reflected in the UN Secretary General's Report submitted at the 61st UN General Assembly  (A/61/308).

2.2 International Campaign: "Ending Extreme Poverty, a Road to Peace"

The 17th October is celebrated in many different places around the world. In the last five years there have been several events where people come together to express their desire for overcoming poverty. This includes at the international level the 2006-2007 International Campaign: “Ending Extreme Poverty, A Road to Peace”

A Call to Action, invited all citizens committed to justice and peace to increase the impact of 17th  October, and join a movement of people calling on the fight against poverty to be made a priority. Over 160 000 signatures from 150 countries were received. These were presented by an international delegation of ATD Fourth World members, including people living in extreme poverty, to Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, on 17th October 2007.

2.3 International Committee for 17th October

In June 2008, the inaugural meeting of the International Committee for 17th  October was held at ATD Fourth World's International Center in France, chaired by Cassam Uteem, former president of the Republic of Mauritius. The goals of the International Committee are:
- To promote the World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty;
- To promote the observance of this international day in ways that respect its original spirit and meaning;
- To promote and safeguard spaces where people from very different backgrounds can meet to fight extreme poverty and violations of human rights, and to strive towards peace for all.

The composition of this Committee is unique in that it includes former heads of state and Secretary-Generals of the United Nations, renowned artists and academics, as well as people with first hand experience of  extreme poverty.

D. Democratic Participation

1. Consultations on the Draft Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights

As mentioned before, in 2007 ATD Fourth World organized in different countries meetings between people living in extreme poverty and United Nations' experts, in order to give their contribution to the DGP process.
The fruit of all this consultation process was published in 2008 in the document: "Dignity in the Face of Extreme Poverty: consultations with people in extreme poverty on the draft guiding principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights". (http://www.atd-fourthworld.org/Dignity-in-the-Face-of-Extreme.html)

2. ATD Fourth World delegations to international institutions

ATD Fourth World advocates that people living in extreme poverty must  have voice in political spheres, both at the national and international level, in order to create projects that move towards the eradication of extreme poverty. With that aim, a number of delegates with first hand experience of extreme poverty, have represented their peers at various political and decision making bodies. Here are two examples at the international level:

Meeting UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. New York 2007

Mr. Ban Ki-moon agreed to meet a delegation on October 17th  2007. A discussion ensued with delegates from France, Haiti, Philippines and USA at the end of which he was presented him with the 160,000 signatures supporting the "Ending Extreme Poverty, a Road to Peace" campaign. The Secretary General reaffirmed his commitment in order that the fight against poverty be magnified and the Millennium Development Goals be reached.

Meeting the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Kyung-wha  Kang, Geneva,  2009

On the occasion of  the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and World Human Rights Day, a delegation of 23 Tapori (see parapgraph A.3) children and 16 adults from four continents met with Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner on Human Rights and staff from the Office of the High Commissioner. The meeting laid down proposals for the fight against extreme poverty.

E. Understanding, tolerance, solidarity

1. The Permanent Forum on Extreme Poverty in the World

The Permanent Forum on Extreme Poverty in the World is a network of organizations and individuals who work very closely alongside people living in extreme poverty. The objective of the Forum is to enable correspondents to share their questions, successes and failures, and to think with others about their own projects and commitment to the fight against poverty in a spirit of freedom and reciprocity. The network communicates through the "Letter to Friends Around the World" published three times a year in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Permanent Forum correspondents were actively involved in the civil society consultation undertaken by the United Nations to evaluate the impact of October 17th , International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. They also have been active to various consultations launched by UNESCO or the United Nations, for instance on the impact of the financial crisis on the poorest.

2. Street Libraries, Festivals and Family Gatherings

In all our teams around the world, bringing people together to get to know each other, to share experiences and learn from one another, has been a fundamental tool in the fight against extreme poverty and exclusion. Below are examples from projects in two countries.

In Poland the street library project was initiated at the beginning of 2008. Developed from the principle of reaching out towards the community with the aim of sharing knowledge, it prioritizes the participation of the most vulnerable children and community members. The street libraries happen in four different places across Poland in both rural and urban areas. Two of these street libraries take place in an isolated section of the Warsaw neighborhood of Praga. The parents, who initially kept their distance, now come up and offer their support and their ideas.
In Bangkok, Thailand, residents of the Saphan Phut community voiced their wish for a Community Ce to meet various goals: activities with the children; shelter when they are playing, reading or doing their homework; community meetings and celebrations and to welcome guests respectfully. Even though the Community Center project stemmed from the community itself, the challenge remained to strengthen solidarity within the community and to unite people in taking responsibility for the project.

During the planning phase, a resident explained that as they lived in constant fear of eviction, "There is no solidarity among the community. If we weren't afraid of being evicted, our sense of unity would probably grow stronger". The Air France foundation funded the building of the center. ATD Fourth World's role was to facilitate the relationship between the architect and members of the community - male residents took an active part in its construction - and liaise with the community to ensure the project met their expectations and needs. The center was successfully completed and inaugurated on 2 December 2007.

F. Participatory communication and free flow of information and knowledge

Raising awareness of extreme poverty through knowledge accumulation and dissemination

1. Opening of the Joseph Wresinski International Center

The inauguration of the Joseph Wresinski International Center (JWIC) in Baillet-en-France (near Paris) in February 2007 represented ATD Fourth World's commitment to conserving its history and that of its members. The Center aims to be a showplace and a resource to enrich and enhance research on extreme poverty, as well as the work of ATD Fourth World and that of its partners. Here we present some of the activities of the center through its Research and Training Institute.

- Regional Colloquium in Haiti: "Extreme Poverty as a Challenge to Democracy: the current thinking on the writings of Joseph Wresisnki."Taking place in February 2008 in Port-au-Prince, it was organized by the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FoKal) and ATD Fourth World with the support of the European Commission and the Institut Français de Haiti. The colloquium brought together academics, people living in poverty and representatives of associations and international organizations to discuss various topics related to extreme poverty, human rights and violence.

- International Conference: "Exclusion, a challenge to Democracy: how relevant is Joseph Wresinski's thinking?" Taking place in December 2008 in Paris, France, it was co-organised by ATD Fourth World, the Sciences Po University and the Association Française de Science Politique. More than 300 academics, grass roots workers, and people living in extreme poverty took part in the conference. It enabled a genuine encounter between academia and the Fourth World, to enable a true merging of knowledge.

2. Understanding how people living in extreme poverty contribute to building peace

ATD Fourth World’s work around the world over the last 50 years has enabled us to witness the violence and fear which extreme poverty engenders. In the midst of such chaos, the efforts of people living in chronic poverty to construct peace has also been evident to those living and working alongside the very poorest people. Since 2008, ATD Fourth World, with support from the UNESCO, has been undertaking research to understand with people living in poverty the link between their daily struggle against extreme poverty and their contribution to peace, and gain recognition of their role as constructors of peace. This has involved creating spaces and the conditions in a safe and confident setting where participants can share experiences, either from their own lived experience of poverty and violence or from their long-term commitment alongside people who face it daily. The four-year project will make public its findings at the end of the project.

3. In 2008, ATD Fourth World received an Honorable mention for the  UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the promotion of a Culture of Human Rights.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

Atd Fourth World understands that building a culture of peace and non-violence goes hand in hand with the recognition and fulfillment of the rights of people living in extreme poverty. They are more vulnerable to violence, both in terms of violation of rights and in terms of physical and psychological violence. And still very often they are blamed for the violence they suffer and are seen as having no contribution to give as a peace builders.

Taking this into account, ATD Fourth World sees the growing participation of people living in extreme poverty in discussions about violence and building peace. Through policy forums around the world, such as the Fourth World People's Universities, around the world they have been able to speak openly about the violence they suffer and to show how much they wish to live in peace.

The project mentioned above to understand how people living in extreme poverty contribute to building peace has also been an important means to work on this subject with people living in poverty. The presentation of its findings in late 2011, will provide important elements on the next steps to be taken to mitigate the impact of violence.

Growing participation of people from different backgrounds in networks committed to fighting poverty, for example through the International Day for the Eradication of POvetry, the Permanent Forum on Extreme Poverty and Tapori, is also an illustration of  progress that has been accomplished in the last five years.

On a general level, ATD Fourth World has seen that the awareness of the links between building peace and eradication of extreme poverty is growing amongst international agencies and national governments, but there is still a way to go before this is translated into solid policies.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

As mentioned before building a culture of peace and non-violence is directly linked to the fight against extreme poverty and to the fulfillment of the rights of the poorest people. In that sense the greatest obstacles ATD Fourth Word has faced are due to the lack of political will and the opposition of major economic interests which continue to disregard the negative impact their action may have on the poorest. The economic crises, effects of climate change, the food crisis and other global problems which should be seen as an opportunity to rethink global policies and to prioritize human beings over economic interests, are too often used as pretext for cutting back investment in anti-poverty initiatives, thus deepening the suffering of populations which are already affected by the crises.
In areas affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or landslides, the poorest, most affected, are kept away from the reconstruction process. Their displacement from their former homes often takes place in the context of land developers reaping the rewards from new construction unaffordable for their former residents.
The economic crisis in particular has created huge obstacles for building peace in that the solutions offered by many national governments have disproportionately affected the poorest populations through proposed austerity measures, leading to a reduction in support in terms of social protection and services.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

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Organization: International Movement ATD Fourth World

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