On Tuesday, 21 July 2020, Humanium held its annual General Assembly, attended by the Humanium Team, supporters and friends. The General Assembly was an opportunity to review Humanium’s activities, endeavours in 2019 and our work so far in 2020. Each Department Manager, as well as Humanium’s Co-founders Arndt and Olivier Soret, delivered their own insight on priorities and highlights from Humanium’s efforts to advance child rights in the past year, outlined in our Annual Report 2019.
General Assembly Highlights
Humanium’s Co-founder and CEO Arndt Soret chaired the General Assembly and opened the event by welcoming everybody present. Arndt emphasised that a highlight for him of the year so far has been Humanium’s Team coming together like a family and working closely alongside each other for the respect of child rights everywhere.
Arndt went on to underline the importance of empathy and its role in allowing each person to embrace a more collective and heartfelt solidarity; an authentic connection with others no matter who they are (see our methodology page). Every person who participates in Humanium is valued, appreciated and makes Humanium what it is: volunteers, interns, managers, directors, members, donors, sponsors and every person engaged with their own efforts to advance child rights has had a part to play in what has been accomplished over the past year.
In-Country Work and Development
Emilie Compignie, Development Officer, spoke of Humanium’s role in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic in Rwanda, initiating an Emergency Appeal for the first time ever after a cry for help from our local partner AVSI. Humanium managed to raise funds for an Emergency Relief project in record time in order to see Rwandan children supported during the pandemic. Emilie also provided an overview of Humanium’s fiscal year and its 2019 launch of a Special Residential Training Centre for children at risk of forced labour in Madhya Pradesh, India, alongside our partner Hand in Hand India; the training centre being the first of its kind in the region and hosting 60 girls.
Communication Officer, Ivana Kaćunko, conveyed that in 2019 Humanium had published more than 70 blog articles, translated in all four Humanium languages (English, French, German and Spanish). While celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Humanium also raised awareness by talking about topics such as child rights detention, climate crisis, childhood marriage, poverty and health, Humanium’s two trips and workshops in Rwanda, etc.
In 2020, together with blog articles, Humanium has been focusing on thoroughly updating its Country Pages; informative web pages which give an overview of the child rights situation in every country of the world in order to raise awareness and equip children everywhere with knowledge about their rights. Ivana also reported that in 2020 Humanium has published a total of 28 blog articles so far and continues to publish at least one every week. Ivana went on to highlight the dedication and commitment of Humanium’s blog team and the quality of the research being carried out, as well as the unfailing and encouraging help from Humanium’s volunteers (translators and proofreaders) enabling Humanium to shine more light on the rights of children.
Child Rights Advocacy
Advocacy Officer Josie Thum told attendees of Humanium’s recent advocacy initiatives which include over 10 joint statements and submissions to the United Nations on child rights, with a focus on child rights and the environment. Indeed, Humanium has also become a member of two Child Rights Working Groups and was proud to enter into partnership with the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative (CERI). Furthermore, in 2020 Humanium delivered its first ever e-workshop on child rights coaching to a group of INGO professionals.
The Helpline and Legal Assistance
Even more children have been contacting Humanium’s Helpline this year, showing an interest in their rights and taking action by engaging with the Helpline for guidance. Humanium’s growing legal team continues to handle child rights cases from around the world on a weekly basis, researching into national laws and international treaties in order to provide assistance on international cases of child rights violations. Legal Officer, Igi Nderi, recounted the cases that Humanium’s Helpline has been dealing with since 2019, noting that 166 cases treated in 2019 and 96 have already been handled in 2020 so far, with most cases from countries in Europe and Africa and recent trends involving topics of abuse, family reunification and immigration.
Attendees also discussed their future ambitions to see each Humanium department expanding and their vision for ten times the impact. It was raised that Humanium hopes that it can act as a bridge between individual children and international decision makers, helping realise their rights to free opinion, to participate and to be heard. The General Assembly served to reinforce how none of what Humanium has achieved could have ever been done without the support of our donors, members, volunteers, partners and supporters.
You can help us continue in our mission and contribute towards the fulfilment of children’s rights around the world. Consider making a donation, becoming a Humanium member and joining the Humanium community, where we are working to make the world a better place for children.
Written by Josephine Thum
Reviewed by the Humanium Team