The activities of Ethopian lawyer, Blen M Diriba in the UK


Ethiopian lawyer, Blen received assistance with funding her time in the UK from UNA LASER and has written this report for us on the activities that she has undertaken during her time here.

Blen M. Diriba is a Lawyer & Human Rights Advocate from Ethiopia. She was former Human Rights monitoring, investigation & legal aid expert at Human Rights Council, Ethiopia – which she currently volunteers as a permanent member. Moreover, Blen is volunteer at the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association, member of the Young African Leaders Initiative Network and the Young Intellects Foundation Africa, and Ethiopia country representative to the United for Climate Changes Africa. Blen also volunteers to supervise and oversee the works of Abune Petros Orphanage back in Ethiopia.
Blen have been invited to the United Nations Association (Westminster) by Women League International for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) UK Section/Voice of African Women (VOAW), London Office, in collaboration with the United Nations Associations (UNA) UK London and SE Region Trust to take advocacy and campaigning trainings at the WILPF UK, to attend, speak on and lead various meetings, discussion forums and workshops organized by the WILPF, UNA and other UK based NGOs; and to visit the works of civil societies in the UK.
Since her arrival in the UK in the 17th of June, 2017, Blen has attended on numerous events that are mainly related to Women Rights, Child Rights & Human Rights in general; and spoke about the conditions of women and children, the works of the Orphanage and the overall Human Rights condition in Ethiopia.
WILPF UK Executive members meeting, WILPF UK Orpington Branch meeting, WILPF UK Brighton Branch meeting, Network of Oxford Women Meeting, WILPF UK London Branch meeting, UNA meeting on Sustainable Development Goals are some of the few events that Blen has attended and spoke about the condition of Women and Children in Ethiopia, Abune Petros Orphanage, Human Rights in Ethiopia, UN Sustainable Development Goals (Goal No. 5 – Gender Equality & Women Empowerment) and UK Aid Policies and Priorities.
Blen has also met with Laila, the Crisis Response Program director at WILPF International, Geneva, Switzerland to discuss about the Orphanage, Human Rights and the condition of Women & Children in Ethiopia; and the Future of establishment a WILPF Group in Ethiopia.
On the same note, Blen has had a consistent meeting with Mama Khadija Hussien from Sudanese Mothers for Peace, HH Princess Makonnen from WILPF, and Aminna Dikiedi from Initiative for Change and Conciliation to discuss the establishment of African Women Parliament for Peace and Development in the near future.
Besides, Blen has participated on a “Women in Black Vigil on Ethiopia” at Trafalgar Square organized by WILPF UK, London Office; and attended the following events;

* Women, Peace, and Security Event organized by GAPs                       and  APPG  at  the House of Parliament;

* Panel Discussion on Feminist Foreign Policy organized by FFP             group  at  Goldsmiths University of London;

* “International Laws and New Wars” book launch by Professors
Christine Chinkin and Mary Kaldor’s at London School of                      Economics;

* WILPF UK, Orpington Garden Party on the announcement of
UN Nuclear Ban Treaty;

* No Trident Replacement Core Group Discussion on the new UN            Nuclear Ban Treaty; and

* The launch of “Angola in the UN Security Council                                   2015/2016:  Resolutions and Experiences in World Governance           organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Angola and the                 United Nations Associations (UNA) UK.

Sheila Triggs and HH Princess Makonnen from WILPF UK Exec Committee, Anne Scott (UK WILPF Exec Director) and Catherine Pluygers from the UNA London & SE Region Trust has played a leading role in arranging for Blen to attend and speak in all the aforementioned events.
In the coming dates, Blen will visit Hackney Child Foster Center and Children Hospital with Paula Shaw and HH Princess Makonnen from UK WILPF Executives, take the “Train the Trainers” training by WILPF and will also travel to Scotland and Edinburgh to meet WILPF UK, Scotland Office members and speak about the issues stated above, to visit Edinbrugh UNA & to attend Global Justice and Edinburgh World Justice Festival. In addition, Blen will visit UK Boarding schools such as the Sibford School in Banbury,Oxford and Lagton Park in Reading.

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