As an international congregation, the Brothers of Charity have had a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 1996. This status is granted to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that focus on specific areas of ECOSOC. For the Brothers of Charity, these key area are:

  • education,
  • mental health care,
  • and care for people with physical or mental disabilities.

The consultative status with ECOSOC gives the Brothers of Charity the right to participate in United Nations conferences and meetings, to submit written statements and reports, to make oral interventions, and to organize panel discussions in UN buildings.

In their communications within the United Nations, the Brothers of Charity raise awareness regarding the care of rejected, outcast or underappreciated people: refugees, street children, people with severe intellectual disabilities, people with disabilities, people with substance use problems, people with low skills…

In respect of the Social Doctrine of the Church, the Brothers of Charity pursue a strong human rights-driven policy within the United Nations. Thus, the Brothers of Charity have advocated equal rights for Catholic-oriented education in all countries since 2000. Since 2007, the Brothers of Charity have taken comprehensive action – ‘200 years of breaking the chains of stigma in mental health’ – for human rights in relation to mental health care in developing countries, supported by major publications of The Lancet (September 2007) and WHO (December 2008), and based on their 200 years of experience in the development of mental health care in Belgium. In 2012, the Brothers of Charity launched the ‘International Dr. Guislain Award – Breaking the chains of stigma in mental health’, in association with the Museum Dr. Guislain and Janssen Pharmaceutica.

Logo Dr. Guislain Award

The great encyclical ‘Laudato si’’ by Pope Francis inspires the Brothers of Charity to also commit to justice, peace and the protection of the integrity of creation in addition to their known focus areas. Their active participation in the United Nations have led the Brothers of Charity to structural collaborations with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and UNHCR.

Br. Jimi en Prakash

The Brothers of Charity are represented at the UN by their NGO Fracarita International. Permanent representatives of Fracarita International at the UN are:

  • Bro. Dr. René Stockman, Superior General and president of Fracarita International
  • Bro. Jimi Huayta-Rivera (picture: left), Representative to the UN in New York
  • Mr. Prakash Goossens (picture: right), Representative to the WHO in Geneva, to the UN in New York and Geneva, and UNESCO in Paris