Dear friends,

We are glad to inform you that after our pleasant experience with the Italian blog, the IIMA Human Rights Office has decided to open a new blog in English.

On this blog, you may follow our main activities with the United Nations and its mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights, as well as news from the UN bodies and IIMA offices in different countries related to the right to education.

Do you want to collaborate with us? You can apply for an internship at the IIMA Human Rights Office. Click here!

Have a great time reading!


YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: our Side-Event to build the Future

Albania, Argentina, Austria, Burkina Faso, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Maldives, Morocco, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Holy See, Tunisia, Hungary.
These 25 Permanent Missions, along with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, have now committed to co-sponsoring the Side-Event which IIMA and VIDES International are organizing, together with the Permanent Mission of Uruguay. It will take place on the 11th of March and is entitled “Youth Empowerment through a human rights-based approach”. It has been recognised that we are the first to raise this topic.

The contemporary youth deserve special attention: they have huge potential but it is not adequately considered and valued. If we look back to the protests movements originating the Arab Spring, we realize young people were in the frontline, indignant because society denies their right to be heard, to choose their present and to set their future. It is a generation waiting for education, a political role and freedom. While on the one hand it is a breath of fresh air, on the other, it is a disgrace that young people have not been involved in the decision-making process following the protests. Unemployment and a financial crisis have exacerbated the situation.
Thus, the Side-Event fits perfectly with the global context, representing both a finish line as a result of public outcry and a starting point for adequately valuing our young people.
This event is the result of a long process of hard work consisting of several steps: the observation of the reality for young people, the ILO resolution adopted at the 101st International Labour Conference in June 2012;  the Expert meeting on the human rights of youth organized by the OHCHR in July 2013; IIMA and VIDES crowd sourcing in Latin America to gather experiences directly on the field, and the meetings with several Permanent Missions in Geneva to raise awareness about youth and to promote the Side-Event and ask for sponsorship. The aim is to have a bigger commitment by Governments in order that they compromise their interest for the benefit of young people, promoting policies for young people and through young people.
This initiative maintains continuity with the previous Side-Event organized by IIMA and VIDES in July 2013 on “Youth Empowerment, which strategies?” aimed at disseminating best practices.
It is important to work through Human Rights as only when fully enjoying their rights can young people renew the society they live in. They have a political and civil destiny to be initiators for change.
The panel will for the most part consist of young people presenting their direct experience of promoting human rights. Other speakers will include Jorge Cardona, expert of the Committee of the Rights of the Child, and Imma Guerras, OHCHR representative dealing with youth policies. An interactive debate with the delegates from Governments will follow these speakers.
Sponsorship by many Governments indicates the worldwide recognition of the importance of this topic and the will of all these States to commit in a more active and effective way. Youth empowerment can be source of a fairer society, giving the young a role in encouraging renewal. It enables young people to learn how to make their voices heard and creates an environment where adults can learn how to listen to them.  The Side Event will be an occasion for constructive dialogue with Governments representatives so that the question of youth can be moved upwards on the political agenda.

There is no doubt that, in raising awareness in the Permanent Missions, we have already taken the first step towards a more concrete commitment.

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