2019-12-10 Human Rights Day celebrates ‘tremendous activism’ of the world’s young people

#Standup4humanrights – #HumanRightsDay

2019 Theme: Youth Standing Up for Human Rights

The United Nations is highlighting the role of young people in leading the way to a better future for all people for this year’s observance of Human Rights Day, celebrated on Tuesday. 

Written Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

After a year marked by the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which culminated on 20 November, 2019, our plan is to capitalise on the current momentum and spotlight the leadership role of youth in collective movements as a source of inspiration for a better future.

Under our universal call to action “Stand Up for Human rights,” we aim to celebrate the potential of youth as constructive agents of change, amplify their voices, and engage a broad range of global audiences in the promotion and protection of rights. The campaign, led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is designed to encourage, galvanise, and showcase how youth all over the world stand up for rights and against racism, hate speech, bullying, discrimination, and climate change, to name a few.

Why Youth?

  • Youth participation is essential to achieve sustainable development for all.
    Participation in public life is a fundamental principle of human rights. Young people are seeking to participate in all decisions that have a direct and indirect impact upon their wellbeing. They need to be heard to inform more effective decision-making and achieve sustainable development for all.
  • Youth can play a crucial role in positive change.
    Young people have always been major drivers of political, economic and social transformation. They are at the forefront of grassroots mobilizations for positive change and bring fresh ideas and solutions for a better world.
  • Empowering youth to better know and claim their rights will generate benefits globally.
    Young people are often marginalized and encounter difficulties in accessing and enjoying their rights because of their age. Upholding their rights and empowering them to better know and claim them will generate benefits globally.

Bullying: it’s Everyone’s Problem!
Everyone has the right to be safe and be treated with dignity. Across the world, 1/3 of teens experience bullying, in person or online. Youth activists across the world are standing up when people are harassed or mistreated, fighting to protect the rights of others.

Young people are powerful. Follow their lead and #StandUp4HumanRights.

Start a Global Movement!

Think young people can’t start a global movement? 16 year old Greta Thunberg led the largest climate protest in history *4 MILLION* people strong. (Spanning 163 countries on all 7 continents!)

Young people are standing up to protect their future. Climate change threatens our basic human rights. Follow the lead of young people!.

Include LGBTI!
Youth are standing up for equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTI people everywhere. Close to a third of the world’s countries criminalize same-sex relationships. This leads to widespread discrimination against LGBTI people and threatens their basic rights.

Human rights are for everyone – no matter who you are or whom you love.

Represent in Government!
There are estimated 45,000 Members of Parliaments worldwide, but only 2% are under 30 years old. Even though young people are among those most affected by the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world today, they are not adequately represented within their governments.

Youth have the right to participate in decision-making and have their voices heard.