Big up for YouthUpUN
Youth Rights are Human Rights, so let’s find some representation.
There are currently 1.2 billion young people aged between 15 and 24 years, and people under the age of 25 make up 42% of the world’s population. Forty-Two Percent. Almost half the population of the earth is comprised of young people, and yet the UN Human Rights Council struggles to represent the way the world looks today.
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva has miles to go in order to be more youth-friendly. There is a lack of youth representation, failing the mechanism in its ability to reflect the lived realities of young populations. Less than 1% of Universal Periodic Review* recommendations are about youth. With young people being disproportionately affected by issues of sexual and reproductive health, military conscription, a lack of political participation, and (un)employment, CHOICE strongly believes that young people need a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions on their human rights.
CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality is taking to the UN HRC this June to implement our initiative, YouthUpUN; a campaign calling on UN member states to adopt a youth delegate for the UN HRC.
2019 has shown what young people can achieve when we put our minds to it. As Greta Thunberg and the Climate March showed, young people are demonstrating that we care about issues of human rights, and we need to be a part of making change. We call on the UN Human Rights Council for more youth representation and better youth inclusive resolutions. Youth rights are Human rights.
Our YouthUpUN campaign has three components;
- Having a Youth Representative to be part of a state’s HRC delegation, contributing youth views and perspectives on statements, HRC resolutions, (panel) discussions and other conversations
- Sponsoring a Youth Representative to participate independently in the council’s proceedings, providing coaching and support where possible
- Inviting a Youth Representative to participate in a series of side events, where they can introduce a youth lens into the discussions
We believe that increasing meaningful youth participation at the Human Rights Council will ultimately lead to more youth-inclusive resolutions. If a resolution directly or indirectly affects young people, CHOICE believes that young people deserve to be heard, and for their contributions to be taken seriously.
Without young people at the Human Rights Council to speak about what concerns them, the council’s discussions will not reflect the needs of youth. With more youth representation at the HRC, the UN will more accurately reflect our worldwide society.
CHOICE representatives will meet with delegates at the Human Rights Council to demonstrate to them how important it is that they join the movement and engage in constructive dialogue about how their representation can be more youth-inclusive.
Youth are the future and CHOICE want to ensure that young people have a hand in shaping it.
* (a recurring review of the human rights records of all UN Member States)