On Monday morning I found myself in the session room at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva joined by the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi. We had gathered with a host of representatives from countries, NGOs and Civil Society organisations as part of discussions held by the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law on 'Widening the Democratic Space: the role of youth in public decision-making'. It provided an opportunity for a platform for young human rights defenders to share their experiences and recognise the importance of their work. Far from being bystanders or victims, young people are powerful agents of change. With over 50% of the world under 30 years of age and only 2% represented in governments and senior leadership positions, we feel that the gap needs to be narrowed. As part of our work here at Sidcot, as an Ashoka ChangeMaker school, we need to enable young people the opportunity and environment to participate in decision making without discrimination.
Director of Peace & Global Studies
CIVICUS Youth member