During the RightsCon 2021, which took place from 7 to 11 June, SGI organized a session titled “Standing Up for Youth Rights: Civil Society in Solidarity” together with Accountability Lab, Global Fund for Children, and the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
The conference session focused on the strength of young people who, even in an increasingly challenging environment for activism exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic, have not stopped mobilizing for human rights. Youth have convened in their local and digital communities—big and small—to strengthen human rights education and engage each other in the process of building back better together for resilient societies. At the same time, youth have faced unique challenges such as school closures, increased violence against girls, and interrupted social and professional development.
During the final part of the session, participants had the opportunity to divide into breakout groups to discuss different themes and tackle specific key questions. One of the group discussions focused on human rights education and was facilitated by Elisa Gazzotti of SGI, who currently serves as the Chair of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning. Some of the key highlights from the discussion included the importance for civil society to reach out to the most marginalized youth and directly learn from them by listening to their concerns. In addition, tools such as storytelling, as well as investing in training and capacity building were emphasized as key elements to ensure that young people can develop their full potential.