Youth Initiative for Human Rights is pleased to announce the call for applications for the Sarajevo Youth Summit, considered to be the biggest gathering of youth leaders in the Western Balkans this year!
In the spotlightAugust 18, 2015
Meet our New Hurford Youth Fellow: Makoi Popioco
I am Makoi Popioco, the new 2015 Hurford Youth Fellow!
I am a journalist from the Philippines. In the last three years, I have been assigned to covering major disasters—super typhoons, earthquakes, and armed conflicts—that ravaged the Philippines.
I have documented the life of disaster victims, their plight to survival and recovery, after disasters. Doing stories about them, I have always been frustrated about the government’s neglect in providing timely and just aid for these victims. Humanitarian relief is a noble endeavour and it is so sad, that even this, is not spared from corruption.
In the Philippines, government disaster funds and donations are unutilized, misused, and the disbursements are postponed so that government officials could use them to win votes for the upcoming elections.
I know these issues are not only present in my country. Recently, civil society organizations in Myanmar raised concerns over the delayed provision of aid to hundreds of thousands of flood victims of the recent typhoon. In Haiti, thousands are still homeless, more than five years after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010.
Disaster transparency, and the protection of the rights of disaster victims are global issues. I am looking forward to hearing your stories in one of my online discussions here.
In the spotlightJuly 1, 2015
WYMD supports the World Movement's #Set Them Free Campaign
Find out more about how you can #help set them free
In the spotlightJuly 1, 2015
Member Spotlight: Tahere Siisiialafia
Tahere Talaina Siisiialafia
What first got you interested in youth issues?
As a Baha’i I grew up learning the importance of being a youth and the vital roles youth play in transformational social change to create a better world. Therefore, I have been actively involved with children and youth community activities not only as a participant but also as an animator for junior youth programmes and a tutor for study circles since my early teen years up till today. I would say that it was this upbringing that really instilled the passion and desire in youth development and shaped my ambitions towards youth work.
What are some of the groups and activities you are involved in?
Firstly, I am continually involved in my Bahai activities; some of them sought to understand the dynamics of maintaining small groups in local communities that offer a setting in which young people can discuss ideas and form a strong moral identity. For instance I am involved as an animator for the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Programme which is a Non-Religious but Bahai Inspired programme for young people from the ages 12-15, concerned with developing language skills and the power of expression, address mathematical concepts and social issues, and seek to prepare young people to approach the investigation of physical, social and spiritual reality in a scientific manner.
Secondly, I am an Executive Board Member for the Pacific Youth Council which is a regional non-governmental youth organization that serves as an umbrella body for ten National Youth Councils across the Pacific region. PYC’s vision is “To empower young people to become active citizens and leaders” with the mission of being a platform for the interests, needs and development of young people in the Pacific Region.
Thirdly, PYC is affiliated with the UN Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) and also the Women’s Major Group (WMG). I was involved with both these Major Groups as a representative of PYC in the various processes that were leading up to the Third International Small Island Developing States Conference in 2014. I was the Deputy Global Focal Point for SIDS with one of my responsibilities being the mobilization of young people in SIDS and raising issues that are of concern to young people living in SIDS. PYC is closely affiliated with DAWN and therefore channeled our participation and affiliation to the Women’s Major Group and I have been representing PYC in various WMG strategy meetings. Recently PYC was elected as an Organising Partner for the MGCY and I have the privilege of carrying out this role for PYC for a term of 2 years. Through these opportunities PYC is becoming more involved in the Post-2015 processes which we work hard to try and have Pacific youth representation and voice present.
Furthermore, I am an Advisor on the Advisory Committee for The Young Feminist Fund (FRIDA); my affiliation with FRIDA resulted from networking during CSW in 2014 and has opened up another opportunity for PYC to affiliate itself with a well-known and proactive international feminist organization that funds and strengthens the participation and leadership of young feminist activists globally.
Last but not the least, through my Social Work Programme here in Jamaica, I did my one month work attachment with an organization called Citizen Security Justice Program. I specifically worked with a male-oriented parenting group in Trench Town who call themselves Fathers United For Change. I have continued to work with this parenting group on a voluntary basis assisting them with organizational development and community capacity building with focus on addressing domestic violence.
What is the situation in your country right now that makes your organization’s work particularly relevant?
I believe that the role of PYC in advancing youth development is relevant and necessary in any situation. Despite a country’s own situation of youth development, PYC is a regional entity that harnesses the collective voice of young people as a region and I believe in the power of regionalism in influencing regional policies that triggers effect on national youth policies and situations in the various pacific island countries.
If you could have any policy or law reform happen in your country right now, today, what would it be?
Unemployment was highlighted as a major challenge for young people in the pacific; therefore I recommend policies for 1) SUFFICIENT & EFFICIENT SOCIAL SECURITY; 2) INFORMAL ARTS-BASED INTERVENTIONS & PROGRAMMES; 3) GENDER EQUALITY as a compulsory component integrated into primary and secondary level curriculums and a core course across all fields of study in tertiary level.
What is your favorite quote and Why?
“LET YOUR VISION BE WORLD EMBRACING.” –Baha’i Writings
Its one of my favorites because I believe that we are not only accountable for our own good but for the good and betterment of everyone as a local, national, regional, and global community.
In the spotlightFebruary 11, 2015
Iniciando conversaciones sobre Latinoamerica y el Caribe
Parecer ser una realidad para todos que la situación de los Derechos Humanos en Latinoamérica es un tema que amerita atención y mucho trabajo en estos dias. La represión, la intimidación y el intento de supresión de derechos como la libertad de expresión, el derecho de asamblea o de asociación, el derecho a protestar o a pensar distinto (disentir) están en el ojo del huracán desde unos meses en nuestros países latinoamericanos.
Esto por un lado ha impulsado a muchos más jóvenes a trabajar por lograr el respeto de las libertades y establecimiento de mejores condiciones en sus distintas naciones, muchos más jóvenes nos hemos involucrado con temas políticos, con activismo y organizaciones de sociedad civil. Aunque por temas que no suelen ser positivos, esas situaciones adversas han estado sacando un lado positivo de nuestras sociedades: el espíritu de lucha democrática de muchos de sus jóvenes.
Y el World Youth Movement for Democracy es un espacio que trabaja para apoyar estos liderazgos, por eso que queremos fortalecer la presencia de temas relacionados a Latinoamérica y el Caribe en nuestros espacios digitales. Fomentar las publicaciones de noticias, oportunidades, reportes o consultas referentes a la región, y propiciar espacios para la interacción de la comunidad miembro del WYMD en torno a estos contenidos.
Para iniciar estas publicaciones queremos conocer sus opiniones sobre el anuncio del restablecimiento de relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, anunciado el pasado 17 de diciembre de 2014 por los gobernantes de ambas naciones.
¿Crees que esta es una nueva oportunidad para el activismo democrático en Cuba?
¿Crees que ahora habrá oportunidades para los jóvenes cubanos de tener acceso a las tecnologías y nuevas formas de comunicación?
¿Qué retos crees que implica esta medida para el activismo democrático de la isla y la región?
¿Cómo ves la gestión de libertad y amnistía para los presos políticos de la isla, tras este anuncio?
¿Cómo crees que influirá esta decisión en la cooperación democrática entre jóvenes de la región?
Por favor comparte tus opiniones, esperamos sus comentarios. – ATNC
In the spotlightOctober 21, 2014
Thanks for your involvement with World Youth Day for Democracy 2014
World Youth Day for Democracy was a success! Thank you for sending in all of your photos and videos in support of prisoners of conscience. We received many photos and videos from around the world. We look forward to using your contributions in our larger campaign with CIVICUS to urge the release of these human rights activists!
Recent News & Blog Posts
July 2, 2015
World Elders and Leaders: Enduring Sources of Youth and Global Insecurity by Leadership Board Member, Chinedu Thomas
August 24, 2015
In the attachment you will find the Declaration regarding International Youth Day that Youth Initiative for Human Rights, together with a group of civil society organizations from the Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro refer to the governments of these countries, relating to the conference on the Western Balkans that will be held later this month in Vienna.
August 19, 2015