Annual High-Level Mainstreaming Panel at the Opening of the 52nd Human Rights Council Session

On 27 February, 2023, the UN began its 52nd Human Rights Council.  In the afternoon, a high-level mainstreaming panel was held at Room XX of Palais des Nations. The theme of this year’s panel is “A Reflection on Five Years of the UN Youth Strategy (Youth 2030): Mapping a Blueprint for the Next Steps.”


There were many speakers in attendance, including representatives from South Africa, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, El Salvador, Qatar, and the European Union. One of the keynote speakers was Vulker Türk, the present High Commissioner for Human Rights. He spoke mainly of the need to include youth in more activities that involve the promotion of human rights, since “the youth are the world’s spirit,” and that despite young people being more educated and connected than in previous generations, they “continue to face significant obstacles to achieving their full potential – as well as discrimination that blocked their access to many human rights.”


Gilbert Hounbo, Director-General of the International Labor Organization, noted that 2.6% of all parliament members are below the age of thirty, and that having more youth advocates and representatives can only help the state of human rights progress rapidly, as well as the state of politics on local levels, as well. In addition, 282 million youth “are not in employment, education, or training,” and unless these vulnerabilities are addressed (which includes the protection of the mental wellbeing of young people), young people cannot be expected to fully experience their own human rights, let alone grow to help others realize their human rights, as well.


IIMA intern Leeshia Rocha presented an oral statement to the panel, highlighting the need to understand youth reality on the ground in order to ensure adequate policies, processes, and platforms are available and accessible for meaningful youth engagement across the UN system. The recommendation provided, on behalf of IIMA and VIDES, is as follows: “to realize an effective and systematic mainstreaming of the human rights of youth through all the existing UN Human Rights mechanisms, especially the UPR and the Treaty Bodies.”


This cycle of the Human Rights Council will conclude on 4 April 2023.

For more information about IIMA, please see this link. For more information on the UN Human Rights Council, please see this link.