Youth have rights too ! 68 States address youth empowerment at the Human Rights Council

On March 21st, 2016 the Ambassador of El
Salvador delivered a cross-regional statement regarding youth and human rights
under Item 8 of the Human Rights Council . The statement
was promoted by a core group of 9 States, namely El Salvador, Egypt, Cote
d’Ivoire, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Phillipines and Tunisia, and co-sponsored
by 59 States from 6 continents.

Nowadays, the number of youth is the
largest the world has known, with a record number of 1.2 billion in 2015, and
continues to increase according to the United Nations Department of Economic
and Social Affairs Population Division. Youth are often marginialized in
society simply for the fact that they are young and therefore disregarded by
existing human rights policies.  They are
not recognized as a key resource and driving force, but are rather portrayed in
many instances as part of the problem, both locally and globally.   The UN Security Council Resolution 2250
(2015), recognized  that « the rise
of radicalization to violence and violent extremism, especially among youth …can
be conducive to terrorism » and can only be prevented by educating youth
in human rights and giving them the chance to realize their full potential.

Indeed, youth can significantly contribute
to sustainable development, to the prevention and resolution of conflicts and
to realizing the enjoyment of human rights, if they have access to conducive
conditions in order to foster positive changes. 

Although there are various bodies within
the United Nations system that address the issue of youth and human rights,
there needs to be an intiative to directly tackle the challenges faced by
today’s youth. IIMA and VIDES strongly supported the cross-regional statement
as well as other initiatives to bring youth-related issues to the attention of
UN bodies : our goal should be the empowerment of youth in the exercise of
all their rights. Empowered youth will find ways to help make those rights a
reality for the rest of society.


below is the link to the presenation of the oral statment in ENGLISH. Skip
ahead to 10 :19 in order to see the statment.


below is the link to the presenation of the oral statment in SPANISH
(Original). Skip ahead to 10 :22 in order to see the statment.