Working for the empowerment of the young

Working for the empowerment of the young Geneva (Switzerland). At the International Conference Centre of Geneva, heart of international diplomacy, from February 17 to 18, representatives of the FMA Human Rights Office (IIMA) at Geneva met with the ambassadors of Burkina Faso, Ecuador, and Chile to discuss the empowerment of young people.  The objective of these meetings was to reflect on the role of young people as promoters of change in society, starting with human rights. 

It is a difficult commitment involving the Permanent Missions at Geneva.  There are many background issues, relations among Countries.  There are national laws and international commitments.  The objective of IIMA and VIDES is to try to reach an agreement on this very important theme of the young, to sensitize governments to invest in the future.
The empowerment of the young through the exercise of human rights can bring them to consciously assume civil and political commitments.  Government support is crucial in creating spheres of action for the young, the key actors in the process of social and political growth. 

BURKINA FASO –West Africa, here the young represent a large part of the population and the preoccupation is to insert them into the work force.  The Ministry of Youth was born some years ago and carries out pilot projects to give direction to youth politics such as formation, micro-credit, and management projects.  The idea is that the young are not only to be inserted into structures that are already decided and predisposed, but that they learn through the principal of learning by doing and thus give their contribution to the implementation of projects and new ideas.

ECUADOR- Here the principle preoccupation of the government is formation, the importance of quality for teachers and education.  Regretfully, we note that the government has appropriated youth politics for questions of national politics.  The point of departure is intergenerational dialogue.  Young people and adults interact in a transversal and full exchange through valuing a shared hope, the development of example, and the promotion of good practices.

Chile – Chilean government attention and politics have two important targets at the moment: Children and Women.  The data concerning the level of violence, of criminal behaviour, and the precarious situation of women and children in Chile is preoccupying.  Rights must be vindicated and the governments must also occupy themselves with the form with which the young fight to vindicate these rights.  They must not be left alone, but must be accompanied in their journey of formation and growth so that they may be conscious and aware of the commitments they assume.  For the first time, they are speaking about the young!

These three Nations differ in geography, culture, traditions, language, religion, and history.  They are motivated by different interests.  Each has its own politics and its own needs.  The three Nations agree in affirming that the young are a precious resource for the present and seeds of growth for the future of humanity.

The appointment for the Side Event that IIMA and VIDES have organized is for March, during the 25th session of the Human Rights Council.  ‘Youth Empowerment’ is the theme.  They young people, as the ones directly interested, will be the protagonists.


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