Eleanor Roosevelt said that unless human rights have some meaning right from the little places at home, they will have no meaning worldwide and we will look in vain for progress. Today is the time to #StandUp4HumanRights. We are all inherently entitled to these rights as human beings.
Here’s a fun fact for you: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages!
And yet our planet faces extreme challenges on a daily basis. Whether it is climate crisis, hate speech, bullying, discrimination, the problems are on the rise. The good news is that one fourth of the world’s population comprises of youth, the millennial generation, the selfie generation or whatever you want to call them. How is that the good news? This generation of humanity has grown up at a time filled with challenges. They are engaging like never before in thinking of solutions and ways out of the grave problems we face.
THE WISEST CHOICE MADE IN THIS CENTURY
Children and youth are the ones that have truly understood the crux of the matter – they will be the ones living in the future that we have created. The consequences of our actions will have to be borne by them. They are wise enough to choose a different path and create a future worth living in. This is a strong enough driving force to bring about change in ways entirely different than their ancestors would choose. With growing advancement in technology that is revolutionizing our lifestyle, they are confident to demand scalable solutions and #StandUp4HumanRights.
YOUNG WONDERS AROUND THE WORLD
Two sisters from Bali, Melati and Isabel Wisjen are eco entrepreneurs. They started a movement called Bye Bye Plastic Bags. The girls envision a world free of plastic. These sisters strongly believe that youth are empowered to make this happen. Sejal Hathi, was diagnosed with Anorexia and was devastated when she had no support. She used her situation positively and decided to begin a sisterhood of changemakers called Girls Helping Girls. Within a year she was able to unite thousands of girls from all over the world and create substantial change! All of this began when she was just 15 years old.
Bana Alabed was only seven when war broke out in Syria. She used social media and gave the world a perspective of how she lived in a besieged city. She called upon leaders of the UN and also shared her experiences in a memoir titled ‘Dear World’. The whole world hears her powerful voice today.
Have you wondered how love for sewing and creativity can create an educational movement? Mary Grace Henry at age ten decided to use her skills in sewing to raise funds for the education of an underprivileged girl. Her thriving business is powering the education of many underprivileged girls in Kenya, Uganda, Paraguay and Haiti. She is now a young woman using her creativity to strengthen the threads of education.
CAN WE REINFORCE THE VOICE OF YOUTH?
The world has many such inspiring youth. They are becoming major drivers of social transformation. If we empower them to know their rights and provide them with all the opportunities they need, can we even begin to imagine how beautiful the world can be? It is time to stand up with the children and youth of our planet as they #StandUp4HumanRights !
Human Rights are the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. Only in the presence of human dignity can we achieve the development we wish to see.
Do you know any youth with a strong voice that needs a platform? Let us know in the comments or drop us an email and we will share their story.