Youth Rights Advocacy
What are Youth Rights?
Why do Youth need Rights?
Young people struggle with multiple forms of deprivation and oppression from society. Their age, packed with great potential and vigor, can also make them greatly vulnerable.
With families stressing on young people’s obligations, colleges focusing on academic grades, and the state perceiving youth as beneficiaries of “youth services”, we need to raise the notion of young people being entitled to rights.
Youth can be a powerful force for change with the potential to make transformative, systemic and sustainable changes. Giving direction and purpose to the enthusiasm of youth can help the country in the tremendous task of nation building.
Advocating for Youth Rights
Charter of Youth Rights in 2015
At a national level, we want to encourage conversations around the importance of youth rights, as well as push for a revision of the National Youth Policy.
In order to create pathways for social change and advocate for youth rights, youth groups, youth workers and youth work organisations need to come together to advocate passionately for youth rights. Over the years, we have focused on building first a local, and then a larger national conversation about youth rights.
Collective reflections on youth-hood and sharing of experiences can lead to a sharpening of our approaches. If enough of us come together, our voices will be heard.
Youth Rights Campaigns
In December each year about 100 budding youth leaders from 8 different locations come together to decide on ONE youth right that they will campaign for in the month of January. There is a lot of discussion, fact finding and more debate before a campaign theme is chosen and a campaign is planned. This is an intense phase as it involves research, creating slogans, writing songs, developing skits and messages that can be spread through social media. Once this is done the young leaders launch their campaign through press conferences, events in colleges, street corners, bus stops, hostels, markets…anywhere they can find an interested audience.
The whole process of planning and leading a campaign, holding a mike, speaking in public, inspiring other young people is a milestone in the lives of our young leaders and changes the lives of those whom they address. For the first time in their lives, a young student in a college hears the term “youth rights”, sees a group of young people speak passionately about injustices and youth responsibilities. It is a moment of transformation for the speaker and the audience. Both are empowered and everyone is touched.
Some of the Campaigns of the past few years:
College First Marriage Next (2016)
Just Guide Don’t Decide (2017)
These three campaigns together involved 296 youth leaders who led 327 different events and reached 6,927 young people.
Youth Rights Campaign & Festival in Karnataka (2019)
The Youth Rights Campaign was an incredible milestone in our journey. Initially a youth led campaign, we realised that the movement required additional support and lobbying, in order to achieve its goals.
The festival marked an integral point in our journey towards youth rights advocacy as it was during this festival that Mr. Rahim Khan, the Hon’ble Minister of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Government of Karnataka formally accepted the Memorandum requesting for a Youth Commission.