Youth people’s access to justice for a fair and sustainable development
How to foster youth empowerment and make youth voice heard in decision and policy making about human rights and access to justice? Last September, more than 200 youth workers and students gathered in Mollina (Spain) for one week to discuss on.
In many countries, unequal access to justice and discrimination in the judicial sector create barriers to civic and political participation, especially for traditionally marginalised populations such as young people, women and migrants. The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe organises every year the University on Youth and Development, an international forum to reflect on young people’s access to justice as an integral element for more fair and sustainable development.
For the period 2018-2020 the agreed theme is “the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16: “peace, justice and strong institutions” (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg16) and the annual focus for this year forum was “Youth and Justice”.
Youth organisations and youth movements from all over the world have met in the Euro-Latin-American Youth Centre, a campus outside the small village of Mollina. Each participant had the chance to take part in one of the 12 parallel trainings organised by experts and youth workers on advocacy planning and intercultural sensitivity to promote and implement the SDG 16 in each own country and local organisation.
CESIE, which took part to the event, has also been selected to organise an interactive activity, called “Boundaries”, to raise awareness on sexual violence through a changing-pair exercise that allowed participants to explore their own personal boundaries.
The entire week was animated by a Pedagogical Team, a group of four young trainers mastering non-formal education methodology, who organised activities such as a “Power & Justice Theatre”, which made the participants reflect on the power relations within society, using the Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, and a role play of a trial to increase understanding of the prevalence of civil justice issues in everyday day life based on real cases heard by the European Court.
The band “Ubanda”, a team of four musicians who gave rhythm to all the nights, playing every genre of music and organising workshops using the power of music; every participant could bring her/his own musical instrument and join the group while playing. The last night workshop gave the participants the opportunity to choose one instrument and play guided by the artists, creating a reflection upon the linkages between justice, power and youth.
Self-awareness on youth as right-holders and individual responsibility, analytical-advocacy planning skills and greater knowledge on global challenges for local and regional actions, enlarged cooperation networks are just some of the greater outcome of such intensive international week.
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