Take a closer look at some of the events and stories taking place across the world to stand up for human rights.


© Antoine Tardy/YAS

Young Activists Summit: women and girls driving progress

12 December 2019

A summit organized by United Nations, Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) and dev.tv - a nongovernmental organisation of media professionals - brought together at Palais des Nations, the home of the UN in Geneva, six young women and girls human rights defenders from around the world.

The summit was in celebration of Human Rights Day - marked each year on 10 December - at a time when the world is witnessing unprecedented activism from young people in key areas of political life.

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nadia Murad, the famous Iraqi Yazidi human rights defender, was joined by Memory Banda, a young campaigner against child marriage in Malawi; Rebecca Kabuo, who works for good governance in DRC; Hamangaí Pataxó, an indigenous defender from Brazil; and Amy and Ella Meek, the founders of the UK's Kids against Plastic movement.

During a ceremony attended by officials invited from permanent missions, UN agencies, foundations, NGOs, as well as the private sector, each defender received an award specially designed by Swiss designer, Philippe Cramer, and handed over by children, to symbolize the gratitude of future generations to those who are taking action today for a better and safer world.

The ceremony was preceded by a discussion moderated by Heba Aly from The New Humanitarian, during which the six defenders advocated for their causes and exchanged views with one another.

That same morning, a Youth Session gathered hundreds of youngsters between 15-25 years old who were invited to ask questions and share ideas with the human rights defenders.

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone's rights are undermined, so I will stand up
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

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