Youth in the vanguard of civic activism?


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Algerian authorities to “immediately and unconditionally” release the numerous peaceful pro-democracy activists who have been detained since September. Some of those arrested include Abdelouhab Fersaoui, the president of Youth Action Rally, an NGO active in Algeria’s protests, who was arrested on October 10, the Project on Middle East Democracy reports. 

Youth have emerged as an essential part of the global struggle for human rights, as many engage in their own forms of activism and dialogue, whether on social media, through mass mobilization, or by way of civil society. Recognizing that youth constitute majorities in many parts of the world, it is critical to engage with young people to ensure the long-term success of human rights movements, the National Endowment for Democracy observes.

As governments around the world tighten civic space in their countries, citizens are grappling with ways to counter the repression and reassert their human rights. Internal and external threats to individual rights and liberties have sparked spontaneous mass protests in some parts of the world, while in other settings, citizens have coordinated more systematic efforts through civic advocacy organizations.

In commemoration of International Human Rights Day, please join Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Dolgion Aldar, Catherine Kanabahita, Marvi Sirmed, Viktoriya Tyuleneva, and Pedro V. Villarreal to discuss the role of youth in protecting and advocating for human rights in Mongolia, Uganda, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Colombia, respectively, including through civic education, activism, research, and digital literacy. Zerxes Spencer of NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies will moderate the discussion.


Dolgion Aldar, Independent Research Institute of Mongolia

Catherine Kanabahita, Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (Uganda)

Marvi Sirmed, Ideas Hub and Daily Times (Pakistan)

Viktoriya Tyuleneva, Freedom House (Kazakhstan)

Pedro V. Villarreal, Foundation for Press Freedom (Colombia)

December 10, 2019. 02:00 pm – 04:00 pm. RSVP

Print Friendly, PDF & Email