“Open Up The Space”: A call for inclusivity by CIVICUS Youth

Header image Open Up The Space by daisuke 1230 CC BY SAThe world is filled with injustice, hate speech, violence and oppression. Variant forms of power are exercised to police bodies, groups and human rights work in the interests of privilege. This should not reflect within spaces of advocacy and accountability.

Civil society should understand the importance of sharing power and enabling inclusion in a meaningful and uplifting manner. We as young people of diversity acknowledge and recognise the importance of having voices of vulnerability at the forefront of change. We need to redefine how we provide solutions and build togetherness. Everyone's area of influence should consider issues of displacement, migration, decolonisation, disability, albinism, indigenous origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics and mental wellbeing.

Young people are present and ready to steer the mantle of challenging the complex systems and ideologies that impede our progress. We are willing and able to ensure no one is left behind.

At the Youth Assembly of International Civil Society Week 2019, many topics about youth empowerment were discussed among delegates. We were particularly interested in collaborating to identify ways to bring forward the narratives and concerns as young people of diverse identities. We hence call upon civil society organizations, donor and funding agencies, youth-led and youth-serving organizations and especially, CIVICUS member organizations to:

1) Continue engaging young people and enhancing civil society organizing without discrimination of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religious belief, political affiliation and any other social, economic, cultural or political identity.

2) Target the most vulnerable groups, including youth and LGBTIQ, to ensure equity and not just equality in achieving your programming.

3) Provide resource for youth-led marginalized organizations at country level without pre-empting and restricting

4) Open up the space, in anyway you can,by listening, linking and learning to/with/about the most marginalised in society.

5) Broaden your perspective in sharing these elite/exclusive spaces because the voices that are not in the room is likely to be most affected

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This call was endorsed by the following youth activists at the Youth Assembly:

Justin Francis Bionat - Youth Voices Count, Philippines

Amanda Segnini - Engajamundo

Dariele Santos - Brazil

Nini Oñate - DAKILA, Philippines

Marijoy Liwag - Commission on Human Rights PH

Wilson Villones - ANSA East Asia and the Pacific, Philippines

Peng - China

Natasha - India

Malebo- South Africa

Nikhil Taneja - India

Oliver Andreevski - CYA Krik, North Macedonia

Jelena Mitrovic, Serbia, Youth Worker, Board member of National Youth Council of Serbia

Fouzi Mathey, France, Yes! For humanity

Alan Jarandilla Nuñez, IYAFP

Wiem Chamsi, Tunisia YAT CIVICUS

Cynthia Muhonja, Kenya Life Lifters

Vandita Morarka, One Future Collective

Ximena Arrieta, Mexico

Joseph Kagabo, Rwanda

Dumiso Gatsha, Success Capital NGO, Botswana

Dessy - Indonesia

Tracey Martin - Plan International, United Kingdom

Ripley Wang - Beijing Gender

Christine - Jordan

Sohou Enagnon Brice, Bénin

Karin Watson, Chile

Kalisito Biaukula , Fiji

Abdul Mufeez Shared, Fiji

Jasmina Golubovska, Republic of North Macedonia


Photo by daisuke1230 (CC-BY-SA)