On the occasion of the International Youth Day the No Hate Speech Network would like to raise awareness on the importance of youth and the contribution and great potential that young people have world wide. We call out to every nation to ensure the involvement of young people in decision making as stakeholders and relevant actors in the shaping of a country’s future. It is imperative that we have the space and opportunities to engage in civic engagement and political participation on local and national level
As young people working in civil society organisations we were always told about the importance of young people and how they are the future of a country. Time is now to move from they are the future, to they are the present, they are here and they are ready to contribute. What youth needs is real actions and real representation from their peers; for us, with us; about us; rather than being complimented on how important they are.
On this occasion we would like to quote Nelson Mandela when he referred to the importance of young people: “Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banner of freedom”.