Advocacy for Youth Rights

Can Young People have Rights?

Youth are considered as people with duties, responsibilities, privileges but can we imagine them as people with rights?

Do we realize that young people struggle with multiple forms of deprivation in and oppression from society too? Their age, packed with great potential and vigor, can also make them greatly vulnerable. They are constantly reminded of their duties and responsibilities. With families stressing on young people's obligations, colleges  focusing on academic grades,  and the state  perceiving youth as beneficiaries  of "youth services",  it is uniquely important for us to raise the notion of young people being entitled to rights. Over the years, our dialogues with young people  have convinced us that many of their issues  arise  because of this refusal of society and state to recognize this. We believe that youthhood is a phase when youth need maximum affirmation, support and respect for their autonomy.

Towards a Youth Rights Charter

With some trepidation, we organised a youth rights parliament in 2010 and  followed it up with various consultations on youth rights.  

Drawing on constitutional principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a Charter of Youth Rights has  since been prepared by Samvada in dialogue with young people, human rights advocates and  youth workers.

Over the next  few years, we will be working continuously for state  recognition of the Charter.

We look forward to your solidarity and  support!

In a world  where young  people are constantly reminded  of their duties and responsibilities, Samvada's advocacy for youth rights  stands out  as a distinct voice.

Youth-Rights Campaigns

As a part of the leadership development process, youth-led campaigns  have  been supported by the Yuva Samvada Kendras. These have  stressed  on a variety of youth rights: the right to have a  discrimination-free and  democratic campus, right to have protection and redressal from sexual harassment, the right to decide when to marry and the right to make informed career choices.

Since 2013,  public hearings  on youth  rights have been  held  by Samvada each year.  The  public hearing  in 2016  focussed  on young peoples right to decide when  to marry and the public hearing in 2017  focussed on career guidance as a right of young people.

While  many of these campaigns are frowned upon by family and community leaders who see such assertions of autonomy as a destabilizing threat, others from all walks of life  have come forward  to encourage and support young people in this endeavour.