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YOUTH, STUDENT & SURVIVOR-ADVOCATE REPRESENTATION

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There is no more powerful voice for the rights of young people than young people themselves, especially those who have experienced injustice directly.

 

100 Million is committed to supporting meaningful youth, student and survivor-advocate representation in every local, national and global decision-making space. Nothing about us, without us!

Despite support for both youth, student and survivor-advocate participation becoming more popular in recent years, we believe there are serious limitations to the genuineness and effectiveness of this engagement

Youth- and student-led movements have a long and proud history of organising themselves, many long before most INGOs and even the United Nations. Yet too often when students and young people are invited to policy-making forums and processes, collective and democratic youth- and student-led groups are ignored in favour of token individuals. This approach undermines the self-organised leadership of students and young people, risks co-option by governments and other organisations and often means their engagement is unrepresentative of their peers.  

Survivors of injustice have already faced extreme exclusion and not listening to and learning from their experiences is yet another failure of those with decision-making power over their lives. However, even when survivor-advocates are included, this inclusion can often be patronising, voyeuristic or tokenistic. Instead of participating as equal stakeholders, survivor-advocates are usually asked only to recount the most traumatic or difficult moments of their lives in short speeches and not engaged meaningfully as lived-experience experts with valuable demands and solutions. 

TAKE ACTION

As well being governed ourselves by a majority youth-led, representative board with survivor-advocate representation, 100 Million actively works to create spaces and platforms for survivor-advocates, students and young people to collectively and democratically participate in decision-making structures. An important way of building support for youth- and student-led representation is getting involved with, and amplifying the visibility of, their existing structures of self-organisation. We are incredibly proud to have supported the establishment of two powerful entities that we urge you to engage with

The Global Student Forum: Umbrella organisation of the world’s major representative student federations and the only independent, democratic and representative student governance structure dedicated to promoting the rights and perspectives of student organisations and movements on the global level. Through its membership it currently represents 202 student unions from 122 countries

 

The ECW Youth- and Student-led Subgroup: Education Cannot Wait is the first and only global multilateral fund in which young people can democratically and directly participate in its decision-making structures. Organisations led by and representing children and young people are invited to join a ‘sub-group’, which is represented by a youth/student-led organisation elected to sit on highest governance bodies of Education Cannot Wait.

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Supported by 100 Million, Siasa Place, ILO Africa and AU’s advisory organ Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), youth and student-led organisations across eight African countries worked with survivor-advocates and current child labourers to record their testimony and demands ahead of the 5th Global Conference for the Elimination of Child Labour in South Africa. 

Watch and share these powerful films that captured by the Tanzania Coalition Against Child Labour and WoteSawa Domestic Workers Organization, Prime Goals Initiative, SOMERO Uganda, Justice for Every Child Kenya, Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy, Burundi National Students Union, and Street Beats Foundation. 

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