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Georgetown University – Youth Matters: Engaging Young People in Research, Policy, and Practice
February 24, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
The Convention on the Rights of the Child – the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – is clear: Young people have the right to be heard and participate in all matters affecting them. But to what extent are these principles actually put into practice? It’s not an easy time to be young. According to UNICEF, the COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge faced by children and youth in 75 years, increasing poverty, entrenching inequality, and adding on to other pressing concerns: climate change, conflict, social injustice, and political instability. Young people bear the brunt of these hardships in their daily lives and will inevitably inherit all of the problem-solving these challenges require. More than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30 – the largest population of young people in history, with 2.4 billion between the ages of 10 and 29. Nine out of 10 young people live in less developed countries and are disproportionately affected by poverty, poor health, unemployment, violence, and exclusion.
This conversation focuses on the case for engaging young people globally and effective strategies for doing so. Evidence shows that involving children and youth as partners in problem-solving, development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding efforts contributes to economic growth, democratic progress, and social stability. The opposite is also true – when we fail to engage young people in addressing the matters that affect them, our communities and economies stagnate and decline.
This event is co-sponsored by the Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues and the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.
Noor Almusahwi: Former unaccompanied refugee minor and advocate
Ramatu Bangura: Executive Director, Children’s Rights Innovation Fund
Michael McCabe: Senior Advisor on Youth, U.S. Agency for International Development
Saji Prelis: Director of Children & Youth Programs, Search for Common Ground and Co-chair, Global Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security
Rosalind Wiseman: Author and Founder, Cultures of Dignity
Gillian Huebner (moderator): Executive Director, Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues