Youth Panel Urges Action at Girl Summit
LONDON - A panel of young people representing the voices and views of global youth presented a series of recommendations to governments, community leaders, and international organizations.
The recommendations were outlined in a youth action statement, urging action for change, which was read at the Girl Summit, a landmark event to mobilize international efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage (CEFM) within a generation.
The summit's youth contingent, known as #YouthforChange, played a key role in the event, engaging in debates and joining other advocates and campaigners for girls' rights to represent the voices and experiences of young people.
#YouthforChange comprises a diverse group of young people aged between 14 and 21 from the UK, Pakistan, Malawi, Cameroon, and India. The panel included Plan youth campaigners Alishba and Farwa from Pakistan as well as Daniel, June, Hassan, and Lauren from Plan UK's Youth Advisory Panel.
The youth action statement, which was read to Girl Summit attendees, was created at a dedicated #YouthforChange event held on July 19th. Billed as an event 'for youth, by youth', it was a day of inspiring talks, interactive sessions, and debates.
The #YouthforChange panel's action statement calls for change in areas such as education, law, social empowerment, community, and support services. It also highlights the need for men and boys to play an important role in the fight for girls' rights. Key recommendations include compulsory FGM and child marriage education in schools as well as the creation of safe spaces for young people to speak out on these issues.
The recommendations were based on the results of a comprehensive online survey compiled by Plan International and DFID, which sought the views of young people from around the globe. A total of 1,045 young people from 87 countries responded to the survey. Plan and DFID published a report which summarizes the findings from the survey. It concludes that young people must be part of the solution to violence against girls and women, not just as the leaders of tomorrow but as activists today.
The report also stresses that it is vital to ensure that the voices of young people are represented on issues such as FGM and child marriage. Young people are already facing the consequences of these practices, and will continue the fight in the future. As the change-makers of tomorrow, young people's voices must be at the heart of the debate on girls' rights.
For more information on the Because I am a Girl campaign visit www.becauseiamagirl.us.
About Plan International USA
Plan International USA is part of the Plan International Federation, a global organization that works side by side with communities in 50 developing countries to end the cycle of poverty for children and their families. Plan works at the community level to develop customized solutions and ensure long-term sustainability. Our solutions are designed up-front to be owned by communities for generations to come and range from clean water and health care programs to education projects and child protection initiatives. For more information, please visit www.PlanUSA.org.