Press release: Empowering Youth

Nominations now open for the Future Policy Award for exemplary policies that promote and support young people’s empowerment

Global contest announced by the World Future Council, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), with the support of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Youth Policy Labs

Hamburg/New York, 5th April 2019 – On the eve of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum and the 140th IPU Assembly, the World Future Council, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Youth Policy Labs, have kicked off a global call for nominations to identify and honour the world’s most successful policies enabling youth empowerment.

Every year, the most visionary policies tackling humankind’s most pressing challenges are celebrated through the Future Policy Award (FPA), the only global award that recognises policies for the benefit of present and future generations. The World Future Council has awarded this annual prize since 2010 in partnership with UN agencies and the IPU. Recognising that youth empowerment is critical to achieve the Agenda 2030 and address key sustainable development and justice challenges, the Future Policy Award 2019 will put the spotlight on policies that empower young people through decent and sustainable jobs as well as civic and political participation for sustainable development and peace.

Youth empowerment: key to achieving a fairer, more just and sustainable future

Today, there are 1.8 billion young people – the largest generation the world has ever seen. The majority of them live in the so-called developing world. They are almost three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. Yet young people embody the potential of a society and play a crucial role as key architects of the future of their families, communities and countries. Young people are on the frontlines of political and social change and have the power to renew cultures as well as maintain important traditions. With the multiple global challenges we face – climate change, unsustainable food systems, dramatic loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, growing inequalities, conflicts and much more – it is absolutely critical that youth empowerment is promoted and supported through inclusive, effective, inspiring and innovative laws and policies that promote their rights and speed up common action. It is also vital that youth voices are heard and that they meaningfully participate in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of such laws and policies for example, through parliaments, civil society organizations, and other formal and informal means.

The award will highlight proven policies that effectively promote and scale up local, national and international youth empowerment solutions. We seek policies that advance the economic empowerment of young women and men in decent and sustainable jobs, for instance, youth skills development programmes that pave the way for youth to build the green economy we need. It also encompasses youth entrepreneurship or programmes targeting particularly marginalized groups including women. We also seek inspiring policy and legislative frameworks that enable much more civic engagement and political participation of youth. This includes, for instance, policies that promote enhanced youth representation in politics and decision-making, and enable the integration of youth at all levels of governance.

Representatives of international organizations, academia, non-governmental organizations, parliaments, government agencies, and others have until the 26th April to nominate exemplary policies through the online form (available in English, at http://bit.do/eNoZb) or with a word version of the form (available on request, in English, French and Spanish, at: fpa@worldfuturecouncil.org). Winners will be selected by a high-level jury of experts and announced in October 2019 at an award ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia, during the 141st IPU Assembly. For further information, please visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/2019-empowering-youth/.

Youth at a crossroads

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator and Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group says: “Youth are powerful agents of change, driving important conversations and actions today on critical issues like climate change, peace building, and social entrepreneurship. In recognition of this role, UNDP supports initiatives globally that recognize, promote, and support youth leadership, expanding civic space for youth and encouraging youth-led innovation.”

“At a time when world youth population is bigger than ever before, only 2.2 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide are under 30 years of age. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the youth political deficit. Representation is a source of strength. Laws and policies that empower youth and better include them in decision making results in better outcomes for people of all ages and future generations. This Future Policy Award is a timely opportunity to share and celebrate laws and policies that have proved successful. I call on you all to nominate your experiences not only for a chance to win the Award itself, but to inspire further action around the globe,” underlines Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU.  

“This year’s Future Policy Award will celebrate proven solutions that make youth empowerment a reality. The World Future Council is determined to work with its partners in order to identify and share the best policies for advancing decent and sustainable jobs and civic and political participation in the interest of sustainable development and peace. It is critical that we learn from policies that are already making an impact,’’ says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.

“In the world there are 1.8 billion young people, the largest generation ever. Most of them live in developing countries where they tend to make up a large proportion of the population. This reason should be enough to understand the crucial importance of effective youth policies to promote young people’s meaningful political and civic engagement, as well as their economic empowerment and access to decent and green jobs,” says Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

The winners of the 2019 Future Policy Award will be celebrated at a high-level award ceremony at IPU’s 141st General Assembly in Belgrade (Serbia) in October 2019. The Award Ceremony typically brings together more than 200 decision-makers, including heads of state, ministers, permanent representatives, parliamentarians, youth, heads of international organisations and leading civil society organisations from across the world.

Follow the 2019 Future Policy Award on Twitter with #FuturePolicyAward and #FPA2019

CONVENING PARTNERS

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of law and policy making. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, the arts, civil society, academia and business. Together they form a voice for the rights of future generations. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and identifies and promotes effective legislative and policy solutions among decision makers. www.worldfuturecouncil.org

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world’s organisation of parliaments. It was founded in 1889 as the first multilateral political organisation, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, IPU comprises 178 national parliaments and 12 associate members. It empowers youth by supporting parliaments to better provide access to youth to political decision-making, and include a youth perspective in legislation and policies. We build capacities of young MPs and provide platforms for them to coordinate actions at the global, regional and national levels. We also monitor youth representation in parliaments and issue policy and legislative guidance to boost it. https://www.ipu.org/

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. UNDP recognizes, supports and promotes the role of young women and men as agents of change and has implemented its first-ever UNDP Youth Global Programme since 2016. https://www.undp.org

SUPPORTING PARTNERS

UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth serves as a global advocate for addressing the needs and rights of young people, as well as for bringing the United Nations closer to them. The Envoy’s Office is part of the United Nations Secretariat and supports multi-stakeholder partnerships related to the United Nations system-wide action plan on youth and to youth volunteer initiatives. The office also promotes the empowerment and foster the leadership of youth at the national, regional, and global levels, including through exploring and encourages mechanisms for young people’s participation in the work of the United Nations and in political and economic processes with a special focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable youth. The UN Envoy on Youth works on realizing the Youth2030: The United Nations Strategy on youth. https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. www.ilo.org

Youth Policy Labs

Youth Policy Labs is the leading global think-tank specifically focusing on youth and is hosted by the Berlin-based NGO Demokratie & Dialog e.V. We operate at the junction of research and journalism, producing high-quality and well-researched knowledge with the aim of improving public policies that affect the lives of young people. We champion the development of youth policies, promote young people as researchers, facilitate international discussion on youth policies, and advocate for stronger coherence within the United Nations and donor agencies on youth rights, policies and programmes. Our team is made up of youth policy experts, youth researchers, and young journalists. Our publications are published under Youth Policy Press, a global publishing house on youth issues. http://www.youthpolicy.org/

With special thanks to the Michael Otto Foundation and the Jua Foundation.

MEDIA CONTACT

World Future Council

Samia Kassid, Senior Project Manager, The Rights of Children and Youth

Phone: +49 (0)40 307 09 14 18

samia.kassid@worldfuturecouncil.org; media@worldfuturecouncil.org

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Thomas Fitzsimons, Director of Communications

Phone: +41 (0)79 854 31 53

tf@ipu.org

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Sangita Khadka

Tel.: +1 212 906 5043

Sangita.khadka@undp.org

 

12 countries sign Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights

The signatories from across Africa and Asia commit to end violence against children, strengthen child rights and advocate to increase budgets for children

-PRESS RELEASE-

Zanzibar, 1 December 2017: At the International Child Rights Conference in Zanzibar on sharing best practice and policy on child protection, justice and participation, convened by the World Future Council (WFC), representatives and policymakers from Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zanzibar and experts on children’s rights and representatives from civil society signed the Zanzibar Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights. In addition, there were detailed country commitments on how each jurisdiction will take forward their own child rights and protection plans. The declaration was facilitated by Dr. Amb. Gertrude Ibengwé Mongella, WFC Honorary Councillor and former President of the Pan-African Parliament. Read more

Policymakers gather to share child rights best practice on protection and participation in Zanzibar

From the 28 – 30 November the World Future Council (WFC) hosted an international child rights conference in Zanzibar to explore the positive impacts of Zanzibar’s Children’s Act and share success stories on child protection, child friendly justice and participation from around the world. Representatives of ministries and policymakers from 12 countries, mainly from Africa and Asia, alongside experts on children’s rights and representatives from civil society drew up the Zanzibar Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights, committing themselves to taking strong action to eradicate all forms of violence against girls and boys. The assembly greatly benefited from the expertise and passion of two WFC Councillors Dr. Gertrude Ibengwé Mongella, former President of the Pan-African Parliament and Dr. Auma Obama, Chair and Founder of the Sauti Kuu Foundation.

Read more

Zanzibar Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights

At the International Child Rights Conference in Zanzibar on sharing best practice and policy on child protection, justice and participation, convened by the World Future Council with the support of Ministry of Labour Empowerment Elders Youth Women and Children of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar;

We, representatives, nominated by our ministries, and policymakers from Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zanzibar and experts on children’s rights and representatives from civil society;

Acknowledging the commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end all forms of violence against girls and boys by 2030 (especially SDG 5 and 16), and to promote participation of children;

Recognising successful and exemplary policies and programmes in Africa and Asia; for example, Zanzibar’s Children’s Act 2011 that was highlighted by the Future Policy Award 2015 initiated by the World Future Council in cooperation with UNICEF and the Inter-Parliamentary-Union;

Further recognising that countries have ratified the UN-Convention on the Rights of Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child;

Emphasising the urgent need to harmonise laws and policies in accordance with internationally and regionally agreed instruments, that there is an urgent need to act on a community, local and national level to introduce and scale up successful experiences and best practices to end all forms of violence against girls and boys;

Commit to:

Take back to our countries, policies and programme ideas, and successful experiences discussed at the International Child Rights Conference in Zanzibar.

Build support for these in our national and local governments and with our parliamentarians, local leaders, families, civil society organisations, and media.

Protect and parent children positively; putting children’s best interests at the centre of decisions that affect them.

Address gender inequality by taking a holistic and lifelong approach to the elimination of violence against women and children.

Take action to eradicate all forms of violence against children, through raising awareness and sensitization about violence against girls and boys, harmful practices (e.g. child marriage) and corporal punishment in all settings.

Strengthen formal and informal child protection systems on all levels with a strong focus on prevention programmes (including family preservation, the involvement of fathers and male caregivers), and to advocate for quality training of social workers, the implementation of disaggregated data management systems (CPMIS), effective case management as well as  reporting and evaluation mechanisms.

Lobby and advocate governments to increase their budgets for children, and develop innovative mechanisms for financing child protection services.  

Facilitate effective implementation of local and national programs, policies and National Plans of Action, on child protection and participation, as part of national strategies to effectively tackle child abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Promote the harmonization of national, religious and customary laws so that they advance the ACRWC and the UNCRC and protect the best interests of the child.

Zanzibar, 30 November 2017

Signatories

Andi Taletting Langi, Deputy Director for Human Rights Foreign Affairs Cooperation Directorate General of Human Rights Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia, Indonesia

Edmund Amarkwe Foley, Head of Department for Public Law, GIMPA Faculty of Law, Ghana

Christopher Lartey, Senior Programme Officer, National Advisory Committee on Child Protection Policies and Law Reform, Ghana

Dr Nkatha Murungi, Head Children and Law Programme, African Child Policy Forum

Victoria Williams Zaway, Director of Children Protection and Development Division, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Liberia

Mariam Fitumi Shaibu, Chief Social Welfare Officer, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Child Development Department, Nigeria

Sylvette Sandra Jeannine Gertrude, Director Social Services, Ministry of Family Affairs, Social Affairs Department, Social Services Division, Seychelles

Chantal Cadeau, Principal Social Work, Ministry for Social Affairs, Seychelles

Khadra Ali Abdi, Head of Child Protection Unit of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Somaliland

Abdulaziiz Saed Salah, Executive Director, Youth Volunteers for Development and Environment Conservation (YOVENCO), Somaliland

Shabhan Abdillahi Elmi, YOVENCO, Somaliland

Mohamed Aden Nur, CP/ CRG Officer, Save the Children, Somaliland

Kinsi Farah Aden, Project Manager, Save the Children, Somaliland

Suzan Akwii CP/CRG Technical Specialist, Save the Children, Somaliland

Mohamoud M. Aqli, CP/CRG Programme Manager, Save the Children, Somaliland

Abdikarim M. Yussef, CP Officer, Save the Children, Somaliland

Bongani Sithole, Department of Social Development, South Africa

Sonia Vohito, Africa Project Coordinator, The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, South Africa

Celina Grace Peter Kenyi, Director for Child Welfare, Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, South Sudan

Salma Radwan Salmeen Saeed, Head of the Child, Women and Persons with disabilities Section, Ministry of Justice, Sudan

Yassir Shalabi Mohamed, Executive Director, Child Rights Institute, Sudan

Dr Katanta Lazarus Simwanza, Head of Gender, ASRHR and Inclusion, Plan International, Tanzania

Asma Matoussi Hidri, Early Childhood Director, Ministry of Family Women and Childhood, Tunisia

Fatma Bilal, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Empowerment, Elders, Youth, Women and Children, Zanzibar   

Khadija Bakari Juma, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Zanzibar   

Nasima Chum, Director Dept. of Women and Children Development, Ministry of Labour, Empowerment, Elders, Youth, Women and Children, Zanzibar   

Mhaza Gharib, Director Dept. of Social Welfare, Ministry of Labour, Empowerment, Elders, Youth, Women and Children, Zanzibar

I M. Ibrahim, Director of Public Prosecutions, Zanzibar

Didas Khalfan, Ministry of Labour, Empowerment, Elders, Youth, Women and Children, Zanzibar       

Hon. Sabra Mohamed, Chairperson at Children’s Court, Zanzibar   

Hon. Valentina Andrew Katema, Regional Magistrate, Zanzibar

Dr Issa Ziddy, State University of Zanzibar       

Sheikh Daud Khamis Salim, Appellate Khadi’s Court, Pemba, Zanzibar   

Abdallah Ahmed Suleman, Executive Secretary, Tanzania Youth Icon [TAYI], Zanzibar.

Mali Nilsson, Zanzibar Representative, Save the Children

Shane Keenan, Child Protection Specialist, Zanzibar Field Office ,UNICEF

Nasria Saleh Hamid, Zanzibar Social Work Association, Zanzibar Child Rights Centre

Mussa Kombo Mussa, Chairman of the Zanzibar Children’s Rights Network   

Nuru Mwalim Khamis, Vice Chairperson of the Zanzibar Social Worker Association (ZASWA), Zanzibar Child Rights Centre

Kauthar Kassim S. Dadi, Zanzibar Social Work Association, Zanzibar Child Rights Centre

Nunuu Ali, Zanzibar Child Rights Forum/Society for the Protection of Women and Children Rights and Development Pemba   

Hasina Salim Bukheti, Zanzibar Child Right Forum (ZCRF), Vice Chairperson/ member of executive committee of Zanzibar Association for Children Advancement (ZACA).   

Seif Zanzibar, Child Rights Centre

Dr Auma Obama, Founder and Chair Sauti Kuu Foundation, Chair of the Expert Commission on the Rights of Children, World Future Council

Hon. Dr Amb. Gertrude Ibengwé Mongella – Former President of the Pan-African Parliament, Honorary Councillor World Future Council

Alexandra Wandel, Director, World Future Council

Samia Kassid, Senior Project Manager – Rights of Children, World Future Council

Alistair Whitby, Senior Policy Officer – The Rights of Children, Future Justice, World Future Council

Dr Kate McAlpine, Doing the Right Thing.

Tia Egglestone, Consultant, World Future Council  

Heather O’Dea, Consultant, World Future Council

Participants from across Africa and Asia joined the International Conference on Child Justice, Protection and Participation

Media Contact

World Future Council
Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager
miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org
Phone: +49 40 30 70 914-19

Announcement: International Child Rights Conference in Zanzibar

Sharing best practice and policy on child protection, justice and participation

Realising every child’s right to freedom from violence and to participation is a fundamental element of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Recent estimates show that at least one billion children are victims of violence every year. Violence against girls and boys in all its forms compromises all children’s rights and leaves not only long-lasting scars on children’s lives but also weakens social and economic progress.

FPA 2015: Zanzibar’s Children’s Act is the winner of the Gold Award.

In 2009, Tanzania and its semi-autonomous island region of Zanzibar was one of the first countries in Africa to undertake a national study on violence against children. In response to its findings, and to streamline national child rights legislation, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar introduced a comprehensive children’s rights law. Zanzibar’s ‘Children’s Act’ was awarded the gold prize at our 2015 Future Policy Awards for its effective response to child abuse and violence and for its promotion and protection of child rights.

Following up on the awarding, the World Future Council is now organizing an international child rights conference in November in Zanzibar, offering participants, nominated by their ministries, from across Africa and internationally a platform to learn from the Zanzibar example and exchange best practice examples from their home countries.

 

Aims of the conference:

… to offer insights from Zanzibar’s Child Protection System and the Children’s Act to policy makers and technical experts from other jurisdictions

… to exchange best practice examples from countries across Africa and internationally on topics such as child rights, participation, child justice, protection and positive discipline

… to provide a platform and learn from each other and to mutually improve policies, practices and impacts for the benefit of children and young people, particularly those that are vulnerable

… to strengthen synergies and networks for multi-stakeholder dialogue and promote the ongoing improvement of child rights laws and policies through cross-border learning.

… to identify opportunities, trends and success factors for policy reform and progress in the child rights arena

International Child Rights Conference

Sharing best practice and policy on child protection, justice and participation

When?  28th – 30th November 2017

Where?   Zanzibar


Context of the conference:

With its specific target (16.2) on ending all forms of violence against children, ensuring their safety and protection as well as reiterating their rights to access justice and information, the 2030 Agenda adds further strong international impetus to ending violence against children. Good child rights laws, policies and practices and their effective implementation play a crucial role in meeting these aims and targets.

In the recent years, Zanzibar is increasingly working on the implementation of empowerment of children and women. A pioneering feature of the drafting phase of Zanzibar’s ‘Children’s Act’ was a child consultation process which provided young people with a strong role in the law’s development and led to a greater societal understanding of children’s rights. Another successful feature was the involvement of a wide range of relevant stakeholders (ministries, religious leaders, civil society groups etc) in the drafting phase and thereafter.

To promote a conducive policy environment to address child protection in Zanzibar a National Plan of Action to end violence against women and children (NAPVAC) (2011-2015), a national campaign and a child justice reform process were also undertaken. A very recent (2017) National Plan of Action to end Violence Against Women and Children (2017-2022) has also been introduced. Zanzibar’s Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (MKUZIII) stresses the importance of empowering women, protecting children, promoting gender equality and equity; all critical factors for Zanzibar’s economic and social transformation.

Contact

Kassid_square

Samia Kassid
Senior Project Manager

 

Empowering youth and protecting child rights: Zanzibar’s Children’s Act

We hear a lot these days about the need to include children in decisions that affect them, but it’s a real pleasure when there’s a genuine commitment to participation that leads to positive real world impacts for children. It’s even more impressive when this commitment comes from a place with limited budgets and no shortage of alternative competing priorities. Such is the case in Zanzibar with its innovative Children’s Act (2011).
Read more

Zanzibar's Children's Act

WFC’s Rights of Children team explores Zanzibar’s Children’s Act

The World Future Council’s Rights of Children team will be in Zanzibar next week to explore the islands’ comprehensive child rights approach which has led to a marked change in attitude towards children. Zanzibar’s Children’s Act was the gold award winner of the WFC’s 2015 Future Policy Award and used a pioneering community-level child participation process to find out what Zanzibari children wanted to see in the Act. We’ll be working to help other countries follow Zanzibar’s lead in the coming months.
Read more