The Human Rights Youth Forum was officialy opened today in Tirana, Albania, with a panel discussion with the relevant stakeholders in the field of youth and with project coordinator’s warm welcome to all present participants. Mila Lukić, the project coordinator stressed out the relevance of young people as human rights defenders and drivers of positive change in society.
Participants had a chance to hear more about the activities OSCE Mission to Serbia has done in the past with a special emphasis on the project Ehancing regional connectivity among Serbian and Albanian Youth Actors. Milena Stošić from OSCE Mission to Serbia, informed about the main outcome of this project – the platform www.youthumans.net which aims at promoting young people and their success stories, as well as connecting them through successful stories and perspectives.
Sihana Nebiu, from OSCE Presence in Albania, reflected on the importance of engagement of young people within human rights, which is a broad, but all-the-time needed topic we need to tackle. She also presented another initiative for young Serbians and Albanians called „Youth Trail: Promoting OSCE Values in the Western Balkans“, that shall take place in Tirana in September.
Moreover, Djuro Blanuša, the Secretary General of the Regional Youth Co-operation Office (RYCO and Kreshnik Loka, the Local Branch Officer of RYCO in Albania, introduced young participants with the establishment, the purpose and the plans of the RYCO, situated in this very city with 5 other local branches in the Western Balkan region. They announced the Open call for projects supported by RYCO which is expected this fall – an opportunity for all young people to put their ideas into practice.
At the end, all speakers gave their final message to participants highlighting they should be active, but also proactive, they should share gained knowledge and skills with their peers and family, as well as take an active role in society by promoting democratic values and youth rights. „Share your experiences and stories made these days with your families, your friends, online. With such small steps we are breaking barriers of prejudices and progressing together“ – panelists underlined.
#HRYF17 is hosting 40 young people from Serbia and Albania who are devoted to human rights protection and youth empowerment. They are discussing minorities, emloyment, human rights education, inter-religious dialogue and sexual identity, all in order to gain more knowledge in these topics and inform themselves on how to influence their local community and become the peace-builders and human rights promoters.