A number of youth organisations and groups took part in the Human Rights Day Youth Rally on Wednesday, December 10 to demonstrate that “Youth Voices Matter.” The Youth Rally was held in observance of World Human Rights Day and the goal of the event was to educate, engage and empower young people about basic human rights. The idea was to highlight that human rights belong to everyone, everywhere and that youth voices matter; and most importantly, that youth should be involved – educated, engaged and empowered - to address rights issues affecting their communities.
|Individuals painting their Human Rights Day Messages at the Mural|
Even with some rainfall the event was able to engage patrons through cultural presentations, which saw a number of talented youth addressing human rights through song, dance, poetry, and musical renditions. Local artistes who performed included Chelsie France, Francis Bailey, Katina Benn, Anesa Slater, Elsie Harry, Music Unlimited and the Deaf Association of Guyana’s drumming group.
|Representatives from the Deaf Association of Guyana preforming at the cultural concert|
There was mural painting which provided an engaging platform for persons of all ages and walks of life to express their thoughts and feelings about human rights through art. The information station served to provide youth-focused and rights-based organisations with an opportunity to share information about their organization, the work they do and how other young people can become involved. It also served to educate visitors about the services that exist and how they can become involved in addressing various rights issues.
The photo booth provided an opportunity for persons to support various visual advocacy campaigns. The Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM), which is the youth arm of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA), ran a photo-framing and message-painting campaign to promote young people’s expression and advocacy for their sexual and reproductive rights, while SASOD launched its Instagram page coinciding with World Human Rights Day to promote equality for all Guyanese every day, adopting the United Nations’ hashtag for the global campaign, #rights365. Human Rights Day, observed globally on December 10, provides the opportunity to celebrate human rights, highlight challenges, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights, for everyone, everywhere. Human Rights Day is aimed at bringing awareness to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through this event, focus was also placed on the Convention on the Rights of a Child to encourage young people to promote the rights of children in Guyana as well, as abuses against children are far too common in our society.
|Participants at Human Rights Day Express Yourself Photo Booth|
The Human Rights Day Youth Rally was hosted by the Guyana Equality Forum (GEF), a network of civil society organisations working for equal rights and justice for all Guyanese. GEF members who participated in the event include the Guyana Trans United (GTU), Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous People (GOIP), S4 Foundation, Blue CAPS, Help and Shelter, Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA) – Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM) and the Deaf Association of Guyana (DAG). Other partners also included are the Volunteerism Support Platform, Caribbean Youth Environmental Network, Global Sharpers – Georgetown Hub, REDbandaid Foundation, Guyana National Youth Council and the Guyana Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS (GBCHA). The GEF thanks everyone who took part in the Youth Rally or supported the event.