On 12 December 2021, Amnesty International Japan and SGI co-organized the World Youth Forum 2021 on the theme “Young People and Human Rights Education: Listen to Their Stories and Learn from Their Experience” to mark Human’s Rights Day (10 December 2021). This online forum was sponsored by the Center for Human Rights Education and Training, the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Tokyo, NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning and the United Nations Information Centre, Tokyo, with support from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Over 600 participants in 20 countries joined the event. Speakers included Paulina Tandiono, Associate Human Rights Officer with OHCHR, and Lucija Karnelutti, UN Youth Delegate of the Republic of Slovenia. Event organizers first shared a video from “Stories of Young Human Rights Educators,” a multilingual, multimedia educational tool developed by Amnesty International, SGI and OHCHR, which featured Irfaan Mangera, a Youth Activism Programme Manager with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation in South Africa, and two other young activists from Morocco and Serbia.
In the video, the activists spoke about human rights challenges in their countries and their actions to counter them. Stressing the importance of movements at local levels, Mangera said, “While people are uniting with hatred, we as people who love humanity have to strengthen our work to build bridges between all these man-made divisions and start working toward a culture of human rights. We need to create hope in a time of hopelessness. Creating hope means carrying something for somebody who can’t do so, creating a safe space for somebody who’s been treated badly, helping your neighbor like you’d want to be helped yourself—because that fundamentally is how we start structuring and restructuring our society.”