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Indonesian Youth Discuss Human Rights


Counsellor Jonathan Yendall opens the Youth Rights Conference
   

Inayah Wahid, daughter of former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, leads a discussion on freedom of religion
   

A human rights mural on display at the closing of the conference
   

A high school student shares her personal experience at a discussion on human rights and anti-violence in Jakarta
   

The Human Rights Campaign for Youth was a joint project by the Embassy of Canada and the local human rights NGO the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, or KontraS. The project raised understanding among youth on the connection between human rights and social, political and cultural issues.

The first phase of the campaign was a Youth Rights Conference that was held at the National Library Auditorium in Jakarta on 22 December 2012 under the general theme of "Promoting Human Rights, Embracing Diversities". It began with a plenary session with remarks from Political Counsellor Jonathan Yendall; KontraS coordinator Haris Azhar; and Vice Chair of Ombudsman of Indonesia, Azlaini Agus. Following the plenary, the youth attended sessions  examining 10 different themes ranging from freedom of religion to LGBT rights, and from freedom of expression to the environment. The discussions were very dynamic and the participants were eager to learn more from the speakers. One of the speakers was Inayah Wahid, daughter of late Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, who encouraged the youth participants to be more tolerant towards peers who practice different faiths.

The conference also included an art component with several young street artists painting human rights themed murals that were displayed at the closing session. In the end, more than 225 youths braved the heavy rain to come to the conference. 

The second element of the project was a roadshow to schools and university campuses. The first discussion was held at Parahyangan University in Bandung on 31 January. The 70 students in attendance engaged in a lively discussion on political rights, which is a topic of great interest given Indonesia's upcoming general elections in 2014. The second discussion took place at Asy-Syafi'iyah 01 Islamic High School in Jakarta on 18 February. Focussed on "Human Rights and Anti-Violence", it highlighted the rising trend of violence among high school students in Jakarta. During the discussion, some of the students very movingly shared their own experiences of violence committed by their friends at school. A short movie called "Humans love Humans and the History of Human Rights" was also screened at the event to expose students to human rights values and principles of non-violence. The last discussion was held at National University in Jakarta on 25 February. The discussion provided a better understanding to university students about the importance of respecting and acknowledging the democratic process and human rights.

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Date Modified:
2013-05-16