October 1, 2022

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Commonwealth works with Mauritius to shape next generation of leaders to prioritise human rights

Participants at the Human Rights and Youth Engagement workshop in Mauritius.

This week, young people in Mauritius are joining a 3-day workshop on ‘Human Rights and Youth Engagement’ to help build local young people’s confidence and knowledge of human rights and empower them to deliver human rights training sessions to youth in their communities.

The workshop is organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Human Rights Unit and Youth Section, the Human Rights Division of the Mauritius Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and the Human Rights and Democracy Network.

Speaking at the workshop, Shavana Haythornthwaite, Head of the Human Rights Unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat said:

“This Human Rights and Youth Engagement Workshop is built around the understanding that human rights principles and values are powerful tools to enhance participation, reinforce accountability and create spaces for peaceful dialogue among the youth and the society at large. We hope the Workshop will be an impactful endeavour in shaping our next generation of leaders to prioritise human rights in everything that they do and we look forward to working with the Republic of Mauritius on furthering human rights education to ensure a fair, sustainable and inclusive society”.

Ms Asha Burrenchobay, Senior Chief Executive, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade (Human Rights Division) said:

“It goes without saying that Human Rights Education leads to changes in attitudes and behaviours and develops knowledge and skills that contribute to preventing and resolving conflict resolution. The bottom line is that young people’s empowerment, development and engagement are a means to build a better world and an inclusive society. This workshop on Human Rights and Youth Engagement will no doubt be a good opportunity for the Youth Trainers to be empowered. We are thankful to the Commonwealth Secretariat for assisting us in the organisation of the workshop.”

The Commonwealth’s 54 member countries have a combined population of 2.5 billion people, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age.

The workshop will build the capacity of  young participants, and others in the field, to train their peers on Human Rights issues. The workshop uses a participatory approach to Human Rights Education and teaches participants to develop concrete action plans for social change.

The participatory approach to human rights education is key to the workshop as it promotes and values the sharing of personal knowledge and experience of human rights and encourages critical reflection on individual beliefs and values.

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