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World YWCA to host first-ever Youth Forum before UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

World YWCA to host first-ever Youth Forum before UN Human Rights Council in Geneva


10 June, 2016 – GENEVA – The World YWCA, an NGO specialising in women’s leadership and women’s rights, will host the first-ever Youth Forum before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HCR), today, 10 June, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. More than 120 young men and women from Switzerland and around the world will participate in the Forum, which the World YWCA has developed in conjunction with UN Member States, UN agencies and NGOs. 

“This first-ever Youth Forum at the UN HRC will give young men and women a platform to discuss key issues of importance to them and influence decision makers,” said Sara Llort, Interim General Secretary, World YWCA. “The HRC is one of the most important international mechanisms for promoting and protecting human rights, and our aim is to ensure youth can participate and make their voices heard.”

During the Youth Forum, participants will take part in interactive sessions, intergenerational dialogues and working groups with experts. They will also have the opportunity to meet key policy and decision makers from the governments of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as other UN Members States, and various UN organisations. The day’s outcomes will then feed into a set of recommendations, which the youth will put forward formally in the form of a declaration to Member States and to the UN HRC.

“The Youth Forum is really important because it will help us mobilise ourselves on issues of concern to all of us,” said Linnea Hakansson, Programme Officer, World YWCA. “It also gives us an opportunity to engage with the UN HRC in a meaningful way.”

According to United Nations Population Fund [1], there are 1.8 billion youth globally between the ages of 10 and 24, and this segment is growing fastest in some of the world’s poorest countries. To date, youth have not been actively involved in the UN HRC.

Editor’s Note: UN accredited media are welcome to attend the session, which runs from 9 to 16.30, today, 10 June, at the Palais des Nations (room XVIII). Photo opportunities and interviews will be available.



About the World YWCA

The World Young Women's Christian Association (World YWCA) is a global movement working for the empowerment, leadership and rights of women, young women and girls in more than 120 countries and 20,000 communities worldwide.


Our members and supporters include women from many different faiths, ages, backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. We are all working toward the common goal that “by 2035, 100 million young women and girls transform power structures to create justice, gender equality and a world without violence and war; leading a sustainable YWCA movement, inclusive of all women.”


For more information, please contact:

Kathleen Maksymec

Head of Communications, World YWCA


Mobile: +41 79 299 88 86


Daniela Zelaya

Communications Associate, World YWCA


Mobile: +41 76 709 28 00

[1] UNFPA, State of the World Population 2014. The Power of 1.8 billion

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