From tackling gender-based violence to promoting equality, children and young people from Peru will be taking action and calling for change at a high-level meeting focusing on child human right defenders in Geneva, Switzerland.
As champions of youth rights, Yilda, 24, and Luis, 16, will be attending a general discussion for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on behalf of Amnesty International Peru.
Yilda, 24, from Peru, has witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of gender-based violence. She was stalked and harassed by her ex-boyfriend for months and, despite speaking out, was ignored by authorities. Yet, she is still determined to make her voice heard.
“I work on these issues because it’s empowering, and it helps me heal. I’ve met so many other girls who have experienced the same issues as me and I want to make sure they are supported and heard,” said Yilda. “There are many of us who want to see a change in our community. We deserve to have our voices heard and respected.”
Luis, 16, a child human rights defender from Peru, is empowering other children and young people through human rights education.
“If all the young people could learn their rights and how to claim them, we could have a better society,” said Luis.
Young people such as Yilda and children such as Luis continue to face barriers when it comes to exercising their own human rights and are silenced as young human rights defenders. Other forms of oppression compound the age-based discrimination many young people and children face. Yet, with the support of organisations such as Amnesty International, they are taking the lead and continuing to make waves.
“Far from being bystanders or victims, children and young people can be agents of change. They’ve shown time again their ability to reclaim their freedom in creative and non-violent ways and we want to continue to empower and support children and young people,” said Sauro Scarpelli, Amnesty International’s Deputy Programme Director, Campaigns.
Yilda and Luis are available for interview in Spanish.