One Young World, The Hague Youth Declaration on Human Rights in Action

On October 20, 1800+ highly-talented young professionals from all over the world adopted 40 commitments to improve the human rights situation in their own streets, cities, communities and countries. This ‘Bringing Human Rights Home’ legacy initiative took place during last week’s One Young World Summit in the Hague. Cordaid and Kompass facilitated the event.

The ‘Bringing human rights home’ legacy initiative was one of the summit’s main events. It culminated in the adoption of the powerful The Hague Youth Declaration on Human Rights in Action. Powerful, because for once its signatories do not call upon other parties to act, but pledge to act themselves in their backyards. And because it is the first international human rights declaration of its kind. The city of The Hague – international city of peace and justice and ‘home to human rights’- hosted this year’s One Young World summit. This only added lustre to the human rights initiative, and highlights the fact that the Netherlands should lead by example, without neglecting human rights problems that exist in this country.  

To start with, Cordaid and Kompass invited 40 young human rights defenders from different parts of the globe to attend this year’s One Young World summit. Then, in 3 intense sessions, they formulated 40 personal human rights commitments that help to put human rights law and jurisprudence into action.

All young activists took the 70 year old Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a guideline to act, to change things and to promote and protect human rights. This work resulted in the The Hague Declaration. In the closing session of the summit, all 1800 One Young World participants adopted the Declaration. For this, they used the flashlights of their mobile phones. Later this year, the Declaration will be presented to the United Nations in Geneva and The Hague.  

Photo: One Young World