Press Release: Commonwealth Youth Human Rights and Democracy NetworkApril 7th, 2017
The Commonwealth Youth Human Rights and Democracy Network (CYHRDN) has appointed a strong leadership team after a long adjudication process with over 150 applications. Following the strategic meeting for young people in June 2016, two open calls for membership and leadership roles, a high volume of applications and consecutive adjudication processes took place. This process found a team of five young people leading the CYHRDN from September and an additional member joining the team, concluding a stronger six-member Leadership team.
The CYHRDN further appointed an overall Network Coordinator, following the Commonwealth week 2017 where Ms Tricia Teekah a Guyanese, and former Commonwealth Regional Youth Caucus representative was chosen. She brings extensive experience with managing, leading and advocating for human rights and democracy initiatives for and with young people. She has come into leading the Executive team at an intense time, promoting and strengthening its processes and commitments to youth led initiatives for human rights and democracy issues.
Ms Sionlelei Mario, Commonwealth focal point for the CYHRDN said ‘‘I am really excited and look forward to working with the CYHRDN Coordinator and the leadership team in bringing the vision of the network into reality’’. The CYHRDN is built on the principles of the Commonwealth Charter, where the foundation for the promotion and protection of human rights and democracy are enshrined. It therefore recognises the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular free and fair elections in shaping the society in which the Commonwealth lives. The Charter further commits to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights covenants. This further commits the CYHRDN focus on youth empowerment including meaningful access to development and policy processes, as a critical way of ensuring that young people’s unique perspectives and ideas are heard and included in decision making.
The CYHRDN was established in 2012 by the Commonwealth Youth Division. It aims to build the capacity of young people in their endeavours to address human rights and democracy issues and advocate on these from a youth perspective. The network is run by a team of dedicated volunteer professionals and young people, and is supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Youth Division and other partners, including the Human Rights Unit, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and the Political Division.