Youth learnt innovative practices of democratization and advocating for human rights in Zakarpattia and Chernihiv

Nov 7, 2017

Photo credit: © Lilia Malaniak

How do you implement local initiatives in cooperation with the authorities? Why is it often difficult to implement the decisions of public hearings and general meetings of citizens? How do you organize a successful advocacy campaign?

Young people from different regions of Ukraine learned to apply innovative approaches to carrying out local initiatives during intense study visits to Zakarpattia and to Chernihiv, held this weekend.

While in Zakarpattia, youth learnt best practices of democratization, and participants of the study visit to Chernihiv gained a unique insight into the core problematic human rights issues in Ukraine.

Local activists from the cities of Uzhorod and Perechyn, Zakarpatska oblast, discussed recent trends in civil society development in the field of democratization. Journalists from the online media “Panorama” shared their experience of creating independent media and raising funds for its support. Sharing their experience, representatives of the Zakarpattia Youth Council and staff from Oblast library inspired participants to create projects in cooperation with NGO partner organizations.

Also, the youth learned directly from the founders about the innovative on-line project “Vynohradiv. Transparent Government”, which provides access to digitized records of decisions of councils (rural and urban) within the district since 1991. Representatives of the Mukachevo City Council briefed on a unique system of e-tickets, combining both public transportation and Mukachevo dweller’s map with many discounts on visiting local museums, castles, festivals.

In Chernihiv, representatives from the NGO “MART” introduced the participants to the Human Rights Based-Approach (HRBA) in the activities of civil society organizations and initiative groups. Youth lively discussed burning human rights issues in their local communities, trying to find innovative solutions.

According to U-Report polls, 94% of respondents agreed that the opinion of young people and children should be taken into account in decision making. These study visits were aimed at equipping young leaders with the knowledge and skills to build fruitful cooperation with local authorities and partner with civil society organizations, influencing policy- and decision-making in their regions.

Some young activists participating in the study visits also decided to submit their ideas to the U-Inn youth innovation challenge, aimed at supporting projects in the areas of democratization and human rights. The applications are accepted until November 11, 2017: uinn.org.ua

The study visits were organized by the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine in partnership with the Charity Foundation “Centre for Public Initiatives”, within the framework of the “Civil Society for Enhanced Democracy and Human Rights in Ukraine” project, financially supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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