International Year for people of African Descent. Circle of Afrodescendant Youth

In 2009 a group of people from different countries from South and North America created a Círcle of Afrodescendant Youth. The CAYA was born as a result of the International Colloquium regarding “Challenges and Perspectives of the Afrodescendant Youth in the Americas”, which took place in Brazil in April 2009, and was organized by the Brazilian organization UJIMA Collective Work and Responsibility. The need for a space for the political articulation of some 25 black youth organizations, from 12 countries of the American region, was identified; thus providing for a platform for the construction of joint strategies for the promotion of afrodescendant rights, particularly that of the youth, advocating for the strengthening of its capacities, political positioning and to foster the exchange of ideas, experiences and practices towards the development of this population.

2010 UN sent a message on the Human Rights Day. SPEAK UP STOP DISCRIMINATION was the slogan that UN used to promote that important declaration. In addition, in December UN declared that in 2011 will be the International year of people of African Descent. In this understanding, African Descents round the world are preparing many activities to promote and make the 2011 the year for African Descents.

On the Human Rights Day Ban Ki-moon sent a message about how significant means to work against Discrimination and protect human rights. He said. “…Laws to protect and promote human rights are indispensable. But quite often, progress comes down to people… courageous women and men… striving to protect their own rights and the rights of others… determined to make rights real in people’s lives. It is these human rights defenders to whom we dedicate this year’s observance of Human Rights Day.

Defenders are a diverse group. They might be part of a civil society organization, a journalist or even a lone citizen, spurred to action by abuses close to home. But they all share a commitment to expose wrongdoing, protect the most vulnerable and end impunity. They stand up, speak out — and today they tweet — in the name of freedom and human dignity…Human rights defenders play a vital role in the fight against discrimination. They investigate violations and help victims gain justice and support.

On this Human Rights Day, let us be inspired by those seeking to make our world more just. And let us remember that everyone — no matter their background, training or education — can be a human rights champion. So let us use that power. Let us each be a human rights defender.”

Finally, in 2011 the Círcle of Afrodescendant Youth is organizing a conference in San Jose, Costa Rica. The World Afrodescendant Youth Summit will take place within the framework of the International Year for Persons of African Descent, and the International Year of Youth, and will serve as the meeting ground for some 200 afrodescendant youth leaders from around the world; in order to review and analyze progress made so far, ongoing and emerging opportunities and challenges towards this important sector’s full enjoyment of the right to development, to strengthen their political articulation and to empower afrodescendant youth leaderships worldwide.

An open call for applicants will be made from January 1st, 2011 to February 28, 2011. All candidates must apply by completing the corresponding application form, from which 200 participants will be selected. The delegates will be chosen amongst the different countries in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and African continent. WAYS will cover accommodation, nourishment and local transport expenses for selected delegates for the duration of the summit. Working together round the globe will be possible this year, the year For African Descents.

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