Repression of peaceful international solidarity demonstrations is against human rights: UN experts

14 May

GENEVA (14 May 2024) – With the proliferation of war and violent conflicts around the world, students and young people are at the forefront of calling for change, UN independent experts* said in a statement.

“Peaceful protests against the current war on Gaza are a prime example of how young people have come together in international solidarity to protest against the flagrant disregard for human rights and to call for peace,” they said.

“Today’s youth demand recognition of their call to state and non-state actors to take responsibility for their actions and pursue peace and human rights (including women’s rights and the right to a clean, healthy environment). Through their activism, young people are demanding change and solutions,” the experts said.

They noted that by raising awareness about important issues in their societies and providing a platform for young people to share their political demands, youth international solidarity demonstrations can help build public support for change. Despite age-based discrimination, child and youth international solidarity activists and human rights defenders continue to play an active role in protecting and promoting human rights.

This indicates that International Solidarity actions may be considered signatory vehicles of democracy in the 21st century, including to reduce and or prevent the financing of conflicts.

“Young people are frustrated with the lack of response from states, universities and non-state actors (including corporations) to promote peace and human rights,” the experts said. “They have a right to have their voices heard.”