Amnesty International has today launched a campaign, one month ahead of pivotal European elections being held on 23-26 May, showcasing the young people spearheading change in their communities and encouraging others to get involved.
“While many politicians are allowing fear and division to consume our communities, youth movements, from the climate strikers to young women speaking out against harassment and sexual violence, are showing us that change is possible,” said Fotis Filippou, Campaigns Director for Europe.
Young people are fighting back, demanding a fairer, freer, greener future. We are right behind them, encouraging them to take part, raise their voices, challenge politicians and vote in the upcoming elections.
As part of the campaign Amnesty International has made a series of short films about young people defending human rights in their communities.
One of them, Adel, a 23-year-old, transgender activist from Hungary said:
“I stand up for the rights of women, transgender people and Roma. In 2017 I received several death threats and I decided not to remain silent. If people get to know our stories then we will truly become part of society, and I think this is a positive change.
“It’s very difficult and slow to get change to happen, but it’s in the air. We need to stand up and be responsible for these issues, because that’s the only way to achieve change in our lifetime.”
Rania, a 22-year-old journalist from Syria, living in Austria said:
“Europe is my new home and I think there is work to be done to make it better. Hate is being spread against people who are considered different, and we are heading towards a risky atmosphere. As an advocate for acceptance, speaking up for women’s and refugees’ rights, I think it is so important to vote. But I can’t vote in Europe, so you go vote!”
As part of the campaign, on 19 May, Amnesty International will also join demonstrations in numerous European capitals.