What is the World Youth Movement for Democracy?
The World Youth Movement for Democracy (WYMD) is a network that aims to support the development of sustainable democracy movements by empowering the next generation of democracy activists. WYMD provides a space for young activists to build relationships with each other, collaborate across borders, deepen their knowledge of key issues, and to develop practical skills. It is guided by a Leadership Board with representation from Africa, Asia, Europe/Eurasia, the Americas, and the Middle East and North Africa regions.
As a youth wing of the World Movement for Democracy (WMD), WYMD gathers youth networks, organizations and individuals who are committed to universal democratic values. Through their work in their societies, these activists support the building and consolidation of democracies, resist autocratic leaders and dictatorships, and actively advocate the importance of free and open societies. With the WYMD network’s joint actions and campaigns, participants are given a platform to express solidarity with activists who are under threat, and together, to create unified messages of freedom.
- The universality of democratic values
- The importance of learning from others’ experiences in democratic advancements
- Human rights, particularly minority rights
- Broad public participation in politics, and the importance of acknowledging the diverse forms of democracy around the world
- Supporting youth participation in politics
- Promoting human rights
- Advancing the rule of law
- Increasing women’s political participation and leadership;
- Empowering democratic governance, especially at the local level
- Educating youth about democratic principles and practices
- Promoting youth Involvement in policy-making processes
Our focus is to serve as a platform where young activists can address the importance of promoting democratic values, and as a means for them to share information and ideas. Apart from sharing ideas and democratic practices, the World Youth Movement for Democracy aims to be an action-oriented, solidarity movement. By providing a space where young activists can form bonds with like-minded individuals and establish collaboration on activities across borders. The mission of the World Youth Movement for Democracy is to serve as a platform for young activists to empower each other, share experiences, build solidarity among members, and to develop sustainable democracy and human rights movements by empowering a younger generation in democracy promotion activities.
The Youth Movement also seeks to build the capacity of young activists by deepening their knowledge of democracy issues and providing training in practical skills.
Through building and strengthening our network, the WYMD seeks to become a go-to place for youth when they are prevented from actively participating in democracy, and raise awareness on the adversity and challenges activists face in their environments.
Founded as a youth wing of the World Movement for Democracy, the Youth Movement shares the values and principles of the World Movement’s Founding Statement. These include belief in:
- the universality of democratic values,
- the importance of learning from others’ experiences in advancing democracy,
- human rights, particularly minority rights,
- broad public participation in politics, and
- the importance of acknowledging the diverse forms of democracy around the world.
The WYMD is a decentralized network for information sharing, collaboration, and solidarity. Therefore, individuals and organizations define their own roles in the network, participating in many different ways on many different levels.
All activities that develop as part of the WYMD will occur under four main areas:
- Capacity-building for conflict resolution and the non-violent promotion of democracy
- Advocacy and promotion of democratic values and human rights
- Networking to exchange ideas and promote collaboration
- Developing international solidarity networks, to support young people working in adverse circumstances
The WYMD Secretariat is currently working in collaboration with partners and participants to develop programs in these areas. Since international solidarity is a critical component of our networking efforts, the Youth Movement uses electronic alerts and statements to raise awareness of issues related to our members, and to call others to join in solidarity or to take action.
The simplest thing all participants can do is regularly share information with the network. We rely on contributions from participants to make the WYMD website a great resources for knowing what’s going on with youth democracy activism!
To strengthen the pro-democracy movement at a truly grassroots level, some participants organize locally to strengthen networks, promote discussion and facilitate collaboration between pro-democracy groups in their area. They encourage the coordination of activities around the Global Youth Democracy Campaign on Launch Day, October 18, and throughout the year to motivate and support youth engagement with democratic practices and principles.
The World Youth Movement for Democracy is proud to have network members who pave the way for youth participation, create spaces for youth to fight for their interests, participate in democratic processes and who call on governments when human rights abuses occur.