From 15th-17th June 2019, the 100 Million campaign brought together the leaders of some of the world’s largest and most powerful youth- and student-led bodies in Accra, Ghana for the first 100 Million Global Youth Meeting. By bringing together impactful and representative bodies of youth activists, 100 Million aims to build a truly youth-led, international movement which stands up for the rights of the world’s most marginalised children.
The meeting included regional student entities representing tens of millions of students, strong national students’ unions effectively challenging policy in their country, and grassroots community activists achieving change in their communities.
The event was co-hosted by the All-Africa Students’ Union and saw in-depth discussions on how to defend child and youth rights. Participants also shared best practices from their organisational experiences, explored how to overcome key challenges, developed ways to effectively use international solidarity and began planning a joint mobilisation for the end of 2019. It also involved the participation of Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, where he was able to share his experience of building global mobilisations, inspire the room to be ambitious in its scope, and call on the meeting to deliver its collective power to demonstrate active compassion.
This was the first time that youth-led, representative organisations had come together not only to discuss their own priorities, but for the cause of something beyond themselves, demanding the rights of marginalised children. Participants included:
- All-Africa Students’ Union
- European Students’ Union
- Organising Bureau of European Secondary School Students’ Unions
- Commonwealth Students’ Association
- Global Campaign for Education (Youth Constituency board member)
- National Students’ Union of Chad
- National Students’ Union of Denmark
- National Students’ Union of Zimbabwe
- National Students’ Union of Burundi
- Irish Second-Level Students’ Union
- National Youth Council of Burkina Faso
- 100 Million National Youth Committee of Peru
- 100 Million National Youth Committee of Germany
- 100 Million National Youth Committee of Liberia
- 100 Million National Youth Committee of Brazil
- 100 Million National Youth Committee of Togo
- Activist of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, India
Between them, the participants represented an estimated 50 million young people globally, all sending their president, secretary-general or a board member to participate personally.
Their first collective action was a joint statement spontaneously created to mark the Day of the African Child, with further a commitment to a global mobilisation on the 17th October, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
In many of the countries and regions represented, children’s rights, safety, and participation in democracy are being threatened. By committing to work together and learn from each other, these powerful youth-led organisations can challenge these threats, with the support of activists from across the 100 Million global network, to create communities which deliver the rights of every child.