Human Rights: Amnesty International organises youth event on peaceful assembly

Amnesty International Nigeria on Thursday organised a youth event on peaceful assembly and Inter-varsity debate grand finale aimed at empowering young voices and fostering meaningful dialogue on the fundamental right to peaceful assembly.

This year’s grand finale was the culmination of an online debate series that began in April 2024, bringing together students from 12 universities in Nigeria to discuss pressing issues affecting them.

The Country Director Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, said the programme is one of their initiative of spreading human rights education and bring young people into the human rights space.

He said the program also aim to create a culture of debate and encourage young people to have a good idea of human rights, so that they can grow up to help create a Nigeria in which human rights are respected .

“We are bringing in the debate so that they will go and inculcate the values of human rights in their daily school lives, in their relation with their fellow students, teachers and their future life .”

On how the schools were selected, Isa said ” We have a process very well scaled out and we started this program last month and we went through alot of stages whereby some universities scale through while some fell out and so, it is the winners we are bringing here which is the grand finale to mark the end .

” We will give award to schools for encouragement and commitment to building a new Nigeria. We believe that human rights is not an alien culture and it is part of our culture in Nigeria.

“We believe that if we concentrate on giving the younger people the human rights education, we will gain a society where the rights of everyone are protected and respected .

” The reason why the youths are targeted is because they are the leaders of the future and if they have that human rights culture in themselves, it will be easier to create a Nigeria in which no one’s right can be violated and no abuses can go unpunished,” he said .

Also, Activism and Growth Assistant Amnesty International Nigeria, Anne Chukwunwike, explained that they brought together students from Nasarawa state, Abuja and students from different secondary schools within the FCT to lead the main conversation which is the Intervarsity debate where they converged 12 Universities online using the platform to talk about different issues that affect them.

She said youths have majority of the voice and it is an avenue for them to express themselves, give their opinions and talk about issues affecting them .

She said young persons must have a gathering where they can express themselves and they are more like the champions of tomorrow.

She further explained that the 12 Universities cut across the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria and its their way of reaching out to young persons and letting them spare head the conversations .

“We will be able to have young persons advocate and take up leadership positions from this gathering and they will become champions when they go back to their various schools,” she said.