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UN envoy urges Somali youth to champion for human rights

The UN chief in Somalia James Swan has urged Somali youth to champion for their rights and those of others noting the country relied on them to chart its future destiny.

Swan said in a statement to mark the UN Human Rights Day Tuesday the youth in Somalia should build on the progress made to date to enshrine human rights as a vital foundation of the society.

“I encourage the youth to advocate for their rights and the rights of others.  Our hope is that they — together with Somalis of all ages and backgrounds — can build a better future,” said Swan.

Swan who heads the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) noted the protection of human rights was vital for the country’s path to peace and stability. The onus, Swan said lay in the youth who make up more than two thirds of the country’s population.

This year’s theme is youth focused- Youth Standing Up for Human Rights. Observed on 10 December around the globe, Human Rights Day commemorates the day in 1948 on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The youth make up over 75% of Somalia’s population but majority of them-67% do not have access to jobs exposing them to vulnerabilities such as recruitment by armed groups.

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