Objectives for Youth for Democracy Conference

The conference had three main objectives:

 

First, the conference was to bring activists together, to exchange ideas, experiences and knowledge. This cross culture meeting helped create an international network between the activists and provided them with a unique possibility to empower each other. There where participants from the recent revolution of Egypt, leading activists from the revolution in Serbia in 2000 as well as activists who are still struggling in countries such as Zimbabwe, Belarus, Burma and Sudan.

Second, the conference brought together specialists and the general public to indulge in a dialogue with the activist on how we – in the Western democracies can better help those who fight every day for their right as human beings and who know what they need. A part of this dialogue was also a focus on what role, if any, development aid can/should have in the promotion and fight for democracies. The conference offered the Danish public a rare opportunity to meet human rights activists and democracy promoters.

Third, the conference brought together the general public, specialists and activists in collaboration to name 10 recommendations for Governments on how best to support Democratic non-violent movements across the world.

Finally, activists developed bonds and friendships with others who are active in the global fight for democracy and human rights – hopefully energizing the fight for democracy transcending borders and cultures.

 

How was the objectives met

 
The objectives was reached through various means.
The main conference, on October 28 2011 provided the audience, the specialists and activist with intimate knowledge on Non-violent struggles, the strategies used to pursue democratic change and the activist's respective countries. It also proved to be a point of departure for the more specialized workshops taking place October 29 2011.

The workshop day furthermore functioned as a guide into the more complex themes concerning democratic change and non-violent struggles. It also served as a unique opportunity to get more intimate knowledge of the activists. The workshops were facilitated by thematic experts to further the quality. After having gone through two intense workshops everybody rejoined and through a moderated dialogue named 10 recommendations that Humanity in Action Denmark published.

As part of this project and to enter a dialogue with Danish youth, a number of the activists toured around Denmark visiting High Schools, other educational institutions and libraries - these all took place before the conference started the October 28 2011. 

Why did we chose Belarus, Burma, Serbia, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan and Zimbabwe?

 

The criteria for all the activists were that they had to be part of non-violent movements - part of a greater non-violent struggle for democracy.

Belarus - Last dictatorship in Europe and yet the EU, the European Governments and most int. media are not committed to react. 

Burma – One of the most suppressive and violent regimes in the world only recently come into the international community’s lenses. 

Egypt – Nobody thought it would be possible: the fall of Hosni Mubarak. However, it became a milestone in the “Arab spring" 

Serbia – A country where non-violent struggles have succeeded ,led by the former youth movement Otpor. Center for Applied Non Violent Strategy (Canvas), founded by leading members of Otpor, have developed into a worldwide non-violent struggle advocate – training activists across the world.

Syria – Nobody can say what the outcome of the ongoing struggle in Syria will be. However, the two activists joining, one journalist and one human rights advocate – both having to flee Syria, will elaborate on the many and horrific atrocities committed by the Assad Regime.

Sudan – Again one the most violent and repressive regimes, mostly known for the ongoing conflict and genocide in Darfur but the positive stories of the many human rights activists living in the huge country are almost never told – the story will be told at the conference by a leading female human rights trainer.

South Sudan – Having won their freedom – how do they win a democratic prosperous future? Young independence and democracy activist will elaborate on the dreams and the path forward for the South Sudanese people.

Zimbabwe – A great nation of Africa, once its food chamber but still for years devasted by corruption and tyrany. The conference’s two activists are both in the fore front of the change bringing news from the ongoing struggle.