​Youth standing up for  human rights 

By Randall Theodule

International Human Rights Day 2019

The International Human Rights Day 2019 theme is “Youth Standing up for

Human Rights”. Taking some time to think on this year’s theme compared to

years past, it resonated with me as a young person. Often times we think of

those “standing for human rights” or “advocating for human rights” as those

who are older than us young people between the ages of 12-29. Youth have

always been a voice for the voiceless. We see young people championing change and advocating for the rights of LGBTQI+ people, women & girls and for issues like climate change, just to name a few.
    This year the theme celebrates the potential of youth at the forefront of human rights movements as constructive agents for change, to amplify their voices so that they can be heard and to engage others in meaningful conversations, as the youth are the future of tomorrow. It is important to note that our participation is essential in the decision making processes as the changes will ultimately affect us as they will have an impact on our wellbeing. We need to be empowered in order for us to better know and claim our rights as young citizens so that we will be able to contribute locally, regionally and internationally. Also we the youth play a crucial role in today’s society as we bring fresh ideas to the table that will benefit us all in the near future.
    So as the theme says “Youth Standing up for Human Rights”, let’s all celebrate the contributions we’ve made as young people in some way or the other and reflect on how we will contribute for another 5 -10 years from now. 
Let the voices of Young People be heard and respected as WE, the young people, are agents for change and leaders of tomorrow.


(Castries, December 10, 2019) Inalienable, interconnected and indivisible, human rights are for everyone and the foundation of Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality Inc. (ECADE), is to help create a world where this is the reality. Human Rights Day 2019 celebrates “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights,” and ECADE supports young people in using their voice to defend their rights and to create their future.

Central to our work is strengthening regional capacity for the defence and full recognition of human rights of all people. ECADE celebrates its anniversary on Human Rights Day December 10, as it is founded on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that all men are created equal.

We believe youth involvement is essential in achieving a future that is fair and equal and always seek to engage youth voices towards that goal. Increasing the competence of young activists through mentorship, education and hands-on advocacy experience are just some of the ways we do so. 

Caribbean youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ),face an uphill struggle in being recognised and respected for who they are. ECADE advocates for a discrimination-free future by directly challenging anti-gay laws and policies in the eastern Caribbean.

Today we celebrate the rich knowledge, thirst for learning, fearlessness and boundless enthusiasm of LGBTQ youth to grow and lead. LGBTQ youth are educating their communities, creating new streams of income, sustaining organisations while being visible in a world that seeks to deny their humanity. LGBTQI youth are in the forefront of advocacy to decriminalise sexual orientation, recognise gender identity and encourage acceptance of and normalise all sex characteristics. 

As eastern Caribbean governments forge the path forward to address challenges such as the economy and job creation, climate change, substance abuse, health service, sexual and reproductive health and rights and justice system reform, we believe it is essential that LGBTQ



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Human Rights Day 2019 message



To strengthen regional capacity for the defence and full recognition of human rights through intersectional collaboration, training, network expansion, development of grassroots HRDs and organisations and sensitisation of policy makers, legislators, government and service providers.



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​​ECADE stands with LGBTQ youth 

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An empowered eastern Caribbean that promotes a culture of human rights, equality, justice and respect for all people.

- To promote cooperation between LGBTI organisations in the eastern Caribbean;

- To promote understanding and goodwill between all the peoples of the Eastern Caribbean.