Disclosure: Human Rights Careers may be compensated by course providers.

5 Top Human Rights Youth Events 2017


  1. The Young World Summit 2017 in Bogotá, Colombia

One Young World organizes an annual summit where young leaders from all over the world can meet with world leaders to discuss pressing issues that youth around the world face. The Summit will take place from October 4 to October 7, 2017. Participants will have the opportunity to debate and formulate solutions together with One Young World Counselors, which in the past included for example Justin Trudeau, Kofi Annan, Jamie Oliver, and Desmond Tutu.

The aim of the summit is to connect young leaders from universities, NGO’s, companies and other organizations with each other in order to form a youth movement across all countries and within every industry and sector. Participants of the Summit will afterwards be One Young World Ambassadors and will be empowered to make a difference in their countries and communities. This network of youth ambassadors is a very valuable tool for any young leader who wants to make a difference. The ambassadors will be part of a network which currently consists of over 8 thousand young leaders around the world, who can help each other by sharing solutions and starting initiatives together.

Participants must be between 18 and 30 years old, must be able to show that they are active and making a difference within their community, organization, company or country. There are several ways to attend the Summit. If you are one of the 116 underrepresented countries, you could be eligible for the All Bar None Scholarship. It is also possible to be nominated by the company you are working for or the organization you are involved with. There are more than 500 organizations that currently sponsor young leaders to attend the Youth Summit. Lastly, it is also possible to attend the Summit independently, by filling out the online application on their website. Independent participants must pay a fee of £2,975, which includes access to the Summit, hotel accommodation, full catering, and access to breakout sessions.

  1. 10th UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris, France

For the tenth time in a row the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will hold a Youth Forum at its headquarters in Paris from October 24 to 27, 2017. The forum will gather young experts from all over the world to discuss pressing issues that will be identified by the youth before the forum begins. The forum provides participants with the opportunity to have a dialogue with UNESCO where they can voice their ideas, opinions and concerns. After the forum a set of recommendations will be drafted and presented during the 39th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO. This forum is a great opportunity for youth who are interested in human rights and want to be a spokesperson for the youth in their community and country. The forum also helps UNESCO to take into account the needs of youth and to take the right approach to issues that youth are facing.

Participants have to be between 18 and 24 years old and have to show leadership or a project that they have undertaken in their community, country or region. Participants are nominated by their National Commission Offices, NGO’s and other partners, so keep an eye on national job boards and governmental websites. The Youth Forum does not offer accommodation and does not cover travel costs, although some national institutions and partners might cover this for their nominated participants.

  1. Young Leaders Programme 2017 in Brussels, Belgium

Since 2006 the European Commission organizes the European Development Days (EDD) and during these days the development community can share experiences and ideas to help solve the pressing issues that the world and people are facing. This year the theme of the EDD is the role of the private sector in international development, for example by promoting inclusive growth and creating fair and decent work for youth and women. The inclusion of youth in the EDD is important and therefore the European Commission will select 16 young leaders who can voice their opinions and experiences during debates with world leaders and other experts. The Young Leaders Programme will also give participants the opportunity to join the global network of other youth leaders, experts and entrepreneurs. Participating in this Programme is an excellent way to get noticed and to start a professional career in human rights. The Programme is from May 31 to June 10, 2017. Participants have full access to the EDD, and will also visit several European institutions, join workshops, meet with policymakers and exchange information with peers.

Participants must be between 21 and 26 years old and it is expected that they have intermediate English language skills. You can apply by filling in the application form before 9 March 2017 at 1pm Central European Time. Accommodation, catering and travel costs will be covered by the European Commission.

  1. Global Youth Forum 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The forum will be held by the G200 Association with the aim to create a network of people active in fields related to international development. The organization believes that the network can be useful to solve current issues that the world is facing by sharing experiences and organizing joint global projects. The network consists of young leaders, academics, experts in the field and representatives of governments and companies and could be extremely helpful for anyone who wants to start a career in human rights. The forum will be held from December 6 to December 10, 2017. The forum will host several main events where participants can sign up for. First of all, the G200 Youth Summit for students and young professionals will have participants play the roles of governmental leaders and ministers and aims to improve the skills of participants in the field of international relations, finance and law. Furthermore, participants can sign up to join the International Young Parliamentarians’ Debate where youth parliaments and students can share experiences and ideas when it comes to the creation and implementation of legislation. At the end of the forum, participants will set up a joint statement with main conclusions that came forth out of the debate. The third event that the forum offers is the G200 Young Professionals Platform, where young professionals can network with each other and learn more about personal success and growth.

The G200 Forum offers many activities for youth and around 25% of the participants consist of undergraduates, graduates and young experts who work within the field of international relations. Participants must be between 18 and 30 years old and have good English communication skills. Applying is possible by filling in the G200’s online application form. Participants can try to apply for several of the events, but the application process is different for each event. Depending on how many events you want to participate in, the participant fee will be from €1450 to €2500 and will include access to the (specific) events of the G200 Youth Forum, accommodation, breakfast, breaks and lunches, and a gala dinner.

  1. International Summer Camp in New York, USA

The World Youth Alliance (WAY) will host an international summer camp where young people can learn more about human rights and how they can change the world for the better. The summer camp will take place from July 10 to July 17, 2017. The camp focuses on the dignity of every human being and the participants will be introduced to human rights topics such as the rights of migrants, respect for human dignity, and the importance of freedom. Other activities that will take place during the camp include movie nights, kayaking, participation in a Model UN and an excursion to the headquarters of the UN. The summer camp is not only fun, it also helps young people to connect with like-minded youth and to learn about human rights and the importance of these.

The camp is open for people between 13 and 18 years and every nationality is welcome to apply. Applicants can fill in the ISC Application. The deadline is May 19 for participants who need a visa and June 16 if no visa is needed. There is a scholarship available on a case-to-case basis which can cover the participation fee partly or fully. Requests for this scholarship can be sent to northamerica@wya.net. The participation fee is $650 and this covers accommodation, meals and activities during the summer camp. The WYA does not cover any travel or visa costs.

About the author

Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) aims to help human rights students, recent graduates and young professionals to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of human rights.