In the last few year, in different parts of the world, we have seen citizens taking action to defend and sustain democracy in their countries. Women and men have campaigned against laws and behaviours that would be detrimental to the democratic principles, they have acted to ask for changes in economic conditions that impeded parts of the population to truly enjoy their rights and they have protested to put and end to problems like corruption.
Very often, the pulse of these movements started from the activism of young people, who have shown they can be a real force for a positive change. By banding together and learning to cooperate spontaneously, young engaged citizens in different countries have revived the fight for democracy – with activities ranging from information channels to protests in the streets. Their struggle to maintain democracy alive, both in theory and practice, is also a struggle to maintain the democratic framework of human rights and fairness. New technologies that allow for coordinated actions and campaign have helped greatly in the creation of groups of engaged young members of society working for the betterment of their countries and of the world.
The potential of young people working together for the defence of democracy has become apparent during the Arab Spring, but we can see it equally effectively in more recent years both within the EU and outside. The civil demonstrations against unfair laws in Romania, led by young activists, the student protests in India for a fairer society and the voices of young protesters in Mexico fighting against corruption are just some examples of this phenomenon.
In April, the WSF will campaign to really show the importance of young people and of their fight for a better world, and in what way existing institutions have acted and can still act to support their work for democracy and human rights.