Twenty young people from the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine participated in a training activity on human rights and local democracy between the 27 and 31 January 2020 in Dnipro. The participants, who are currently undertaking vocational studies, had the opportunity to learn from and exchange with practitioners and experts in the field.
The young participants enhanced their awareness of human rights standards and local democracy principles and how these relate to each other. They learnt about good practices and activities from Ukraine, Ireland and other European countries that support youth participation at the local level. This triggered a lively discussion on potential for replication in their own communities. The participants exchanged with representatives of local authorities from Mariupol, Novopskovsk, Lysychansk, Kostyntynivka, Bakhmut and Fastiv and with Dr Brid Quinn, member of the Group of Independent Experts on the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
During the training, the participants developed, with the support of trainers, short action plans for getting involved in decision-making in their communities. “We are taking home not only new skills and knowledge, but new friendships, new connections with representatives of our local authorities and relations that we will pursue to build and improve in the months to come,” participants unanimously voiced during the last training session.
The training was organised in the framework of the project “Strengthening democracy and building trust at local level in Ukraine”, implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018 – 2021. The project aims to improve the quality of local democracy in Ukraine by strengthening institutional frameworks and by supporting local authorities and their national associations in their efforts to promote ethical decision-making and more citizen-oriented, inclusive and transparent local governance.