Back Launch of the first edition of the Rule of Law Youth Network.

Launch of the first edition of the Rule of Law Youth Network.

The Rule of Law Youth Network (RoLYN) aims to equip youth organisations with knowledge, tools, and a platform to delve deeper into Rule of Law issues based on Council of Europe and other international standards, instilling a sense of ownership and responsibility among youth, and encouraging youth action leading to positive change in their communities.

Established as a direct outcome of the conclusions of the 29th edition of the Lisbon Forum on “Human Rights, Environment and Economic Crimes: Youth at the forefront”, the 2024-2025 edition of the RoLYN focuses on linkages between corruption and environmental degradation by promoting and raising awareness about Council of Europe and other international standards among young people to fight corruption and protect human rights threatened by the triple planetary crisis of pollution, climate change and loss of biodiversity.

Selected through a competitive call, the network consists of twenty participants from Europe, Middle East, and Africa who are representatives of youth organisations, youth-led initiatives, associations and/or networks, working on issues related to youth participation, good governance, anticorruption and/or protection of environment at local, national, or international levels.

The launch conference on March 4 in Tunisia brought together all members of the RoLYN, and counted on the presence of 80 participants. Among these participants were representatives from Tunisian authorities, the European Union, the diplomatic corps, the international community, and media professionals. The programme of the conference facilitated enriching discussions ranging from evidence-based research to institutional support to the project. It was an opportunity to underscore the indispensable role of young people in promoting a culture of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, while highlighting their efforts to combat corruption to protect the environment. The event also served as an introduction to the presentation of Council of Europe standards.

The RoLYN builds on the South Programme V priorities and exemplifies the new strategy of the North-South Centre for 2024-2027, which aims to foster stronger synergies with the Council of Europe's Neighbourhood Policy in the Southern Mediterranean that continues to advance the creation of a common legal space between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean. The North-South Centre adds value by raising awareness among civil society, notably young people, of the Council of Europe's values and standards, as a means to ensure the sustainability of democratic reforms.

It also builds on the priorities of the Reykjavík Declaration of the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe. Notably in relation to:
i) enhance the external dimension of the Council of Europe based on its standards open to non-European countries; 
ii) deploy additional efforts to protect the environment, as well as to counter the impact of the triple planetary crisis of pollution, climate change and loss of biodiversity on human rights, democracy and the rule of law; 
iii) mainstream the youth perspective across Council of Europe’s initiatives.

Lisbon 05/03/2024
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