The Congress organised a training of trainers on local democracy and human rights, from 15 to 18 April 2019, in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The aim was to promote the active participation of young people in civic life as a means of ensuring social cohesion and anchoring democratic principles based on respect for human rights at the local level.
Trainers from all regions of Ukraine shared their experiences and identified obstacles to young people's participation in political life and local decision-making in Ukraine. The participants unanimously concluded that "in order to fully enjoy their rights and freedoms, young people must first and foremost be motivated to become more involved in local decision-making".
Discussions focused on instruments for the protection and promotion of human rights at the local level, as well as on key concepts such as: human rights education, conflict transformation, non-violent communication and the fight against hate speech. These exchanges allowed participants, through a non-formal learning setting, to consolidate their skills needed for the practical implementation of these principles.
The participants also underlined that different forms of youth participation should be introduced in parallel with the development of local policies and plans that will ensure the protection of the human rights of young people, particularly those affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The training of trainers is the first of a series of activities organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities as part of its project "Strengthening democracy and building confidence at local level in Ukraine". The objective is to create a pool of educators and carry out activities targeting young people in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine.
The project “Strengthening democracy and building trust at local level in Ukraine”, is implemented 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.