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16 November 2018
For Sabina Moce of Fiji, to become a human rights defender, came from her own experiences both with discrimination and with a deteriorating environment.
“I decided to become a human rights defender because I’ve gone through challenges in my daily life,” said Moce. “I feel that young people today can make a change to overcome issues like violence, discrimination and climate change.”
Moce was born with albinism, a genetic condition that causes her skin and hair to have little to no colour and some vision difficulties. The 17-year-old secondary school student spoke out earlier this year in her native Fiji about some the challenges she has faced living with albinism, including stares and remarks from strangers. But she hasn’t let that keep her from achieving, including being awarded best Kula Film dancer in 2013 (The Kula Awards are part of a government initiative that provides a platform for school students to learn various aspects of film and arts.)
She brings that same determination to the issue of climate change. Moce recognises how climate change had led to increasing environmental problems for Fiji. She believes that young people have a big part to play in slowing down and preventing environmental damage.
“Young people of today can make a difference by advocating on a public platform, organise clean up campaigns along the shores and introduce the planting of mangroves, “ she said. “It is important to fight for climate justice because if we don’t take action now, we might lose our existence and might not have a place to live in the future.”
16 November 2018