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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a real cornerstone for the United Nations.
04 August 2022
“Human rights are not always respected, so it's good to have this reminder that we can do something to improve the situation around us,” said Mathias Hofmann, a young Swiss Scout who took part in a UN Human Rights workshop during the Swiss Scouts National Jamboree in Switzerland. “Sometimes it doesn't cost much to do more, and it's the little things that make the big things better.”
The Swiss Scouts National Jamboree 2022 brought together 30,000 young Scouts from all over Switzerland and beyond at a rural campsite for two weeks in the Goms region of the canton of Valais, Switzerland.
An experience that happens only every 14 years, the Jamboree provided an expansive camping event that included hiking, swimming, and playing games. Scout groups from Switzerland were provided with their own camp site within the Jamboree and international groups were paired with Swiss units.
The unique gathering was also an opportunity for young people to learn a variety of skills and to explore the various stands from a selection of partners in the Global Scout Village.
A UN stand was erected where the Scouts engaged in interactive games, quizzes, videos, and talks to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals among young people and adults and inspire them to do their part to achieve them by 2030.
Tatiana Volovaya, Director General of UN Geneva, said the Scout movement share the same values as the UN, which makes them an ideal partner.
"The UN's participation in this camp is an excellent opportunity for us to reach out to young Swiss people from all parts of our host country and raise awareness of the issues that concern us all,” she said.
UN Human Rights participated in the UN stand with a dedicated space for human rights and designed and co-facilitated workshops on inclusion and diversity for about 1,000 Scouts between the ages of 11-17.
The stand and workshop examined the concepts of diversity, inclusion, and human rights. The material and workshops helped participants define what human rights and the Universal Declaration for Human Rights are and explore the links between human rights principles and the Scout values. Participants also identified ways in which they can help others, embrace diversity, and uphold inclusion and human rights.
“UN involvement in such youth events is fundamental, as young people are key actors in the realization of human rights, peace and sustainable development,” said Elena Ippoliti, Coordinator of the UN Human Rights Education and Training Unit, who facilitated workshops in Italian. “The workshops aim to empower 11- to 17-year-old Scouts to take action for human rights in their communities and societies; this goal is very much in line with the Scouts values, which include respect for self and for others and solidarity.”
For most of the young participants, the Swiss Scouts National Jamboree was a worthwhile experience.
“Scouts is great for meeting new people, for making new friends,” said Scout Lucie Praz. “It is also a group that can be useful, that can help those around it.”