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About youth and human rights

Youth is a period of transition from dependence to independence and autonomy. The transition occurs at different times in relation to different rights, and depends on the socioeconomic context, among other things.

Young people face discrimination and obstacles to the enjoyment of their rights by virtue of their age, limiting their potential. The human rights of youth therefore refer to the full enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms by young people. Promoting these rights means addressing the specific challenges and barriers faced.

Read more about the human rights of youth

OHCHR’s work on youth

Youth represents a growing agenda within OHCHR, as the Office strives to make human rights more relevant and more useful to young people and systematically engage with youth throughout its work. As such, youth have been identified as a spotlight population in the 2018-2021 Management Plan (PDF) (extended to 2023).

OHCHR is implementing two projects on youth and human rights:

  • A partnership with Education Above All and Silatech on working with and for youth in vulnerable situations
  • A project funded by Norway that focuses on working for rights with and for young people.

In addition, youth is the focus group for the 4th phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2020-2024), with a special emphasis on education and training in equality, human rights and non-discrimination, and inclusion and respect for diversity with the aim of building inclusive and peaceful societies.

Latest reports and publications

Biennial panel discussion of the Human Rights Council on youth and human rights (2023)

Youth Rights Advocacy Toolkit (2022)

Human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people (2022)

Report on the intersessional seminar on youth and human rights (2021)

Youth and COVID-19: Impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being (2020)

Inter-agency statement on youth and COVID-19 (2020)

Report on youth and human rights (2018)

Report on youth and the right to work (2018)