Youth Collective Statement 2021

Published by AYF Secretariat on

We, the young people of Southeast Asia, express our utmost concern for the deteriorating democracy across the region. We are deeply saddened by the erosion of fundamental human rights through the struggle for political power. We further express our concern for the continued suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, we have managed to preserve our resolution and pursue our mission towards living in a rights-based, people-centered, and inclusive ASEAN.

We have highlighted 7 thematic concerns namely peace, politics, and democracy; decent work and unemployment; comprehensive sexuality education and access to sexual reproductive health rights; youth network and organizations; freedom of expression and right to information; rights of migrants; and the climate emergency. In achieving our mission, we hereby call on ASEAN/government leaders, civil societies, NGOs, CSOs, private sector and youth in the region to act on these concerns to secure the future of all youth across the region.

We call on ASEAN Policymakers and Government Leaders to:

  1. Sustain and restore peace, fair politics, and democracy in Southeast Asia by:
    • Developing a specialized policy to exclude the non-interference principle where a Member State has used excessive and indiscriminate force against peaceful civilian protestors, followed by an implementation of a weapons embargo to prevent escalation of violence and further loss of civilian lives.
    • Prioritizing the provision and distribution of humanitarian aid to civilians in need in response to an ongoing conflict or following the occurrence of a
    • Creating equal opportunities for women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA+ communities, indigenous communities, religious minorities, people with disabilities, and other marginalized communities to participate in public life and the political This can be strengthened by the enactment of hate-crime legislation to deter the commission of bias-motivated violence.
  1. Ensure decent work, tackle youth unemployment and unemployment due to COVID-19 by:
    • Determining minimum wage rates based on the needs of workers and their families to attain a decent standard of living including the ability to cover basic health
    • Establishing a standard for national employment policies that is inclusive to all communities by considering the different needs of individuals e., reasonable adjustment for enabling access to people with disabilities or mental health counseling.
    • Ramping up COVID-19 vaccinations program for the virus to be less consequential with the increase of immunity thereby allowing workers to return to their workplaces and for job seekers to have an increased chance of securing employment.
    • Investing in youth work training programs to ensure youth in the region can keep up with the globalized job market.
  1. Ensure Implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and access to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for youth by:
    • Revamping teachers’ training programs to enable the introduction of sexual education at the appropriate level in schools or other forms of educational systems.
    • Allocating resources to establish sexual health centers for youth to receive age-appropriate and gender-sensitive consultation with experts and access to free/affordable birth control and/or menstruation.
    • Organizing national safe sex campaigns with a targeted reach of youth in both urban and rural areas to increase awareness of the importance of consent for engaging in sexual activities, sexually transmitted infections, forced marriage and union, child, early, and unintended pregnancy, and avenues to report sexual.
    • Creating or introducing a national policy to guarantee the implementation of CSE and access to SRHR followed by proper implementation of such policy.
  1. Support/include youth networks and organizations in the policymaking process by:
    • Providing a seat for youth-led organizations in discussions of policies that impact youth the
    • Establishing funding opportunities for youth-led initiatives that serve as a platform for youths from all backgrounds to analyze/criticize existing youth policies.
    • Strengthening privacy laws and providing a safe space to encourage and enable youth networks and organizations to mobilize their activism or participate free from any form of intimidation or retaliation.
    • Ensuring diverse candidates from youth organizations are fully represented.
    • Extending professional gateway programming for youth to pursue careers in leadership roles.
  1. Bridge the digital divide in urban and rural areas; protect freedom of expression and right to information for youth by:
    • Boosting internet infrastructure development to enable adequate access to the internet and improve digital literacy particularly for youth in rural areas and the disadvantaged communities such as ethnic minorities and indigenous people.
    • Enacting data protection laws to secure individual’s digital privacy and eliminate arbitrary surveillance followed by mechanisms for prosecuting breach of personal data usage by either public or private
    • Ensuring transparency in the development of national and transnational issues without redaction or altercation.
    • Bridging the gender digital divide and ensure that girls and those of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, sex characteristics are provided equal online access as their peers.
  1. Support the needs of youth in migration, refugees, asylum seekers, and migrant workers by:
    • Creating a regional framework that covers protection and access to basic rights and services for refugees and asylum seekers with consideration to the non-refoulment principle and resettlement procedures.
    • Consulting with migrant communities to make the necessary amendments to local labor laws to incorporate protection from exploitation by local employers and wage theft.
    • Improving the condition of reception or detention centers to adhere to the International Standards of Immigration Detention and Non-custodial Measures.
    • Providing access to legal representation without discrimination.
  1. Act on the climate emergency, promote eco-lifestyles, issue responsible land permits, and champion green projects by:
    • Strengthening laws on environmental protection and sustainability by tackling waste management, ensuring wildlife conservation, and safeguarding endangered species, reversing deforestation, and reducing industrial-scale slash-and-burn activities that lead to widespread haze problems. Followed by ensuring accountability for its violators be it a public or private actor.
    • Shaping societies’ mindset through the promotion of green economic activities, advancing initiatives that eliminate utilization of single-use plastic, and encourage creative recycling methods.
    • Conducting an extensive risk assessment for potential environmental damage prior to issuance of land rights.

In support of the above-mentioned calls, we encourage civil societies, NGOs, CSOs, and the private sector to:

  • Continue to spread awareness on human rights issues which impact youth by collaborating with other organizations to amplify its reach in various communities.
  • Advocate for inclusivity for all communities through creating safe spaces for youth to represent themselves at any level of societal interaction.
  • Provide support for youth through financial, mentorship, educational, employment, and mental health programs to increase their personal capacity to create on-ground change.
  • Promote healthy engagements and mindsets for better societal interaction by combating xenophobia, discrimination, hate speech, and hate crime.
  • Implement paid internship programs for youths to eliminate the exploitation of youth labor.
  • Navigate business activities according to the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) approach, such as the banning of single-use plastic within product development processes and other sustainable manufacturing methods to market eco-friendly products and services.
  • Ensure human rights-based, gender transformative, and inclusive initiatives and programs for young people.

We further call on Youth in SEA to:

  1. Be an active member of society by standing in solidarity with other nations who are struggling for democracy, expressing opinions or concerns on situations that are clear/potential violation of human rights, participating in youth forums and joining campaigns to support human rights advocacy, and persist in holding violators of human rights accountable.
  2. Promote networking and organizing activities amongst youth to maximize their opportunity and enhance their soft skills.
  3. Practice environmentally conscious lifestyles by reducing the consumption of single-use plastic, general plastic, and nonrenewable resources, utilizing reusable products, collecting rubbish from local communities to dispatch to waste banks, supporting climate justice advocates, and passing down such lifestyles to the younger generations.
  4. Model gender equality and social inclusion on a day-to-day basis.

We, the youth of Southeast Asia, value morals that advance human dignity, justice, democracy, freedom, and peace. We shall cooperate in promising a future where empathy, respect, individuality, and inclusivity stand as principal foundations for building better Southeast Asian communities.

September 2021

Youth of Southeast Asia

List of Supporting Young Individuals:

  1. Nurfatin Hamzah, Malaysia
  2. Lawrence Panique, The Philippines
  3. Shruti Dubey, Thailand
  4. Ricardo Valente Basmeri dos Reis Araujo, Timor Leste
  5. Dinh Duc Nguyen, Vietnam
  6. Khant Khant Zar Nyi, Myanmar
  7. Ian Chester Inoy, The Philippines
  8. Htet Myat Lin, Myanmar
  9. Kyn Mallorca, The Philippines
  10. Ridho Dirgantara, Indonesia
  11. Hala Jahjah, Other
  12. Wyn Gallo, The Philippines
  13. Jeremy Tan Fok Jun, Malaysia
  14. Pascoela Joana Branco, Timor Leste
  15. Qayyimah Al-Zelzy, Brunei Darussalam
  16. Makusi Grietje, Indonesia
  17. Alicia Destiny, Indonesia
  18. Jessilyn Teh Jing Ying, Malaysia
  19. Reisya Irfanny Farizaldi, Indonesia
  20. Chan Clerigo, The Philippines
  21. Desi Indrawati, Indonesia
  22. Jourdane Bulosan, The Philippines
  23. Khin Htet Htet Htoon, Myanmar
  24. Aram Tael Kin, The Philippines
  25. Ayu Ariningtyas, Indonesia
  26. Achmad Haikal, Indonesia
  27. Haffizatul Johari, Brunei Darussalam
  28. Clarita Britney Rumbewas, Indonesia
  29. Arfiana Maulina Fatimah, Indonesia
  30. Damela B. Mouldon, The Philippines
  31. M Rhaka Katresna, Indonesia
  32. Laurence C. Beruin, The Philippines
  33. Sofia Tantono, Indonesia
  34. Daniel I. Cillo, The Philippines
  35. Joyce De Luna, The Philippines
  36. Anne Josephine Perez, The Philippines
  37. Mark Jay Juanitas, The Philippines
  38. Rizaldie A. Agpoon , The Philippines
  39. Julia Muyco, The Philippines
  40. Isaura Ximenes, Timor Leste
  41. Alexis Pearl Concordia, The Philippines
  42. Lilitha Govindasamy, Malaysia
  43. Kornkanok Khumta, Thailand
  44. Wesley Clarke S. Silvederio, The Philippines
  45. Yanin Saengmanee, Thailand
  46. Zarel Galap Comnang, The Philippines
  47. Therese Marie Avanceña, The Philippines
  48. Fhatima Zesca Lim, The Philippines
  49. Kiki Febriyanti, Indonesia
  50. Ronalyn C. Bustarga, The Philippines
  51. Syakirah Matusin, Brunei Darussalam
  52. Ikaarinnanda, Indonesia
  53. Dewi Wulandari, Indonesia
  54. Alvina Zahra Hutasuhut, Indonesia
  55. Dian Nabila Martiana, Indonesia
  56. Rosalind Ratana, Indonesia
  57. Berlian Ardianti, Indonesia
  58. Mark Devon Maitim, The Philippines
  59. Michelle, Myanmar
  60. Muhammad Ihsan Nur Faizin, Indonesia
  61. Yadanar Hlaing, Myanmar
  62. Beverly Bravo, The Philippines
  63. Khin Htet Htet Htoon, Myanmar
  64. Nurdinah Hijrah, Indonesia
  65. Kristina Jessica Kartika, Indonesia
  66. Siti Nur Hamizah bte Masdizam, Brunei Darussalam
  67. Siti Hajar, Indonesia
  68. Ryan Ong, Malaysia
  69. Josephine Bautista, The Philippines
  70. Ebenchito M. Pabia, The Philippines
  71. Soth Peosamnang, Cambodia
  72. Muhamat Fauza, Indonesia
  73. Francisco da Silva Mendonca, Timor Leste
  74. April Enriquez, The Philippines
  75. Ajeng Cempaka Lestari, Indonesia
  76. Anak agung ayu sarah devina, Indonesia
  77. Karminn CDD Yañgot, The Philippines
  78. Dede Angga Syahputra, Indonesia
  79. Sri Shafiyyah Aini Anisa, Indonesia
  80. Carolus Pedro Ngiso Tokan , Indonesia
  81. Adinda Putri Kusumawardhani, Indonesia
  82. Sekarini Wukirasih, Indonesia
  83. Sri Shafiyyah Aini Anisa, Indonesia
  84. Nurlisa Putri Azizah, Indonesia
  85. Peeraya Chincharoenwong, Thailand
  86. Alyah Chandra, Indonesia
  87. Sofyan Hadi Wijaya, Indonesia
  88. Marina Ika Sari, Indonesia
  89. Babes Mary Love Shine Dela Cruz, The Philippines
  90. Naw Lah Htoo, Myanmar
  91. Marselia Kanza, Indonesia
  92. Vina Kristina, Indonesia
  93. Saniyah El Ismah, Indonesia
  94. Vivi Dominica Chai, Indonesia
  95. Rizki Pratiwi, Indonesia
  96. Joshua A. Hapnat, The Philippines
  97. Aung Linn, Myanmar
  98. Regine Aileen Marcela Kalesaran, Indonesia
  99. Arfiana Maulina Fatimah, Indonesia
  100. Justin T. Felicia, The Philippines
  101. Robert Anlocotan Jr, The Philippines
  102. Alfina Azhari, Indonesia
  103. Yashawini Rajendran, Malaysia
  104. Aiyani Zulaikha, Malaysia
  105. Jessica Amber J. Villanueva, The Philippines
  106. Lars Salamante, The Philippines
  107. Gerald T. Marco, The Philippines
  108. Clarita Britney Rumbewas, Indonesia
  109. Nedichya Correia Belo, Timor Leste
  110. Risky Elsa Vira Husni, Indonesia
  111. Cheryl Christie, Indonesia
  112. Rastra Yasland, Indonesioa 
  113. Myat, Myanmar
  114. Asyraf, Singapore
  115. Phonsanook, Lao PDR
  116. Adriana, Malaysia
  117. Alynna, The Philippines
  118. Phyo, Myanmar
  119. John Barry, The Philippines
  120. Dhwani, Other
  121. Nadiah, Brunei Darussalam
  122. Naing, Myanmar
  123. Farah, Malaysia
  124. Fahdian, Indonesia
  125. Rania, Indonesia
  126. Arianne, The Philippines
  127. Mozae, The Philippines
  128. Derick, Malaysia
  129. Longso, Other
  130. Albert, The Philippines
  131. Jennifer, The Philippines
  132. Gwyneth, The Philippines
  133. Nguyen, Vietnam
  134. Aria, Indonesia
  135. Justin, Malaysia
  136. Tharit, Thailand
  137. Nadya, Indonesia
  138. Venna, Indonesia
  139. Satrio, Indonesia
  140. John, The Philippines
  141. Davina, Malaysia
  142. Rosana, Timor Leste
  143. Hazirah, Brunei Darussalam
  144. Dali, Indonesia
  145. Pauline, The Philippines
  146. Endah, Indonesia
  147. Alina, Indonesia
  148. Muhammad, Indonesia
  149. Mars, Malaysia
  150. Laksmi, Indonesia
  151. Alya, Indonesia
  152. Rifal, Indonesia
  153. Sisley, Brunei Darussalam
  154. Fadhrullah, Malaysia
  155. Azahra Syifa, Indonesia
  156. Fakhiratunnisa, Indonesia
  157. Tisya, Indonesia
  158. Dimas, Indonesia
  159. Graziela, Indonesia
  160. Sarah, Indonesia
  161. Rosania, Indonesia
  162. Joy, Indonesia
  163. Kimberly, The Philippines
  164. Yoan, Indonesia
  165. Teresa, Indonesia
  166. Syaza, Malaysia
  167. Revi, Indonesia
  168. Saw, Myanmar
  169. Fadhila, Indonesia
  170. Afina, Indonesia
  171. Fenny, Indonesia
  172. Josh, The Philippines
  173. Ivana, Indonesia
  174. Fathia, Indonesia
  175. Rosita, Indonesia
  176. Anistia, Indonesia
  177. Rosana, Timor Leste
  178. Muhammad, Indonesia
  179. Muhammad, Malaysia
  180. Zuyyina, Indonesia
  181. Dk, Brunei Darussalam
  182. Ikhtiana, Indonesia

And 22 Undisclosed Individuals

List of Supporting Organizations and Communities :

  1. CAREE, International Organization / Community
  2. Oi! Community, Malaysia
  3. Women's Empowerment Indonesia, Indonesia
  4. US-ASEAN Youth Council, Regional Organization / Community
  5. Watery Nation, Indonesia
  6. Tim Krayon KGS Garut, Regional Organization / Community
  7. (Re)aksi Remaja, Indonesia
  8. Sekolah Damai Indonesia, Indonesia
  9. Foinsa'e Hahu Futuru Timor, Timor Leste
  10. YouthWave Malaysia, Malaysia
  11. St Therese Educational Foundation of Tacloban Inc, The Philippines
  12. Plan International Asia and Pacific, Regional Organization / Community
  13. Migrant CARE, Indonesia
  14. Humane Magazine, Indonesia
  15. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, Regional Organization / Community
  16. Youth for YOUth Organization, The Philippines
  17. Bisdak Pride, Inc., The Philippines
  18. ILGA Asia, Regional Organization / Community
  19. Noboprobhaat , Other
  20. STRAP (Society of Trans Women of the Philippines, The Philippines
  21. Ateneo Human Rights Center, The Philippines
  22. Indonesia NGOs Council (Konsil LSM Indonesia), Indonesia
  23. Dostanasafar, Regional Organization / Community
  24. GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation, Indonesia
  25. UPLB Babaylan, The Philippines
  26. Asia Democracy Network, International Organization / Community
  27. Singkamas Youth Organization, The Philippines
  28. Institute for Volunteerism Studies (IVOS), Indonesia
  29. Yayasan Perlindungan Insani Indonesia, Indonesia
  30. ADMU Sanggunian Commission on Gender Equality, The Philippines
  31. Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila, The Philippines
  32. Higher Education Malaysia Association (HEYA), Malaysia

List of Supporting Individuals:

  1. Sudthida Keophaithool, Thailand
  2. Fatimah Zahrah, Indonesia 
  3. Chumaeroh, Indonesia 
  4. Erni, Indonesia 
Categories: Statement