Youth Collective Statement 2022

Published by AYF Secretariat on

We, the youth of Southeast Asia, are looking to a better future following the struggle and losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. While time is allowing us to recover, there are other challenges that must not be overlooked. The climate emergency, deterioration of democracy and ongoing human rights violations continue to disrupt our vision to live in a sustainable, human rights-based, people-centred and inclusive region.

We have called attention to 5 thematic concerns namely deforestation, climate change and increased disaster risks; overconsumption and overproduction; youth’s presence in governance; minority exclusion and marginalization; and digital repression. We hereby call on ASEAN and government leaders, civil societies, NGOs, CSO, private sectors and youth in the region to prioritize these concerns as part of the collective recovery and resilience-building strategy to secure youth’s future across the region.

We call on ASEAN and Government Leaders to act on the following:

  • Concerning deforestation, climate change & increased disaster risks, the demands of millions in Southeast Asia combined with industrialization and urbanization have driven rampant deforestation causing depletion of the region’s forest cover and natural carbon sink. Increased greenhouse gas emissions, hotter temperatures, changing season patterns, increasing air pollution, and extreme weather events, especially floods, storms, typhoons, and droughts are also becoming the norm. This has increased disaster risk vulnerability, particularly for farmers and indigenous communities. To address this, we recommend:
    • Prevention of further deforestation in the region by:
      • Strengthening the forestry legal framework to include national implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and enforcement of heavy fines and extended prison sentences for illegal loggers and setting up or strengthening local and national committees for monitoring deforestation activities;
      • Designating more forest and wildlife conservation areas while implementing restoration and reforestation activities on areas that have been deforested;
      • Educating students at all levels about the impact of deforestation and cultivating a habit of environmental preservation.
    • Protecting the communities affected by deforestation and are vulnerable to disaster risks by:
      • Upholding or restoring the forest-dependent communities' rights by obtaining their Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC) throughout the process of development on ancestral land or indigenous population's territory to safeguard against exploitation;
      • Allocating funding for mitigation and adaptation projects that are gender-sensitive, gender-responsive, gender-transformative, and inclusive for all including incentives for corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects that reduce communities’ vulnerability to disaster risks;
      • Providing adequate training for vulnerable communities to improve responsiveness and adaptability to climate change and disaster risks including the establishment of safe platforms for them to voice their concerns and contact authorities during emergencies.
    • Enforcing sustainable development policies targeting corporate and human activities by:
      • Holding corporations legally accountable for environmental damages caused and enforcing compensation mechanisms to affected communities;
      • Directing urban planning to preserve natural ecosystems including the establishment of green spaces in capital and metropolitan cities;
  • Implementing a carbon credits system in the region and conducting environmental impact assessments on all investments and development projects.Concerning overconsumption and overproduction, population growth along with the expansion of the middle class has resulted in increased demands for goods and services in many sectors. These increased demands have led to elevated production of goods and services that strain Earth’s finite resources and contributed to alarming amounts of waste and pollutants. To address this, we recommend:
      • Promotion of sustainable consumption and production and improvement of waste management systems by:
        • Intensifying campaigns of sustainable consumption and teaching of product preservation including the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover (4R) among businesses and residents;
        • Incentivising private sectors to transition from using single-use packaging, refining supply chain processes, adhering to eco-labelling systems and avoiding greenwashing practices;
        • Investing in the creation of Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and waste management technologies and machinery.
      • Supporting the transition into green and circular economy model by:
        • Developing a clear definition and criteria of a green and circular economy that is fitting to address the region’s challenges;
        • Leveraging the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the transition to a circular economy by empowering and aiding local enterprises that conduct zero waste practices;
        • Enforcing frameworks, legislations, tax regimes, and incentives to encourage worldwide investments for regional and national projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    • Concerning youth’s presence in governance, scarce opportunities for youth participation have effectively alienated them from the governing processes. Limiting factors include lacklustre political education, restrictive self-expression cultures against seniority, threats from the ruling government and social stigmas in areas such as experience, income, language, race and gender.  To address this, we recommend:
      • Active encouragement of youth participation in the public sector by:
        • Constructing safe, meaningful and inclusive platforms to amplify the youth’s concerns and proposed solutions via removal of barriers including but not limited to based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, economic status, or level of education;
        • Creating new opportunities for youths, such as jobs, funding and/or training, to be involved in government activities at various levels.
      • Institutionalisation of youth participation in government processes by:
        • Establishing legal frameworks for youth involvement in governance e.g. through formal Youth Councils starting at the local to the national level to ensure local, rural and indigenous youth equal participation access;
        • Restructuring the political system to encourage the entry of young government officials.
      • Building of youth capacity for meaningful involvement with the government by:
        • Supplementing the education system with curricular topics and co-curricular activities aimed at improving the youth’s understanding of human rights and politics;
        • Hosting fully funded capacity-building programs to equip youths with leadership skills.
    • Concerning minority exclusion and marginalization, minority and marginalized communities, such as women, children, youth, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+, and BIPOC are  underrepresented in public policy, mainstream media, decision-making space, and are often excluded from formal education, employment, financial aid, scholarships, and social services. Public ignorance, discriminatory policies and economic inequality have allowed for such practices to continue. To address this, we recommend:
      • Identifying the different needs of minority and marginalized communities and creating an inclusive environment by:
        • Working with youth-led organizations and local NGOs to provide reports and data on the rights and needs of minority and marginalized communities;
        • Improving accessibility of public services and infrastructure for minority and marginalized communities.
      • Inclusion of minority and marginalized groups in nation-building and development by:
        • Involving minority and marginalized communities in governmental institutions and other relevant public institutions specifically in problem identification, formulation of policies, and evaluation;
        • Incentivising private sectors (businesses, companies, and media) to reform their internal policies and procedures to eliminate exclusion and all forms of discrimination based on gender, religion, sexual orientation, physical, mental, ethnicity, and race, etc.
      • Public awareness raising on inclusivity and diversity celebration by:
        • Establishing holistic school curriculum that covers the life, culture, and history of minority and marginalized communities;
          • Conducting peaceful and inclusive dialogues at all levels to break stigma and misconceptions and any forms of harmful, dangerous, and discriminative mentality towards minority and marginalized communities as well as celebrating and promoting indigenous cultures and traditions.
    • Concerning digital repression, the freedom of Southeast Asians to express their opinions, especially about the government is gradually shrinking. Severe lack of legal protection for freedom of expression, the menace from those in position of power, and deliberate limitation of internet access as a method of silencing dissent has created a culture of fear including public backlash and obtrusion. On the other hand, digital illiteracy remains prevalent in some areas. To address this, we recommend:
      • Strengthening the protection of digital freedom of expression by:
        • Establishing laws and policies on digital expression at the regional and national level that adheres to international human rights standards including the setting of legitimate and clear standards for its limitations to not be used arbitrarily to criminalize people for their expressions;
        • Creating proper safeguards against malignant misinformation that threatens the safety of communities.
      • Supporting a democratic expansion of civic space and digital advocacy by creating a safe environment where people are not subjected to discrimination and are instead enabled to express their point of view, especially on politics.
      • Development of digital education programs to foster digital literacy among the population by:
        • Integrating digital education in school curriculums to establish proper utilization of digital platforms from a young age. Training programs should also be made available for older generations within communities;
        • Equipping educational institutions with digital devices with up-to-date technology and ensuring internet accessibility despite geographical barriers.

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

    1. Mainstream information about deforestation, climate change, and its devastating impact on the public.
    2. Conduct projects in collaboration with the government and relevant partners that will increase communities’ resilience to climate change and disaster risks.
    3. Campaign against consumptive lifestyles and support decarbonization efforts amongst Southeast Asian residents and businesses.
    4. Support and work with youth-led organizations at the regional and national level to strengthen human rights advocacy in Southeast Asia.
    5. Act as a bridge between the youths and government through the provision of resources, mentorship and platform for youths to effectively deliver their messages.
    6. Encourage and give technical and financial support to youth especially those in the minority and marginalized groups to allow for their meaningful engagement with the government.

    We further call on Youth in Southeast Asia to:

    1. Be involved in organizations and online or offline campaigns that fight for environmental justice.
    2. Develop a habit of environmentally conscious living through informed consumption of food, water, energy, as well as retail items.
    3. Celebrate and support each other to create an environment where respect, acceptance, and tolerance are central to our daily lives.
    4. Enable the initiation of substantial change in their respective advocacies by adopting a proactive and assertive approach when engaging with the older generation and various other relevant stakeholders
    5. Understand the universal concept of human rights and be confident in calling out against its abuse or violations.

    We, the young people of Southeast Asia, value human rights, democracy, justice, freedom, and peacebuilding. We are strongly committed to establish Southeast Asia as a sustainable and inclusive region that fully adheres to the principles of human rights and justice for all of its people.

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      List Supporting Young Individuals:

      1. Crizelle Joya, The Philippines
      2. Leighne Micah A. Martinez, The Philippines
      3. Ricardo Valente Basmeri dos Reis Araújo, Timor Leste
      4. Delki Telaumbanua, Indonesia
      5. Fithriyyah, Indonesia
      6. Thanchanog Ho Mai Chin, Singapore
      7. Dewi Ni Putu Candra, Indonesia
      8. Mindy Liew, Malaysia
      9. Mariel Precious Joy C.Gardose, The Philippines
      10. Fanny Shafiyah Qolbi, Indonesia
      11. Khin Htet Htet Htoon, Myanmar
      12. Khairiah Hannah, Malaysia
      13. Jennika Hazel Iniba, The Philippines
      14. Hanifah Chairani, Indonesia
      15. Dementina Hilaria Barros Falcão, Timor Leste
      16. Azalia Muchransyah, Indonesia
      17. Joalita Teresa Magno, Timor Leste
      18. Fattannah Dasuki binti Omardin, Malaysia
      19. Madalena Godinho, Timor Leste
      20. Muhamad Mutaqin, Indonesia
      21. Laksmi Widya Arini, Indonesia
      22. Alya Hafidza Husna, Indonesia
      23. Armando Tilman da Silva, Timor Leste
      24. Cornelio Dos Santos Verdial, Timor Leste
      25. Fitriyani, Indonesia
      26. Azzam Syamil Rabbani, Indonesia
      27. Reisya Irfanny Farizaldi, Indonesia
      28. Terese, Singapore
      29. Pascoal Dos Santos, Timor Leste
      30. Amirul Firdaus, Malaysia
      31. Noelia Câncio Cerqueira, Timor Leste
      32. Lawrence Andrew Panique, The Philippines
      33. Farah Nur Syafiqah binti Roslan, Malaysia
      34. Rafannisa Kuncoroningrum, Indonesia
      35. Rhaka Katresna, Indonesia
      36. R. Tyaswana, Indonesia
      37. Neng Lina Lestari, Indonesia
      38. Benedicta Neysa Nathania, Indonesia
      39. David Richard Warami, Indonesia
      40. Sisillia Vidhianti, Indonesia
      41. Siti Hajar, Indonesia
      42. Ghufron Ramadhan, Indonesia
      43. Rosalind Ratana, Indonesia
      44. Yemima Paendong, Indonesia
      45. Htet Myat Aung, Myanmar
      46. Gervasio Renato Assis de Amaral, Timor Leste
      47. Naba Hesti Fahma, Indonesia
      48. Shawitry Reissa Rheviani, Indonesia
      49. Endang Kurniawan, Indonesia
      50. Thiri Naing, Myanmar
      51. Garcia, Anton Karl Señadoza, The Philippines
      52. Vath Sokkhorng, Cambodia
      53. Helena da costa, Timor Leste
      54. Nguyễn Thái Bảo, Vietnam
      55. Dang Le Anh Thu, Vietnam
      56. Nguyen Quang Huy, Vietnam
      57. Nguyen Thi Van, Vietnam
      58. Han Su Shwe Yi, Myanmar
      59. Hoang Van Chi Thai,Vietnam
      60. Miss Thidasavanh Milith, Lao PDR
      61. Hoang Thi Anh Thu, Vietnam
      62. Gabriel Lim Wei Qin, Singapore
      63. Evaristo Deus, Timor Leste
      64. Maria Lucia Martins de Jesus, Timor Leste
      65. Agapito Guterres dos Santos, Timor Leste
      66. Velda Wong, Singapore
      67. Vernalyn T. Lumambong -Senon, The Philippines
      68. Sheryl Anne Lugtu, The Philippines
      69. Nguyen Diep Huong, Vietnam
      70. Nguyen Bich Ngoc, Vietnam
      71. Mark Devon Maitim, The Philippines
      72. Theint Thinza, Myanmar
      73. Delilah Yunn, Myanmar
      74. Tạ Kiều Linh Chi, Vietnam
      75. Chikita Edrini Marpaung, Indonesia
      76. Phạm Thị Thiết, Vietnam
      77. Maia Asy-Syikin Binti Al Malik Faisal, Malaysia
      78. Mariel Precious Joy C. Gardose, The Philippines
      79. Christian Carl A. Pelayo, The Philippines
      80. Guilhermino Fernandes , Timor Leste
      81. Pham Tran Gia Linh, Vietnam
      82. Don Vinton Cafe Anan Costa Amado, Timor Leste
      83. Loren M Simangunsong, Indonesia
      84. Lew Guan Xi, Malaysia
      85. Benhar Riman Saputra, Indonesia
      86. Ravica Effendi, Indonesia
      87. Putri Utami, Indonesia
      88. Fadhrullah Hakim Yusop, Malaysia
      89. Muhammad Rafli, Indonesia
      90. Putri Rahma Asri, Indonesia
      91. Aura, Indonesia
      92. Isaura Ximenes Silveira, Timor Leste
      93. Noval Auliady, Indonesia
      94. Zahra Nur Aliya, Indonesia
      95. Phạm Thị Xuân trang, Vietnam
      96. Kervin Ann C. Adlawan, The Philippines
      97. Isaias Encarnacao Dias, Timor Leste
      98. Duarte da Silva Mira, Timor Leste
      99. Nguyen Dang Anh Duong, Vietnam
      100. Nurdinah Hijrah, Indonesia
      101. Silvia Jultikasari Febrian, Indonesia
      102. Therese Marie Avanceña, The Philippines
      103. Juvenia de Fátima Nunes, Timor Leste
      104. Syadilla R. Cardosh, Indonesia
      105. Chinito Reel I. Casicas, The Philippines
      106. Nareswari, Indonesia
      107. Lusitania, Timor Leste
      108. Hanim, Malaysia
      109. Shofiyah, Indonesia
      110. Dewi, Indonesia
      111. Isabel, Timor Leste
      112. Venancia, Timor Leste
      113. Nurman, Indonesia
      114. Theo, Indonesia
      115. Rita, Indonesia
      116. Yoan, Indonesia
      117. Noviana, Timor Leste
      118. Chan, The Philippines
      119. Ade, Indonesia
      120. Kathleen, The Philippines
      121. Aqilla, Indonesia
      122. Mohammad, Brunei Darussalam
      123. Atanasia, Timor Leste
      124. Me Me, Myanmar
      125. Nareswari, Indonesia
      126. Arnel, The Philippines
      127. Duong, Vietnam
      128. Ms Phonethip Sisomboun, Lao PDR
      129. Nguyen, Vietnam
      130. Lian, The Philippines
      131. Jessamae, The Philippines
      132. Sayed, Indonesia
      133. Khattar, Myanmar
      134. Naw, Myanmar
      135. Emery, The Philippines
      136. Nareswari, Indonesia
      137. Venancia, Timor Leste
      138. Rafa, Indonesia
      139. Zahrina, Indonesia
      140. Hendri, Indonesia
      141. Justina, Timor Leste
      142. Muchamad, Indonesia
      143. Noviana, Timor Leste


      And 22 undisclosed young individuals 

      List of Supporting Organizations and Communities:

      1. JARAK Indonesia (Jaringan LSM Penanggulangan Pekerja Anak/NGO Network for Combating Child Labor), Indonesia
      2. Merangin Geopark Youth Forum, Indonesia
      3. Inspirator Muda Nusantara , Indonesia
      4. Malaysian Youth Diplomacy, Malaysia
      5. Narasi Perempuan, Indonesia
      6. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, Legally registered as Southeast Asia Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Caucus (ASC), Inc, Regional Organization / Community
      7. Asia Democracy Network, Regional Organization / Community
      8. Fridays For Future Indonesia, Indonesia
      9. Global Youth Impact Nexus, Indonesia
      10. Youth for Better Baseco, the Philippines

      And 1 undisclosed organization

      List of Supporting Individuals:

      1. Herculano Amaral, Timor Leste
      2. Carlito Gabriel, Timor Leste
      3. Richella kashino campos, Timor Leste

      And 2 undisclosed individuals

      Categories: Statement


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