Statement

European youth stand with young Americans who say ‘Never Again’

02. 03. 2018

Once again young people have been the target of violence in a place that should provide the most safety; school. The latest mass school shooting in the United States left 17 victims dead and dozens more injured. In the wake of this tragedy, young voices have risen up to strongly call for change.

The European Youth Forum stands behind the young activists, who are demonstrating the true importance of including young people in decision-making and in the defense of peaceful societies.

While we are encouraged by the international attention gained by the student-led #NeverAgain’ campaign, it is outrageous and unacceptable that it took such tragic loss of life before political leaders showed willingness to engage with youth movements.

Throughout history young people have always been at the forefront of calls for justice and political change, in Europe, in the United States and around the world. However, young voices have also been ignored, dismissed and silenced for far too long. So many more young activist movements, particularly those led by African American youth and marginalised groups continue to receive disproportionate levels of support and political engagement.

The organisation of protests, demonstrations and nation-wide social movements not only over the past weeks but the past years in the USA are a true reflection of how much young people are committed to make a change. Much of this political activism comes from youth still considered too young to hold the right to vote, yet they continue to make their voices heard and use their right to participate in democracy.

As the European Youth Forum we so often find ourselves repeating to policy-makers: ‘nothing about us, without us’. It is critical that all young people no matter their background have a real say in issues that directly impact them, including the right to security. Young lives are being put at risk, simply by attending school. The urgency for change in the way we do politics cannot be overstated.

We stand in solidarity with all young people fighting for their rights and urge politicians in the United States and across the globe to not deny young people their voice. Young generations are speaking up, it’s about time they are listened to.