Bosnian activist Amila Alikadic (16) will speak before the UN General Assembly on November 20 at the marking of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Alikadic has initiated numerous activities aimed at educating children and youth on prevention of violence in her community in the northeastern municipality of Kalesija through programmes of World Vision Bosnia and Herzegovina.
She plans to speak about the rights of children to education and the need to modernise it, as well as about the problem of violence against and among children in Bosnia, which is on the rise.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country that is recovering from the war for nearly 25 years now. Violence, hopelessness, divisions, hidden poverty, post-war trauma and neglect of the needs of youth are ingredients in our lives. Many young people leave my country even though they love it,” Alikadic said, adding that young people “simply can’t see their future here.”
She explained that when she got engaged in activism through World Vision, she decided to “stand up and get engaged in a battle for my voice to be heard, a battle for better education and a future without violence.”
Alikadic will, along with other young people and goodwill ambassadors from around the world, also participate in the interactive event segment of the event, which is organised by UNICEF.
The young people will take over the UN General Assembly and talk about the rights of children in the world from their perspective.
“We must provide an opportunity for young people and children to participate in making the decisions that affect them, but before we take the participation of the youth to the next level, we must first listen to our children at home, at school and in daily life. Otherwise, they will continue leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Dragana Brunic, from World Vision BiH.
This is the first time a young person from Bosnia is participating in a discussion at the UN General Assembly.