Human Rights Youth forum

The International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) of the Faculty of Law hosted a highly successful Human Rights Youth Forum on Saturday 6th April, 2019 (1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) at the JFK Quadrangle, UWI, St. Augustine Campus. This activity was the fifth event of the Faculty’s Human Rights Project entitled 'Strengthening Trinidad and Tobago’s Human Rights Capacity through Innovative Legal Education Delivery', a 2- year project funded by the European Development Fund (EDF) through the Ministry of Education.

Displays displays

The UWI Faculty of Law’s Human Rights Youth Forum was a dynamic mix of activities and displays.

Through a showcase of over 40 performance and other expressions including speeches, panel discussions, poetry, song, musical instruments, dance and art, presented by leading young human rights activist role models and artistes, the Forum captured an audience of over 400 young persons and other interested stakeholders, and it delivered salient messages related to the project’s selected human rights topics:

  • Persons deprived of Liberty (including refugees and remand prisoners)
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Children’s Rights
  • Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Gender

 

 

 

 

 

attendees attendees

The Human Rights Youth Forum attracted an audience of over 400 persons who were delightfully engaged by co-MC Ro’dey the Entertainer.

Speakers at the event included Dr. The Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law, The UWI, St. Augustine and Former President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, (IACHR) OAS, Washington; Senator Khadijah Ameen; Mr. Nikoli Edwards, Independent Senator, Vice Chair for Policy, Advocacy and Projects at the Commonwealth Youth Council; Khadija Pierre, Youth Representative for the Family Planning Association of Trinidad & Tobago; Media personality Akash Samaroo; Shamla Maharaj (motivational speaker living with cerebral palsy); Vrishni Maharaj of Naparima Girls’ High School (winner of the Faculty of Law’s Children’s Rights Moot Competition); Maria La Coa and Zola Simmons (ex-remand prisoners; Joint Force Anticrime Initiative of Change); Mr. Kareem Marcelle, Makandal Daaga Scholar of the Faculty of Law; well-known community activist, attorney Sydelle Johnson; Mr. Andrew Welch of the United Nations Refugee Agency in Trinidad and Tobago; Mr. Marcus Kissoon (Human rights activist); Swetlana Liansky – a young Venezuelan living in Trinidad (speech); Ruqqayah Scott of SMILE; Nicholas Ashby (National Youth Action Committee); and Mr. Darrion Narine.

Speakers at the events included:

1. Dr. The Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts

Minister of Community Development

2. Media personality Akash Samaroo

Akash Samaroo

3. Vrishni Maharaj of Naparima Girls’ High School (winner of the Faculty of Law’s Children’s Rights Moot Competition)

vrishni maharaj

There were performances by the UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts Dance Group; Idrees Saleem (2014 Grand Slam Champion); Aaliyah Ali of Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu School (spoken word performance); Dylan Kowlessar of Hillview College (pan); Kahei Pun and Satesh Singh of Hillview College (monologue); upcoming local Reggae performer Touchy; Joshua Regrello (pan); Sasha-Ann Moses of the UWI Faculty of Law (song); Zalika Pollard (Bishops Anstey High School (song); Leandra Clarke (spoken word); the Youth Arm of the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community Group (indigenous poem); Ayanna Norville and students from the Hugh Wooding Law School (skit); Jasmine Lezama of the National Youth Action Committee (calypso); Tracelle Frederick (cello); Laurissa and Renelle Maharaj (violin), Tafari – a young and upcoming conscious artist; the Felicity Backroad Boys Tassa Group; and Joel Lewis (Moko Jumbie). A very entertaining extempo performance was given by the visually impaired, National Junior Extempo Monarch winner for 2019, Mr. Kishon Phillip, who faced off with his mentor and coach, Extempo King, Joseph ‘The Mighty Lingo’ Vautor-Laplaceliere.

Spirited and informative performances were delivered by:

1. Mr. Kishon Phillip and Extempo King, Joseph ‘The Mighty Lingo’ Vautor-Laplaceliere

Mr. Kishon Phillip and Extempo King, Joseph ‘The Mighty Lingo’ Vautor-Laplaceliere

2. The Santa Rosa First Peoples’ Youth group

the Santa Rosa First Peoples’ Youth group

 

3. The UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts Dance Group

the UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts Dance Group

Additionally, the event featured a panel discussion on mental health jointly hosted by the Faculty of Law and Families in Action; presentations from the students of the Faculty of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic; and a game on Women’s Health, which was organized and hosted by Amanda Mc Intyre (SHE RIGHT). The masters of ceremonies were the dynamic MC Ro’dey and Jadia JnPierre, UWI champion debater and Law student.

Several NGOs and leading organizations hosted exhibition booths at the Forum, including the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR); the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Living Water Community; the UWI Institute for Gender and Development Studies; and the UWI Psychology Unit. The Santa Rosa First Peoples Community Group also hosted a booth with indigenous craft and other items for sale.

Family Planning booth

Photo above: Booth hosted by the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) at the Youth Forum.

In addition to the presentations and performances, there was a ‘Visual Arts Corner’ where captivating pieces of art on human rights were displayed by the UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts. Adjacent to the art display, an interactive art piece was developed during the course of the Youth Forum. This piece was conceptualised by one of Trinidad’s young, aspiring artists, AJ Rogers; and it provided an opportunity for all members of the Forum to become involved in adding their ‘voice’ through the use of art.

In addition to the presentations and performances, there was a ‘Visual Arts Corner’ where captivating pieces of art on human rights were displayed by the UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts. Adjacent to the art display, an interactive art piece was developed during the course of the Youth Forum. This piece was conceptualised by one of Trinidad’s young, aspiring artists, AJ Rogers; and it provided an opportunity for all members of the Forum to become involved in adding their ‘voice’ through the use of art.

Photo above: Dr. The Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly (Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts) and Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine (Dean of the Faculty of Law, The UWI, St. Augustine) add their touch to the interactive art piece conceptualized by artist AJ Rogers.

This Youth Forum follows several high caliber and successful activities under the auspices of the project, including the Panel discussion on Refugees, the Children’s Rights Moot, a workshop on Promoting Intellectual Property and Environmental Rights for Indigenous Peoples and a Workshop on new Children’s Rights Law