WYA was able to speak at the 58th Commission for Social Development on Monday, February 17th, 2020. This statement was drafted and delivered by Advocacy Fellow Faith Kabora.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, distinguished delegates and ladies and gentlemen. The World Youth Alliance is a global coalition of young people dedicated to the promotion and defense of human dignity in policy and culture and building solidarity between young people in developing and developed countries. We welcome the opportunity to address the commission on affordable housing and social protection for all to address homelessness.
World Youth Alliance believes that person-centered development must be grounded in human dignity and focus on empowering people. Policies grounded in human dignity prioritize the respect of the human rights of everybody, and the coverage of basic human needs. Lack of adequate housing fails to meet the needs of persons, limiting their ability to thrive. However, policies should not assume that people are merely recipents of goods; they must recognize each person’s ability to contribute to, not just benefit from, development. Human beings are our greatest resource.
People experiencing homelessness often lack other fundamental needs. SDGs 2, 3, 6 and 11 address the immediate and durable needs of people in vulnerable situations, and WYA encourages Member States to ensure that these needs are prioritized in development efforts. Education, SDG 4, should be part of long-term solutions to prevent and address issues related to homelessness. Education can also help people recognize their dignity and equip them with the necessary tools to reach their potential.
World Youth Alliance has developed a curriculum that can help promote respect, responsible behavior, and equality between men and women. The Human Dignity Curriculum (HDC) teaches children about human dignity: that every human being has it, and should, therefore, be respected. As the world of work continues to grow and change, it is important to ensure that we include all people in all spheres of life. By grounding person-centered policies in human dignity, we can equip all human beings to be problem-solvers. Thus empowered, everyone can contribute to the development of their communities using their unique capacities and gifts.We call on Member States to promote policies that keep the dignity of human beings as the center of development.