Youth and Student Caucus

GCE Global Youth & Student Caucus 2022 Report

Background on GCE Youth Engagement

“It is both right and timely that GCE should create the opportunities for children and youth to engage in decision making and governance structures, not only in terms of value and legitimacy but also in terms of learning from the unique perspective they can bring to our work.” (GCE Policy Resolution 2015)

Since 2018 when the amendment regarding the youth constituency and its equal representation on the board of the GCE was first voted for, there have been numerous strides towards this representation. Currently, in 2022, the board seats for the constituency for international youth and student-led organisations are represented by Martina Darmanin, nominated on behalf of the European Students’ Union (ESU) and Ester Simon, nominated on behalf of the All-African Students’ Union (AASU) –a member of the Global Student Forum. This is a historic win for the youth & student movement within the GCE.

Between 2020 and 2021, youth and students’ engagement has focused on convenings that contextualize the realities on the ground in which young people operate. Many national coalitions within the GCE membership have reported negative effects of privatization and public-private partnerships in terms of their impact on equality and the promotion of education consistent with human rights and the public good. Additionally, repression and resistance are two trends that have emerged throughout the Covid-19 crisis, particularly in relation to young people’s responses to authoritarian rule, political violence, and the repression of active citizenship among human rights defenders and civil society. Criminalisation and repression of students, youth, teachers, and human rights defenders fighting for social justice and specific issues. The criminalisation and shrinking of space for youth and student-led social justice organizing have been seen to be on the rise during this “new normal” we find ourselves facing.

As GCE grows and strengthens its youth and student engagement, it has become increasingly imperative to create spaces and platforms for youth and students to build bridges of solidarity and capacity across the membership. A fundamental goal is to create brave spaces and platforms for youth and students to lead discussions, document perspectives, co-create strategies, and develop shared agendas for education advocacy and activism within GCE. GCE heard this resounding call from youth & student activists from across the movement and acknowledged that the time is ripe to convene a gathering of youth, students, and organizational representation. With this in mind, GCE planned to host a Global Student & Youth Caucus in March 2022.

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The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is a civil society movement that aims to end exclusion in education. Education is a basic human right, and our mission is to make sure that governments act now to deliver the right of everyone to a free, quality, public education.