Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16% of the global population. By 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the number of youth is projected to have grown to over 25%.
As youth are increasingly demanding more just, equitable and progressive opportunities and solutions in their societies, the need to address the complex challenges faced by young people (such as access to education, health, employment and gender equality) have become more pressing than ever.
At 2030hub we wanted to create and support a community of young (aged 15 – 24) people passionate for change from across the Liverpool SDG landscape, and 2030pioneers was born. This programme is still young and evolving rapidly but we are all getting to know each other, our objectives, our common set of values and the potential for making our communities even stronger together.
Today we share the first of a series of short articles to introduce this team of changemakers already creating impact, so can we please introduce Saffiyah Khalique through her own words…
“The global challenge I am most passionate about is the fight for freedom of expression and equal institutions. There twelve countries which carry out the death penalty for those who choose to leave the state religion, which is known as apostasy. This affects individuals who want to convert to another religion, those who wish to practice a different interpretation of the state religion and those who wish to leave faith entirely. The control on freedom of thought is taken further with blasphemy laws, which prevent the criticism of governments whose laws have religious groundings. This control over an individual’s choice to believe what they wish to affect all aspects of life such as controls on women’s rights, LGBT rights and the freedom of the press and media. I have been campaigning to raise awareness of these laws and would like to see in my lifetime the ending of them globally, especially as the United Nations states that freedom of religion and expression are fundamental to human rights. On a local and national level, the effects of leaving religion is felt by individuals across the country, like myself, however, there is still little awareness in the educational, policing and healthcare sectors on how leaving faith puts young people in vulnerable positions facing shunning and disownment, and I hope to change that.”
Keep your eyes peeled for Saffiyah’s first 2030pioneer individual project coming soon!
Follow @saffdotcom on Twitter, check out her fantastic writing at www.theamberjournals.co.uk - a collective journal dedicated to discussing politics, religion, mental health and women's rights, and follow her emerging professional journey via Saffiyah Khalique on LinkedIn.