The Youth Programme has been one of the cornerstones of the Centre since our inception because we recognise and value queer youth experiences and voices. The mission of the Youth Programme is twofold: to empower LGBTI youth and allies to contribute to the improvement of LGBTI rights situation in Mongolia and to improve the education environment, including content, of LGBTI children. Specific focus has always been building the capacity of the volunteers and allies, which is done through a formal, annual Youth Leadership Programme from 2014 onwards. This annual programme is geared towards training of younger generation of human rights activists. The Centre joined the Mongolian Youth Council with 64 member organisations to further promote LGBTI youth voices in the policy and practice around youth participation and empowerment.
In May 2017, the Centre submitted its first participatory situational assessment results to the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, the assessment conducted with 19 LGBTIQ children in June and July 2016 for the purpose of engaging the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. As a result, 3 recommendations were obtained specifically relating to the improvement of the situation of LGBTI children in Mongolia. The Youth Programme worked on inclusion of non-discrimination principle in the newly passed Law on Youth Development Promotion of 18 May 2017, and succeeded in inclusion of non-discrimination as one of the guiding principles in the section 5.1.1 (non-discrimination grounds are not expanded in the legislation).
The Youth Programme strategy and activities:
- To educate and build capacity of youth and children’s organisations with a view to include LGBTI voices and foster cooperation to improve the LGBTI youth situation in Mongolia;
- To promote ending discrimination and bullying in education;
- To include LGBTI representations and LGBTI-relevant information in the comprehensive secondary education curriculum by expanding the Centre’s cooperation and linkages with education-oriented organisations around the world to bring the best practices of SOGIE inclusion in the curriculum;
- To build the capacity of the education sector employees and school social workers to promote anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies and practices in the education environment;
- To build the capacity of LGBTI youth and allies to act as agents of change through its annual Youth Leadership Programme and its fortnightly Queer Night event, through new and traditional media as well as through gay-straight-alliance-like groups at education institutions;
- To expand the Centre’s cooperation and linkages with LGBTI youth-oriented organisations around the world to bring in the best practices of engaging and enabling participation by LGBTI youth.