Your rights as young person in SA

Our country is faced with challenges such as poverty, inequality, and low levels of education. It’s important for us to start having conversations that will bring about positive change in society. Here’s how you can make an impact as a young person.

The right to choice

You have the right to freely express your views and participate in society, to be heard and to contribute to decision making on matters that affect you. To make a difference, choose a societal issue that you’re interested in, the most important thing is to be passionate about your cause so that you are inspired and motivated to be deeply involved.

When choosing a cause, it’s important to think about the importance of the issue to you and the community and what you hope to come out of advocating for that cause. Even though you have this right, it’s critical that your views on the cause don’t discriminate against others based on their sexual orientation, race or religion.

The right to freedom

Everyone has the right to associate with anyone they wish to associate with. This means people have a right to associate with any trade union, a political party, or any other club or association you wish to be. This includes the right to peacefully express yourself in order for your voice to be heard.

By associating yourself with others who are advocating for the same cause as you, it will be easier to achieve that goal. Try not to associate yourself with violence or disruption which can ultimately defeat the purpose of your cause.

The right to express yourself

You have a right to political rights. Every citizen has the right to form a political party; to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for a political party and to campaign for a political party or cause. The first step in advocacy is to gain a deeper understanding about the cause you are advocating towards.

The more you understand your topic and the issues surrounding it, the better equipped you will be to advocate for or against a particular issue. While you have the freedom to freely express yourself and the ideologies of your advocacy group, it’s important not to use any sort of violence, hate speech or discrimination in your advocacy.

Although it’s important for us to be aware and advocate for the rights or causes we are passionate about, remember that every action has a consequence. For every right there is a responsibility, and we have the greatest responsibility to create a better society by being non-sexist, non-racist and non-discriminating. As the youth we need to continue working and advocating against societal injustices so that we can pave the way for future generations. 

If you or a friend need someone to talk to, you can speak to me for advice or help here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).