Young people empowering rural communities: Commissioner speaks at international conference in Dumfries

10 August 2018

Quote reading: Young people from rural and island communities have told me about the different opportunities they have— and the particular challenges they face.

The Commissioner’s giving a keynote speech at an international conference in Dumfries today, as part of this week’s Amaze Me LEADER series of events.

At the conference, young people from countries across Europe will share ideas about empowering their rural communities, such as through creating opportunities for the young through tourism and technology.

They’ll also discuss key issues affecting rural areas like Dumfries and Galloway— including those around poverty, transport and mental health.

There will also be:

  • themed discussion workshops led and facilitated by young people who have participated in the Amaze Me LEADER week of events,
  • thoughts from a panel of experts, and
  • pledges by key decision makers.

The Commissioner said:

“Young people have the right to be involved in decision-making and when they know and understand their human rights they are able to defend their own rights and the rights of others by challenging those in power and demanding change.
“Young people are an essential part of all our communities in Scotland but those from rural and island communities have told me about the different opportunities they have, and the particular challenges they face, including rural poverty, lack of transport links, and issues around mental health such as social isolation and access to services.
“AMAZEme Leader is a fantastic opportunity for young people from across Europe to come together to discuss common human rights issues such as protecting the environment and celebrating cultural rights, and to share ideas on how to empower communities and create opportunities for young people through tourism and technology.”

About Amaze Me LEADER

Amaze Me LEADER is a programme of events that happened across Dumfries and Galloway this week. Throughout it, young participants have focused on several key issues around life in the region’s rural communities, including what might be required for young people to build a life for themselves within them.