At the peak of the Doha trade round, Oxfam’s International Youth Partnerships worked closely with twenty young people from countries including India, Nigeria, Kenya and Cambodia to build their skills, support their local campaigns and facilitate their international advocacy at World Trade Organization meetings. I co-led this project with my colleague Sanushka Mudaliar, developing strategy, delivering training and support to activists and leading training and support in Hong Kong at the WTO Ministerial Meeting.
In the Niger state of Nigeria, one of our young partners brought about the first delivery of anti-retroviral treatment to the area, while in Kenya a partner helped tea farmers to collectively negotiate better prices for their tea and used her training to advise the Kenyan Government WTO delegation on the agricultural negotiations in Hong Kong.
The best part of OIYP for me was the Trade Justice Project … TJP opened my eyes to human rights and how the international trade system works. Through the TJP, I learnt how to use the human rights approach to hold my government accountable and demand for basic social services (healthcare, water & sanitation, basic education) in my community. I used it for advocacy and actually won advocacy battles using this approach, such as making antiretroviral medicines more available to people living with HIV/AIDS and getting the local governments to commit more funding to right fulfilling sectors such as health and sanitation – Action partner in Nigeria cited in Independent External Evaluation of OIYP