Skip to main content

Call to young people: Let's defend the future together


Hafıza Merkezi is pleased to announce our new workshop program for young people. We are looking forward to receiving applications from prospective participants between the ages of 18 and 25 for the program where we will discuss the participation of young people in the struggle for human rights with young people.

Deadline: Thursday, November 10, 2022

Civil society, human rights and youth

Only 3.3 percent of Turkish civil society is active in advocacy, only 13.6 percent of its members are under the age of 30, and only 22 percent are women. Across civil society as a whole, 86 percent of leaders are men. The numbers tell us that civil society is predominantly male and middle-aged. It is evident that rights-based organizations are getting older. As Hafıza Merkezi, we recently announced the results of a survey we conducted with young people. Young People's Perception of Human Rights survey, which we conducted with KONDA Research and Consultancy Inc. with the contributions of the Consulate General of Sweden, showed a similar result: Unfortunately, young people are not interested in civil society... Only 4 percent are members of associations and 3 percent are members or volunteers of foundations. We believe that there are lessons to be learned from this picture revealed by the research. We believe that it is necessary for the human rights movement to take steps to overlap rights-based struggles with the priorities of young people's lives, to create different levels of participation opportunities for different levels of interest of young people, and to make the information produced more accessible. We aim to create a space for discussion and communication with young people.

Youth and Human Rights Workshop

With this in mind, Hafıza Merkezi's project Keep the Volume Up, launched to support human rights organizations and defenders, has a call for young people: Let's discuss the future of rights-based civil society together and find solutions to the limitations it faces. For this purpose, we are starting a new workshop program where we will come together with young people. Throughout the four-week program, we will open a space for discussion on rights, seek answers to questions such as how to engage, how to expand participation opportunities, what/how to change, look at the reasons for the distance between civil society and young people, and search for a new language together with young people through good examples from Turkey and the world.


he workshops will be held online every Tuesday for 4 weeks. The first workshop will be held on November 22, 2022 and each workshop will last 2 hours. After the workshops are completed, there will be a face-to-face closing meeting to discuss the results of the workshops, create an intergenerational communication environment, and bring young people together with rights defenders.

What are we expecting? 

We expect our friends who participate in the workshops, which we plan to be interactive rather than one-way, to be interested in the field of rights and to participate regularly. It is also important to hear new things from young people and learn from them. Although it is not a condition, we encourage the production of articles, interviews, etc. on the topics discussed. Our greatest hope is that one day, if not tomorrow, we will be able to see the participants of the workshops among us as civil society volunteers or employees.

What can you expect?

A participant who completes the workshop program will,

  • Learn about important debates in the field of civil society,
  • Produce ideas/projects related to these debates,
  • Meet civil society professionals and rights defenders who are experts in their fields,
  • Experience a joint learning and production process.


We have shaped the sessions of the workshop program under the following four headings based on the problem areas highlighted by our research titled Young People's Perception of Human Rights;

  • Civil society, human rights and youth from past to present
  • Thinking about youth engagement in difficult and risky areas,
  • How to influence, how to change,
  • A new language, a new way of communicating.

Application requirements

All young people between the ages of 18-25 who are excited about civil society work, especially rights advocacy, can apply to the program. To apply, please fill in the application form with your personal information and your motivation to participate in the workshop program.