Universiteit Leiden

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Child rights activist Graça Machel to speak in Leiden on intergenerational justice

Mozambican politician and child rights activist Graça Machel will speak about her work at Leiden University on 27 October. In 2021, Machel was awarded an honorary doctorate from the university for her commitment to the rights of women and children in Africa and beyond.

Following her lecture, she will discuss the topic of intergenerational justice and human rights at a time of planetary crises in Africa with researchers from the university, the UN and the African Studies Centre Leiden.

Extreme weather events and food insecurity pose an immediate threat to the lives and livelihoods of communities. Intergenerational justice compels us to recognise that our actions (and inaction) today have profound consequences for the generations that follow. It requires us to adopt a wider lens, balancing the rights and needs of the present with an imperative to preserve the environment for the enjoyment of rights in the future.

Machel has consistently voiced the importance of seeing children's vulnerability and acknowledging their resilience. Children bear a disproportionate burden in times of conflict and endure the lasting repercussions of pandemics and endemic infectious diseases. Many children, particularly girls, experience violence, exclusion, and discrimination on the basis of displacement, disability, ethnicity or affiliation with extremist groups. Nevertheless, children remain the champions of justice across generations, challenging societal stigmas and proffering innovative solutions to challenges that confound adults. Their voices, according to Machel, deserve to be heard and taken seriously.

The event on 27 October is open to all and starts at 9.30 in the Grand Auditorium of the Academy Building.

Photo: Fronteiras Braskem do Pensamento

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