Youth Verdict is a coalition of diverse young Queenslanders from all around the state who are united by a common mission to use the law to fight for youth justice.
Young people in Queensland are facing multiple challenges today, from job security in a casualised workforce and gig economy to climate impacts, happening right now across the state.
In late 2019, a team of young Queenslanders from all across the state founded Youth Verdict to advocate for the rights of our generation.
We are all from different backgrounds.
We stand in solidarity with First Nations people, committed to the fight for cultural rights and Country.
We are young, regional Queenslanders who have experienced climate impacts of floods, drought and bushfires first hand.
We are from the Far North, where we see the climate-fueled destruction of the Reef and seek jobs in long-term, sustainable industries like renewables and tourism.
We represent different faith groups, different cultures and different life experiences.
But we are united by the need to fight for intergenerational equality and the human rights of young people and First Nations youth.
Our mission is to advocate for the human rights of young people in Queensland.
We aim to create an equitable and accessible space for young people across QLD to come forward and participate in cultivating First Nations, social and environmental justice, by using the legal system and leveraging political power to challenge human rights breaches and to advocate for the protection of human rights.
We want to build strong connections between communities and organisations across the movement in this state to work towards the shared vision of a just and sustainable world.
At the core of our vision, we see connected and powerful communities as integral to the society we want to build; where those who are most affected are empowered to make decisions for their communities.
Our current system prioritises big business and profits for the few at the expense of the masses. It needs to change.
We believe in a society that fosters sustainable and non-exploitative production to meet individual’s needs, and more holistically, benefits the collective wellbeing of humans and the land. To achieve this, we must first recognise that injustices relating to First Nations people, other marginalised communities and environmental degradation are all inextricably linked.
We stand in solidarity with First Nations people and their rights to land, culture and other affairs.
We seek transformative justice, where those who have profiteered from extractivism and exploitation are held accountable for their actions, and the concentration of power and wealth in the margins of society is distributed.
We envision self-managed and powerful communities where equity and the human rights of all are upheld.
We aim to connect young people from all across QLD, advocating for and education on culture and land rights, the environment and workers’ rights. Building a world where we are all free regardless of our race, gender or sexuality.
We believe in freedom to education and information relating to human rights and aim to build a platform to allow young people to step up and have their voices heard.
Through this, we intend to shape the decisions and policy of today, to safeguard the rights of future generations.
a) We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded. We respect the diversity of culture and nation groups within so-called Queensland, who maintained custodianship with the land for 60,000+ years and respect the leadership and knowledge of First Nations people.
b) We strive to cultivate First Nations, social and environmental justice. Since structures of power are inextricably linked, we recognise the universal need for solidarity and allyship across all movements calling for justice.
c) We aim to foster equity within our organisation and work to be inclusive of socially, economically and geographically isolated individuals and groups, and work to break down structures that impede on accessibility including racism, sexism, ableism, classism, xenophobia and homophobia.
d) We work collectively and horizontally within Youth Verdict and aim to work collaboratively with the broader human rights, social justice and climate justice movements.
e) We fully support a just transition of local economies reliant on fossil-fuel oriented extractive industries, through redistributing profits of corporations to re-train and support workers. We acknowledge that workers in exploitative fossil fuel industries are not at fault for the climate crisis.
f) We know that strong workers rights protect all of us in times of crisis and we value and respect the unions and organisations working to support and organise workers and fight for our rights.
g) We respect the autonomy and agency of Youth Verdict members. We acknowledge that young people have the ability to be powerful change-makers when empowered to take courageous opportunities.
h) We value modelling sustainable activism, organising and campaigning. We acknowledge the wellbeing challenges facing young people engaged in activism and strive to create a community of care and support.
i) We encourage reflecting and learning, and actively work to take on feedback and focus our energy where it is most necessary.
j) We acknowledge the privilege that allows us time and resources to take on unpaid voluntary work. We respect the strength and resilience of marginalised communities fighting the frontlines of survival. Our fight to prevent future crises must also work to undo the injustices of today to build a just future.
k) We actively reject an anthropocentric view on the world that is built on dominion and endless extractivism, and seek a more holistic and grounded relationship interpersonally and with the natural world.
l) We seek to actively centre the voices of marginalised communities and to deconstruct colonial power structures, narratives and systems of doing. We support the sovereignty of First Nations. We acknowledge that the voices and perspectives of First Nations people and people of colour are regularly ignored in mainstream narratives of climate and progressive action.