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The Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) staged a showcase on the “Borderless Youth Forum 2019” at the Asia-Pacific Regional Review of the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Beijing+25 Review at the United Nations Convention Centre between 27-29 November 2019.
With the mission to empower youth, the TIJ, alongside with the UNODC, launched the first Borderless Youth Forum in March 2019. The aim of the forum is leverage innovative thinking framework and technological advancements to facilitate meaningful and empowered youth engagement in strengthening justice. The forum’s facilitation was led by the expert from the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the “d.school”) at Stanford University, who pioneered the technique called ‘Design Across Borders’. Such technique allows design thinking approach to be applied borderless-ly, and enables high quality remote collaboration to innovate resolution to social problems. At the first launch, the forum attracted 162 youths from 10 countries across the Asia-Pacific region
Youth were distributed into small teams and worked virtually across national boundaries to create prototypes of possible solutions to address social issues by empathizing injustice through the online interactive interview sessions with local resource persons. The pressing justice issues that the forum focused on were promoting social reintegration of ex-offenders, ending gender-based violence, and enhancing access to justice for marginalized and vulnerable group, all of which lead to the promotion of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); SDGs 5, 16, and 17.
Following the first launch, the second Borderless Youth Forum took place during 12-13 October 2019 and expanded beyond the Asia-Pacific region to engage Europe and Africa. 138 youth from 55 nationals and 52 countries attended the forum.
At the Asia-Pacific Regional Review of the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Beijing+25 Review, the TIJ and UNODC co-organized a side-event on 28 November 2019, from 5-7 PM under the title of “Innovation & Gender Justice.” The event showcased framework, background, and lessons learned from the Borderless Youth Forum, including share ideas and recommendations on the issue of gender-based violence, which are the outcome of the worldwide youth collaboration. Showcasing the application of innovative technologies to connect youth across the world, the attendees of the side-event could sneak a peak into how the process to connect youth across borders for social impact and hear learnings, thoughts, and proposed solutions to end-gender based violence through digital means. The side-event did not only provide the transfer of technical knowledge, but also a space to amplify youth voices with regards to gender and justice issues.
Examples of prototypes and ideas initiated during the forums included the safety plan for women who were victims of violence, center of local community for victims of abuse to help victim break the silence, #BoyCANCry project to raise awareness about toxic masculinity. All projects reflect voices of youth that gender-based violence is borderless, each country and region encounters the similarity of problems and to end this, borderless collaboration is necessary.
While the exhibition, “Innovating Borderless Justice” held between 27-29 November 2019, shared tools and lessons learned from using innovative technology to connect worldwide youth to resolve social issues.