The IBJ Youth Initiative

The IBJ Youth Initiative mobilizes a network of young people from around the world to promote access to justice. Someone who is part of the IBJ Youth Initiative is engaged in our mission to end torture as an investigative tool. Students and young social entrepreneurs with a particular interest in the field of legal and human rights take part in the Youth Initiative. They are part of our youth program to mobilize youth as stakeholders in achieving IBJ’s objectives.

Formerly called IBJ Youth Scholars, the IBJ Youth Initiative provide opportunities for personal, professional and academic development for young people around the world, and recognizes them as key actors in the fight for justice.

With your enthusiasm and commitment to social justice, you can play a key role in building the movement to end torture. The IBJ Youth Initiative is committed to working in partnership with young people to raise awareness of the issue of investigative torture and promote access to justice for all.

To find out how to start your own Youth Chapter, click here.

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to mobilize youth as stakeholders in achieving IBJ’s goal of implementing due process rights and ending torture universally by 2024. We envision this initiative creating a global network of youth chapters who raise awareness about the issues that IBJ deals with. We see youth as a fundamental pillar in achieving IBJ’s mission.

Justice Advocates and Youth Chapters

A Justice Advocate is someone who is part of IBJ’s Youth Initiative and wants to engage in the fight to end torture as an investigative tool. When a Justice Advocate starts a group at their school or university, the group is called a “Chapter.”

Four Pillars of Success

1. Justice Creates Peace

Global leaders understand the role of justice in societal systems: how it works locally, nationally, and worldwide. They know it is needed for peace. They acquire skills to move from agreements to effective implementation. Youth who take part in our program develop from a typical mindset of thinking that justice is about good guys vs. bad guys or retaliation to seeing the nuance of international humanitarian programs in peacemaking. In IBJ’s program, they see how justice is implemented through relationship building and conflict resolution. Peace is not achieved by non-violent inaction, but through collaborative justice. Youth participating in the program say this learning completely changes their worldview about how to be effective agents for peace.

2. Empowerment

Participants in our program often start out as the only advocates against investigative torture in their schools. The urgency of the issue as well as the effectiveness of the solution quickly empowers them to do more in their community. They become respected leaders and feel confident. As IBJ empowers them, the Youth Initiative teaches them the true mark of a youth leader: the ability to empower others.

3. Leadership

Youth interested in our program are usually leaders already, formally or informally. Global projects such as the IBJ Youth Justice Initiative brings leadership to the next level – that it can be about “disappoint(ing) […] people at a rate they can absorb” (Heifetz and Linsky). This means finding success in learning from failures. Youth are fairly challenged in this program; yet with IBJ’s support and mentorship, youth are well on their way to being talented leaders.

4. Partnership

Youth partner with JusticeMakers or our country centers. They see how torture is stopped in the context of the people they partner with. Youth become advocates for people they are inspired by. A relationship with our activists is essential for youth to garner a realistic sense of how to solve intricate social problems like torture. Through our teaching sessions and mentorship from our staff, youth learn leadership in context of this urgent issue. Youth also collaborate with local leaders to raise awareness and understand justice in their own country. This dynamic praxis makes stopping torture a reality they can relate to.