Franck Kuwonu:Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 February 2024:
In his native Togo, Roger Kodzo Klomegah is reshaping the future of human rights through active citizenship and youth empowerment. His journey began at Amnesty International Togo, where he co-won the human rights improvisation championship of his local group.
Roger’s commitment to making a real difference has driven his tangible achievements.
Amnesty International’s mission inspired him, and he quickly became an active member.
Clinching that victory in the debate tournament on human rights was pivotal — it showcased his deep understanding of the issues, which serves him well as a member of the youth advisory group of the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.
Photo: Roger Kodzo Klomegah
Educating, debating and advocating for rights
“I realized that, to protect and advance human rights, we must engage in practical discussions and actions,” Roger said.
Education and debate are vital for preparing young minds to advocate for their rights.
His early experiences within Amnesty International Togo laid the foundation for his work on real-world solutions to human rights challenges.
Roger took on diverse roles and collaborated with local branches of organizations like Junior Chamber International (JCI), a global non-profit dedicated to providing young people from 18 to 40 years old with development opportunities to create positive change in their communities and the world.
Reflecting on these roles, Roger noted, “Education and debate are vital for preparing young minds to advocate for their rights.”
Through his work with JCI, Roger engaged with youth on both local and global levels; and he highlighted the significance of critical thinking and active participation of young people.
Preserving gains, pushing for progress
Ever the realist, Roger acknowledged the challenges — conflicts, climate crises, youth unemployment and political instability — that hinder active citizenship in Africa.
We need to work on conflicts, climate crises and youth unemployment. They are the key challenges we face.
Nonetheless, he remains resolute in his commitment to finding practical solutions.
“The future of human rights depends on our addressing these challenges while preserving the progress we’ve made,” Roger said. He envisions a future where youth involvement is crucial to advancing human rights.
Programmes like debates in secondary schools, which Roger actively supports, give young minds a platform for engaging others and developing problem-solving skills.
“Young people’s energy and passion will shape human rights in Togo and across Africa,” he concluded. “We must empower the younger generation to take initiative in advocating for their rights.”