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CALL CLOSED - 2015 International Forum for Young Leaders “Human Rights and Leadership”



The next generation of human rights professionals will be required to respond to increasingly complex and systemic global challenges through innovation and ingenuity.

Our mission is to foster a network of young leaders who aim to develop accessible solutions to these challenges and advance human rights and access to justice through ethical engagement.

Deadline: October 31, 2014

The International Forum for Young Leaders brings together individuals under 30 years of age who have demonstrated their passion for implementing innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, and offering them an opportunity to interact and benefit from each other’s experiences. It does this by:

  • Selecting ambitious, persistent young leaders from across the world with the potential to act as change agents in their field, sector, or geographic region;
  • Spreading their ideas about how to tackle major human rights and access to justice challenges and effect wide-scale change; and
  • Supporting an extensive network of former Young Leaders, named McGill Echenberg Fellows, to realize the practical implementation of their vision.

Participants hail from a range of backgrounds, including NGOs, politics, government, academia, the private sector, and the media.

Young Leaders participate in a series of skill-developing sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions, and cultural events aimed at engaging with the spectrum of issues that affect human rights outcomes, in addition to keynotes, panels and debates featuring prominent international human rights voices.

The Forum is at the core of the Fourth Echenberg Family Conference on Human Rights, which will be held at McGill University in Montreal from October 11-17, 2015, and is organized by the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. Held in conjunction with the Young Leaders Forum, the Conference will explore the theme of “Human Rights and Leadership” and will focus on individuals and groups who have set themselves apart in their promotion of human rights and access to justice through innovation, entrepreneurship, collaboration and creativity.

McGill Echenberg Fellows

At the conclusion of the Conference, participants of the Young Leaders Forum are named McGill Echenberg Fellows. The Fellows remain active in a vibrant community of human rights professionals, supported by a Secretariat at the Centre. The program offers the opportunity to interact and collaborate with members of an exceptional community of committed advocates, 20 to 25 of whom will be joining us for the 2015 Forum.


To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Be under 30 years of age as of July 31, 2015;
  • Hold a university degree in any field*;
  • Possess high oral proficiency in English; and
  • Have shown leadership, innovation, creativity, and/or entrepreneurship in your area of focus.

The Conference will select 25 Young Leaders for the Forum on the basis of their track record of leadership, commitment, and impact in their respective fields. Previous Fellows have shown leadership and entrepreneurship through pursuits such as serving as members of advisory boards, founding or supporting non-profits, development initiatives, or social enterprises.

For those selected, the Conference will cover all costs, including travel expenses to and from Montreal, accommodation, meals, and visa expenses.

*The Conference has made exceptions to this eligibility criterion under exceptional circumstances where applicants have demonstrated a particularly strong fit for the Young Leaders Forum.

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