Ishaan Shah (U6S2) joined the United Nation’s 65th Commission on the Status of Women as a UN Women UK Delegate and the Generation Equality Forum as a UN Youth Delegate. This year’s themes were women’s full and effective participation, decision-making in public life, and the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

Ishaan was invited to address the Commission on tackling modern slavery, human trafficking and severe forms of exploitation. He spoke alongside academics, survivors and leaders in the field from the United States, Canada and Indonesia. In his speech, he stated that: “Governments must create anti-slavery policies that are produced with or by survivors, consulting young people and ensuring that the root causes enabling exploitation are addressed.”

Ishaan also spoke at the official Anti-Human Trafficking Conversation Circle, sharing his experiences as a youth anti-slavery activist, articulating his failures, successes and steps businesses and individuals must take to tackle exploitation. In other consultations, he highlighted the roles men and boys must play in advancing generation equality, stressing the importance of listening to young people, supporting them and acting on their recommendations.

Additionally, Ishaan joined the United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum. This was a platform for candid dialogue among the Member States and young leaders globally, discussing solutions to challenges affecting young people. The Forum provided Ishaan with an opportunity to voice his visions and actions to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

Throughout these UN conferences, Ishaan has participated in discussions with government ministers, policymakers, organisations and activists, providing a youth perspective to the conversation. Alongside many young leaders, Ishaan is calling for action to create a more equitable world where every human being is truly born free and equal in dignity and rights.