The Youth Commission is the body of the governance of the IFRC that is responsible for advising on matters that relate to young people and development of National Society youth sections. It also promotes the implementation of the International Federation Youth Policy and seeks youth opinions worldwide to ensure that these latter are considered at the governance level of our Movement. If you would like to find out more about the governance of the IFRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, visit this section.
The commission is made up of young volunteers and staff of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. There is a chairperson and eight members, all under 31 years old at their appointment, which is for a four year term. Appointments are made at alternating IFRC General Assemblies. The current Youth Commission was appointed at the General Assembly in 2015. Members of the commission are:
- Chair: Bas van Rossum, Chairman, Netherlands
Bas is the Youth President of the Netherlands Red Cross and has been the Chair of the European Youth Network since 2012. He holds a master degree from the University of Amsterdam in strategic management and has extensive experience in governance positions within the Red Cross Red Crescent. As the Chair of the Youth Commission, Bas is a member of the IFRC Governing Board.
- Vice chair: Lama Srour, Lebanon
Lama has been a volunteer within the youth department of the Lebanese Red Cross since 2000. She was engaged in different programs and held a set of responsibilities from being the Chair of her branch, Byblos, to becoming a National Trainer and Supervisor of the Humanitarian Principles and Values Program, Youth and Health program, and Communication, Training and Planning committees. She initiated the annual Peace Festival, and “give us a hand” event which broke the Guinness World Record for the largest hand-printed canvas for Humanity. Moreover, Lama is experienced in governance, having served as a board member for her NS during the past three years. She holds a degree in Advertising and Marketing, and is continuing her Master Degree in International Affairs.
- Azamat Baialinov, Kyrgyzstan
Azamat joined the Red Crescent in 1998 as a volunteer and trainer in the health programs of Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan. During his engagement, he was in charge of establishing Red Crescent Youth centres across Kyrgyzstan and building volunteer management systems. Currently, Azamat serves as the Vice-Chair of the National Society. He is member of the European Youth Coordination Committee and Vice President of European Red Cross Red Crescent Network on HIV and TB. He is experienced in program development and management in health, disaster preparedness and organizational development and has professionally been involved with the UNFPA in the field of sexual and reproductive health. He holds a master degree in Business Administration from Kyrgyz National University, Executive Master from Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva and doing his PhD on youth development.
- Sandre Barrett, Jamaica
Sandre is Youth Officer at Jamaica Red Cross with responsibilities for violence prevention and the Jamaica Red Cross School of Transformation. Sandre was one of the drivers of the revision of the Jamaica Red Cross Youth programme. She also successfully planned three consecutive annual National Youth Rallies which bring together at least 1,500 Red Cross Youth across the island of Jamaica in friendly competition in Drill, First Aid, Culinary arts, and Educational poster and banner.
- Auner Garcia Garcia, Nicaragua
Auner Garcia Garcia is currently the National Volunteer Director of the Nicaraguan Red Cross. Prior to this, he served as National Youth Director of his National Society and supported the development and strengthening of youth groups for 5 years. As the Coordinator of the Regional Red Cross Youth Network for Mexico, Panama and Central America, Auner chaired the strategic Working group on Volunteering and Youth Development during the Inter-American Conference (2012). Outside of the RCRC Movement, Auner served as country youth representative for IAVE and he has been executive secretary of the National Network of Volunteers of Nicaragua.
- Sameh Hattab, Tunisia
Sameh Hattab has been a volunteer within the Tunisian Red Crescent since 2005. She has volunteered in different programs such as the Youth Capacity Building and Leadership Development and is currently responsible for the supervision of the Youth Engagement Programme of the Tunisian Red Crescent. Sameh holds a degree in psychology and has applied experience in providing psychosocial support.
- Pearl Li, Australia
Pearl Li has been a member and volunteer of Australian Red Cross since 2011 with experience in a variety of programs, such as emergency services, international humanitarian law, social inclusion, migration support, and alcohol and drug harm minimisation. Currently, Pearl chairs the National Youth Advisory Committee and is a member of the Australian Red Cross Board. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws. Pearl is passionate about youth engagement as a cross-cutting theme for the International Movement of Red Cross Red Crescent and views her role as a Youth Commissioner to champion and address issues of importance to young people.
- Amintsoa Razafimanantsoa, Madagaskar
Amintsoa is a volunteer within the Malagasy Red Cross. She was the Youth Coordinator until 2016. From 2012 to 2014, she led the implementation of the Youth program and development of the Youth Policy within the National Society. As a renowned young female leader in her country, Amintsoa became a Ted speaker on the topic “Civic Youth Engagement” with her talk centred around volunteering. Her motto for her Youth Commission tenure is to work on closing-up the divide between the RCRC Youth Programs within National Societies. She holds a master degree in Social Communication focused on local and social development.
- Marie-Esther Rouffet, France
Marie-Esther is a graduate of the French Red Cross Nursing School and intensively volunteered with the Red Cross since 2009. Marie-Esther led the youth engagement in her National Society and became the first French Red Cross Board member under the age of 30. She is in charge of a project on youth precariousness and student volunteering. Through her training in International Humanitarian Law, Humanitarian Values and YABC, she gained much experience in project development and management. She is the international youth representative for French Red Cross and took part in the process of the YES.
In 2007, the IFRC Constitution was revised and approved by our General Assembly in Switzerland. In the revised constitution, the youth commission became a constitutional body, meaning that its composition and functions can only be changed by changing our constitution. The functions of the IFRC Youth Commission are defined in Article 30 and are:
- to give advice on all matters concerning youth and youth-related activities throughout the International Federation;
- to promote and assess the implementation of the youth policy decided by the General Assembly or the Governing Board, as well as to consider and study as requested by the Board matters of policy development in the area of youth;
- to review and suggest revisions of the youth policy to the Governing Board or the General Assembly (as the case may be) for adoption;
- to seek youth opinions on the implementation of relevant International Federation policies and to ensure that those opinions are communicated to the Statutory Bodies of the Movement;
- to advise the Secretary General in the implementation of the youth policy and all other policies and strategies as they relate to youth within the Movement; and
- to report to the General Assembly and Governing Board on its general activities on a regular basis.