Liberty Victoria honours Dujuan Hoosan with the Young Voltaire Human Rights Award. Dujuan was chosen for his courage and determination in challenging governments to change the age they imprison children.
At the tender age of 12, Dujuan was the youngest person ever to address the Human Rights Council at the United Nations, where he asked global leaders to support Australia to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years, in line with the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights, and for First Nations languages to be taught in schools.
Dujuan is an Arrente and Garrwa boy who grew up between his two homelands at Sandy Bore outstation near Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and Spring Creek near Borroloola.
At 10 years old, he starred in, In My Blood It Runs, a feature documentary about his life growing up as a kid in the Northern Territory. He was also the collaborating director along with his families, and additional cameraperson. The film travelled all around the World to film festivals, was nominated for two ACCTA Awards and was ‘critics pick’ for the New York Times.
The Young Voltaire Award honours a person or group no older than 30 at the date of their nomination for an outstanding contribution to or action on free speech, human rights or civil liberties, with particular emphasis on progressing freedom, respect, equality and dignity. It celebrates those who speak out, write, campaign, whistle-blow, take action or stand against authoritarianism.
Dujuan Hoosan, at the age of 13 more than fits the bill by challenging the ‘white’ version of history and culture taught in schools, for speaking up for First Nations children and challenging governments.
In 2020, Dujuan will be the fourth person awarded with the Young Voltaire. Previous winners were the Ngaga Dji project, Georgie Stone and Yasmin Abdel-Magied
Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Voltaire dinner won’t be held this year. Instead you can join the Voltaire Awards Webinar on Friday 24 July at 7pm and hear from Dujuan himself.
Please register here to join the webinar live or to receive the recording for viewing at your convenience.
Dujuan has shown how we must speak out to highlight injustice and abuse. Locking up children as young as 10 years old for being ‘difficult’ is by any measure an injustice and an abuse.
There has to be a better way. Dujuan and his family have shown us there can be.
We hope you can join us on July 24th and hear this extraordinary young man.