Millennials, Human Rights, and Returning Home

Christy Dehus
Content Type
Working Paper
Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
Millennials that leave their home country, are raised in the west, then return to their home countries leave an impact on both countries. It’s similar to the brain drain phenomenon, but this generation has the potential to positively impact both countries: their home countries by returning and the countries they are raised in by educating from afar via social media. Ugaaso Boocow is an example of this. She uses Instagram to document her journey back home to Somalia after spending the majority of her childhood and young adult life in Canada. Through this process she depicts the Somalia that the media doesn’t portray: a country full of rich heritage and geographical diversity. Her friends in the west learn about life in Somalia and Somalia is positively impacted by the education she obtained in the west. How does the influx of millennials returning to their home country after living in the west mold their understanding of universal human rights? In Somalia, as in other war-torn countries, human rights are violated on a daily basis. International humanitarian law, which provides laws to protect civilians and combatants during armed conflict, is violated. The spirit of humanity is captured through Ugaaso’s Instagram pictures, providing hope for failed states. Perhaps the return of these young people will create pressure for failed states to change. They are the champions for their countries.
Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Social Movement, Youth
Political Geography
Global Focus