Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Fatima Salihi

@ Age 22

Our young human rights champion of the week

Posted 17th April 2020

Fatima fled Afghanistan to Pakistan twenty years ago, after the arrival of Taliban.

Fatima has lived with the label “Afghan Refugee” throughout her whole life – a label that she feels implies “less than, foreigner, not from here”.

Throughout her life Fatima has seen and experienced violence, and bullying  because of her nationality, gender and religion.

Since arriving in Australia in 2018 at age 20 she continues to wear this label, and face the day to day challenges of being a newly arrived refugee in Australia.

Fatima has seen starvation firsthand, women experiencing daily torture and violation, girls being forced into early marriage, students being bullied, refugees being treated inhumanely.  Her experiences have fuelled her passion for education, youth leadership, and Human Rights.

This passion drives Fatima’s participation in a range of multicultural community organizations including the AMRC, Youth Parliament, and Youth Advisory Group to the Commissioner for Children and Youth People. As a UniSA Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science student, Fatima is also the 2020 UniSA College Student Representative and the vice president of the Collective Diaspora Club at to support students from diverse background.

Fatima says that these platforms allow her to know more about the issues people face,  support the development of advocacy and leadership skills that she can take into her future endeavours.

Despite more than 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Fatima says we still have millions of people suffering from violence, regression, low or no access to basic human rights like good food, pure water, health centres, education, safety, equality and freedom of speech.

“In my future I want to stand up and create a foundation of like-minded youth from every corner of the world with a goal of empowering girls and women to stand for their rights, teaching and motivating youth to think about their humanity and contribute towards a positive change in the world; where there is no black and white, no poor and rich, no Muslim and Christian. In addition to this, I will use my medical skills and experience to support with medical facilities.


Everyone deserves to be respected and everyone deserves to be heard and I want to defend Human Rights for equality.”


Read about Hannah Southcomb who is planning on changing the world for women, starting here in South Australia, by creating spaces which encourage, showcase and empower female and non-binary young people.

Do you know someone who is a young rights champion? Nominate a mate by sending an email to!

Acknowledgement of Country
We respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the Traditional Owners of the lands throughout South Australia and we pay our respects to their Elders –  and to past, present and future generations of their children and young people.

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