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CYMEF

Campaign Against Killer Robots

NATIONAL YOUTH LEADERS' ADVOCACY MEETING TO ACCELERATE THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST KILLER ROBOTS IN NIGERIA 29th February 2021

Held in Lagos and hosted about 30 young people, with focus on leaders of civic organizations, media, political parties and professionals to an advocacy on the dangers of killer robots. The outcomes of the meeting include the willingness of the participants to join the campaign to ensure it reaches the grassroot, the promise of an actress participant to make a movie to boost the campaign and the general interest gained by all.

The project was an advocacy meeting with National Youth leaders, a physical one so to speak (at this time, the lockdown and ban on social gatherings and travels had been relieved), held on Friday 29th of January at De Gong Hotel (Conference Room), 14, Adebunmi Edun Street, Alimosho, Lagos, Nigeria. To have the youth leaders of these different backgrounds and orientation in a round table discussion on how best their organizations could join the campaign and expand the tentacles across their various states. The participants shared their views and many on behalf of their respective organizations vowed to join the campaign.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES
  • Advocacy Meeting – Having set the background in the previous webinar, we set up a test to know how much more the engaged youth leaders have read and understood the discourse on Killer Robots before hand. Also, we gave enough time for them to digest the materials given to them at the point of registration, then dived into a rigorous meeting on the roles in advancing the campaign. Being people from different backgrounds, we gave them the opportunity to speak on how their organization can come in. this was discussed from the angles of the media, political parties, gender-based organizations, religious institutions, legal angle and the entertainment industry
  • The meeting had a movie actress and producer, who promised to build her subsequent movies around the harm and dangers of Killer Robots and why it should be totally banned; religious leaders stressed their subsequent preaching against it at their respective religious gatherings; leaders of youth organizations to organize seminars on the subject and the radio presenters present to put up programmes where issues of security and Killer Robots and the campaign against it will be extensively discussed and listeners can contribute
  • We discussed with the representatives of political parties present on how they can be of help in the advancement of the campaign, maximizing the political campaigns by drawing the attention of their audiences to the issue which directly affects all and sundry, regardless of culture, religion, gender or class in the society. A youth-led organization, Youth for New Nigeria (YNN) promised a strong support and interested in registering through the organization
IMPACTS
  • One of the participants of the virtual webinar series who had studied the subject of Killer Robots critically came to the Advocacy Meeting with a video on the excesses of Killer Robots and their possible dangers if allowed for domestic activities and wars. The video also served as a material used to stress our points. That gave us the sense of the fact that young people are getting conscious of the materials around them that are potentially dangerous and threatening to human existence.
  • A participant and young politician, Mr. Sasere Micheal who is aspiring to be a member of the federal senate house promised to facilitate our engagement with the parliament and the Foreign Affairs commission and eventually get the attention of the presidency.
  • The Cultural Youth Initiative Movement of Nigeria is present in over 70 universities in Nigeria but due to the lockdown, they could be reached. Hence, there would have been a mass campaign by students. One of the participants present after the session mentioned his university (Olabisi Onabanjo University), where our team is yet to be established. He promised to have the establishment in his school, lead and amass members by his influence being a popular executive in his faculty. A few days after the meeting, schools in Nigeria resumed activities and we are proud that we now have a youth advocacy team on the Campaign Against Killer Robots in another university, making it 71.
  • The team’s social media pages received an unprecedented and massive number of international and national followers. For instance, on 20th of January 2021, our Facebook post reached 543 audience and 22 engagements the same week. On Twitter, international organizations like 21st Century Robot Wars, Women Environment and Youth Development Initiative, AACC-CETA Youth and Campaign to Stop Killer Robots liked, shared and retweeted our posts. Unarguably, the Campaign is getting widely known.
PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES
  • As a result of restrictions on travelling and social gatherings, which lasted till almost the end of December 2020, the social media became a viable instrument to reach a wider audience. Earlier, around the middle of the month, a national protest, #EndSARS hit Nigeria and the social media got busy, hence, the regular availability of youth online was seized to launch our campaign and it received a massive attention. For the nature, many questions had to be answered on Killer Robots. Therefore, the social media strengthened the campaign.
  • Our engagement of both female and male facilitators, ensuring gender balance gave prospective participants some confidence and trust in the process. The extensiveness of the facilitators also birthed some hunger in the participants some of who called thenafter ask for their contacts for further discussions.
  • The success of our national advocacy resides in the readiness of a national organization, Youth for New Nigeria to register with the Campaign Against Killer Robots to advance the course, the creation of a unit in a university and the envisaged production of movies that would advance the campaign.
  • The success also lies in the ability to bring representatives from different states and regions of the country down for the advocacy meeting and with all going back to set the pace for their states.
  • The only set back was the host state’s non-allowance of more than twenty participants meetings and the traffic congestion that characterizes the roads that lead to the venue. However, we ensured we had not more than the required number by earlier collating acknowledgements and producing participant tags which bore each participant’s name and helping them with available and safe routes out of the state.
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What We Have Done

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