Swinburne student Chau Nguyen is set to present at the United Nation’s (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum in New York this week.
The Youth Forum brings young leaders from around the world to the UN headquarters in New York. It is a platform for young people to engage in dialogue with member states and contribute to the formulation of policies relating to global economic, social and environmental issues.
Ms Nguyen, who is studying a Bachelor of Media and Communication, was chosen from over 200 applicants to attend the forum.
Presenting on the topic of sustainable development in the textiles industry and the importance of empowering women for a sustainable future, Ms Nguyen plans to raise awareness for the treatment of women in the textiles industry and what can be done to empower them.
“Currently, the textiles industry employs around 70 per cent women, but they don’t get the same opportunities as their male counterparts,” Ms Nguyen says.
“It’s something that has to be dealt with as it’s a part of our society… textiles are something everyone consciously, and unconsciously, has a connection to.”
Ms Nguyen wants to push for Australian companies to give women workers in their offshore factories better resources and workshops, to help them understand their rights at work.
“Many textile companies are not focussed on ethical issues, especially those who work offshore, but I’d like to change that. I’d like to make it a legal obligation that companies must take responsibility for those that they employ.”
The forum will also be a great opportunity for Ms Nguyen to meet key influencers on a global scale.
“Being able to network with important people, beyond celebrity status, who are able to change policies, would be great.”
“I was told that Kevin Rudd might be there. To meet him would be very exciting and interesting.”
The United Nation’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum runs from July 17 to 22.